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What % of income for charity?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is a spiritual question or not, but I'm posting it here because it is linked to so many religions and because it's personally spiritual for me.

What percentage of one's yearly income should be donated to charity? Ten percent seems to stick in my mind from back in my Christian days. When reviewing my charitable donations for tax purposes, I noted that my documented donations are hardly a drop in the 10% bucket and my undocumented donations don't take it much further.

What do you think? What percentage of a family's income should be donated to charity? in what form- money or giveaways? for what reasons- religious, karma, pure generosity, something else?
post #2 of 4
Islamically speaking, we are required to donate 2.5% of all assets at the end of the year as zakat, or mandatory charity. Extra charity is encouraged and is often practiced by the wealthier community members--it is also practiced by the less wealthy to observe special occasions such as births, weddings, returning home after a long absence, etc.
It's not so difficult a requirement that you really have yo squeeze to manage it, and therefore I think many more are apt to actually give. I see many people struggle hard in order to tithe. I am sure there is a blessing in it for them, but like I said, I see them struggle.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying!
You're right. 2.5% sounds much more doable than 10%.

When you say struggle do you mean struggle mentally or struggle financially? I can see how any amount would be difficult for many low income families. Rent & food can often be the same or more than a minimum wage job income.
post #4 of 4
I do what I can. You can always volunteer your time or do a walk/run to raise money for a charity that you give to. Instead of giving small gifts, I donate money in other people's name. For example, on Mother's Day I always donate money or goods to a women's shelter in my mother and my MIL's name. Things like that. I also ask my parents to donate money in my boys' names instead of giving gifts. They end up doing both, but that's their choice.

I think that if you try to do what you can do for causes you care about, you are doing just fine. I just try to be mindful of doing for others and I try not to lose sight of the fact that there is always someone who could use some help. From time to time I try to step outside *my world* and make a difference in *someone else's world*. I don't worry what percentage of my income I give to charity, I just make it a point to give when I can to causes that are important to me.
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