Earmark fixed percentage of income for charity

Aryeh Leib Taurog vim at aryehleib.com
Sun Jan 30 15:16:03 EST 2011

Mike or Penny Novack wrote:
> But perhaps you don't have that sort of problem (you give multiple 
> donations to a small set of organizations instead of one annual gift to 
> each of a largish number of them)

Yes, that's correct.  I try to keep very close to the 10% on a monthly 
basis, and usually give to only 10-20 different charities over the 
course of the year, with five or six primary causes to which I'll send 
checks regularly--figured as a percentage of the current balance.

This is important.  Since both my wife and I are self employed, it's 
sometimes hard to predict what next month's income will be; if we wait 
until the end of the year to make the donations, we might not be able 
to cover them!  On the other hand, I have to leave some slack, since 
we adjust the total for various taxes/refunds, income-related 
expenses, and so forth.  Also I like to have a little in reserve in 
case I want to respond to a solicitation, which brings me back to the 
original problem that although "eyeballing" it is relatively easy, as 
you pointed out, it would be much nicer if I could get a more precise, 
automatic report of the balance for any given period of time, 
factoring in whatever adjustments are known.

I'm not sure how writing checks which are not nice round numbers would 
make anything any more difficult for me.  Ultimately the computer, not 
I, will do the arithmetic, and we don't have target amounts to give to 
specific charities, only that we do something meaningful with the 10%. 
  Thank goodness there are plenty of organizations out there doing 
very meaningful work.

Aryeh Leib

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