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How Much to Give to Charities

The Numbers Game: Although traditionally, the church recommends giving a 10 percent tithe (glossary) to charity, the average American gives at the level of 3.2 percent of his or her income (pre-tax). The average household donates $1,620 a year, which translates into less than five dollars a day.* However, some organizations, such as the Twin Cities-based One Percent Club, ask Americans to consider donating 1 percent of their net worth each year to charity.

Calculate what this could mean for you:

Income $______ x  Average donated (.032) =  $_________


Net Worth $_______ x  One percent donated (.05) = $__________

The Most Generous: The category of people who gives the most -- an average of 5.2 percent of their annual income to charity -- actually make the least, earning below $10,000 a year, far below the poverty line. Follow their example! Although this may seem idealistic, if everyone gave this much to charity, perhaps many of the world’s problems would be eliminated.

Tax Benefits: Visit our tax benefits page to see how your tax-deductible donations will benefit you when April 15 rolls around.


Volunteering: Another way to help charities of your choice is by volunteering. If you feel that charitable donations don’t fit into your household budget as well as you’d like, volunteer your time with a nonprofit organization: Visit the Hands on Network for listings of volunteer opportunities in your area.


* Giving USA Foundation AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy -