Target: 4.5% charitable contributions

May 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Media often talks about what poor and low income communities cost or take from society and how much help they need.  Considering that, I find the need to talk about the long history of giving in these communities. What we give isn’t just in the form of money, as Jennifer Sherman finds in her study of an economically devastated mountain community,  but the money we give, proportionate to our incomes, tends to be close to or even greater than that of upper classes. In fact, surprisingly, the percentage given by working families with low income, 4.5%, when last tracked, is in line with that of corporate giving!

Charitable contributions are usually thought of in big numbers. Contributions are also easier to track when they’re large because they’re  itemized thus tax deductable. That may be why we forget or don’t hear anything about charitable acts in small amounts. But small amounts add up. Ask President Obama who claims his average contribution was $86.00

Can you imagine the sacrifice involved in giving 4.5% of your hard earned $20,000 away? The dollar amount is much less than 4.5% of $100,000, for instance, but how different is the sacrifice? How different would the world be if we all committed 4.5% of our income to the betterment of our neighbors?  Will you take that pledge?

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