How much should I give?

Practicing generosity is an important part of life. Yet, I’ve experienced difficulty on both ends of the giving equation: the giver… and the developer (raising funds).

Here are two tools below that may help.

Pastor Eugene Cho used the simple but powerful idea of giving “One Day’s Wage” to help alleviate poverty. Using a simple formula of 52 weeks per year and 5 days per workweek, “one day’s wage” equals not even a half of a percent of your annual salary (0.38 of 1% to be exact).

Here’s a tool to extend this idea to giving away 1 day’s wage per month. If given all 12 months of the calendar year, that equals just under 5% of an annual income.

GenerosityTables GenerosityTable2

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Focusing on a percentage feels more akin to calculating taxes than practicing generosity (although I’ve included a table for that too).
  2. For many, giving the traditional 10% of our income (a “tithe”) is unrealistic… indeed impossible for some.
  3. Giving a day’s wage (per month) is equivalent to about 5% of our overall annual income, and this is probably more realistic and yet still sacrificial and challenging.
  4. Giving our “day” can even take the form of community service for children or the unemployed.
  5. Those who are able can give one day’s wage per month to their faith community, but additional “days” to other groups as well… like to a community outreach or an international need.
  6. Remember, our North American day’s wage equals many days wages or even an annual wage in other parts of the world!
  7. Finally, The cost of not giving is not financial but spiritual.

People genuinely enjoy giving, whether it be their financial resources, their time and energy, or even their opinions… we all know people rich in opinions!

Bottom line… we were created to give and we depend on the giving of others. We’re not healthy otherwise. Pastors and leaders are charged for the spiritual health of others and that means frequently encouraging generosity. Tools like this can help others reflect on how they are practicing generosity as a way of life.

Ready… Set… Give!

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