In 2019 we donated 10% of our joint net income (whereas in previous years, it was just 10% of mine). Because we’ll be subject to the AMT this tax cycle– exercised my ISO’s from previous employer– I considered doubling up our donations and get a head start on 2020 contributions to reduce our tax bill. Also, “prepaying” my balance would be optimal for tax optimization purposes due to the Republican’s new law. However, that’d leave us with little cash on hand, especially after my bout of unemployment, so I decided against it.
In addition to our direct contributions, my new employer has charitable matching up to $2,000, so I got that for one of my environmental picks.
Unlike previous years when I’ve used donation season to cash in on credit card bonuses, my churning days are more or less over: banks pretty much won’t approve me for new cards anymore. Husband is not interested in it either, le sigh. This means we’ll be feeling the effects of donations on our wallets more directly than in the past, but that’s okay too.
Here are the areas we donated to in 2018 and 2019:
We don’t plan at the beginning of the year how much we’ll donate to each area, but we think this is more or less a decent reflection of my values.
Here are the organizations represented in each bucket:
- Food Security. This is for the small, local food rescue organization that donates fruits and vegetables to seniors, people with disabilities, and other food programs in our area. This is money I feel “proudest” to donate to each year (see: my deep emotional connection with food).
- Immigration. Lots of money to RAICES because we as a country continue to jail and torture migrants in droves. Honestly, I don’t understand why the press continues to fuck around about the internal politics of impeachment when people are literally dying under ICE custody. I am deeply ashamed for how impotent I feel on this issue. Money doesn’t feel like enough.
- Environment. This is split between National Resource Defense Council, Rainforest Alliance, Sierra Club, and Green Wave. My interest is turning away from litigation and lobbying initiatives to direct action and climate change mitigation and resiliency. I imagine this to turn more sharply that way in 2020.
- Criminal Justice. Local (state) bail fund and two local charities focusing on justice for incarcerated LGTBQ+ folks, women, and families.
- Civil Rights. This is all going to the ACLU.
What we didn’t donate to this year:
- Political organizations. ActBlue will probably see a lot of donations from us in 2020, though.
What is your charitable giving philosophy? How much did you donate in 2019 and to what organizations?