At work we frequently discuss philanthropic inclination. It’s much more than money whether or not someone gives to a non-profit organization. People are generally more philanthropic in their late forties and beyond. Presumably because they are done raising a family and have more expendable income. However, even if you’re filthy rich and in your 50s+ that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to give to charity.
I certainly don’t have the expertise or the wisdom to explain why or how some people are more inclined to be chartable than others, but I think its definitely true. I also think that a philanthropic interest tends to occur when you’re younger, even if you don’t have that expendable income yet (or may never have) I also don’t think that its a religious thing, about being raised to believe in charity. I think there are many factors and I’m curious at discovering what they are.
Even though I hardly have expendable income or am in my 50s, and I’m very much so in the middle of starting a family, I think I have charitable inclinations. Well, I know I do. I wrote 3 checks out to charity today, and intend to write more this calendar year. I don’t even do it for the tax write off since I don’t itemize, which is a large reason a lot of very wealthy people do give to charity, for their own taxable benefit.
I allocate a $150 a year (approximately, this isn’t set in stone) to give to charity throughout the year. I know they’re small donations, but as manager of our community gifts program I know that ever little gift really does count.
I gave to:
- March of Dimes
- St. Judes Children’s Hospital
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
I also intend to give to the Como Zoo and/or the Minnesota Zoo, the Animal Humane Society (more than just our dog that we got in February) Very likely, the Science Museum (though I’m waiting for them to hit me up for my capital campaign donation) and probably AIDS research (above and beyond my support of Gap’s product (RED) clothes.)
I encourage everyone to gauge their philanthropic interest and if there’s a charity or non-profit that interests you to consider a donation. $10 may seem like nothing to you, but a 100 people that give $10 amounts to $1,000 for that charity.