My husband and I donate 10% of our household net income each year; I’ve been doing so since 2016 as a sort of “secular tithe” and once we got married we both carried along along the tradition. Here are links to my 2017, 2018, and 2019 posts. We continued our donations in 2020 and 2021, but I was lazy and didn’t create posts those years (whoops).
Here are the areas we donated to in 2022
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 our values.
Here are the organizations represented in each bucket:
- Environment. This is split between National Resource Defense Council, Terra Praxis, Clean Air Task Force and Green Wave. I would love to incorporate more direct action and climate change mitigation and resiliency charities in the mix, but not really sure where to start there.
- Social Justice. Local (state) bail fund and two local charities focusing on justice for incarcerated LGTBQ+ folks, women, and families.
- 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).
- International Development. GiveWell, GiveDirectly, Amnesty International. I’d like to give more to this area because of the higher impact-per-dollar, but not really well-versed in what charities are “good” and somewhat wary that the typical EA charities may be over-saturated.
- Immigration. Lots of money to IRC and RAICES. I hate the politics of immigration in this country and I am deeply ashamed for how impotent I feel on this issue. Money doesn’t feel like enough.
- Abortion. Threw a bunch of money at local abortion funds after the Dobbs decision. Tried to divvy up state-by-state to make sure we were covering the areas that had the most need.
- Housing. Sent money to our local mutual aid group to cover someone’s rent while they were in a limbo state trying to get assistance due to sudden onset of disability.
- Technology. This is all for the Electronics Frontier Foundation, because digital privacy is important!
What we didn’t donate to this year:
- Political organizations. This is probably “bad,” but I honestly have gotten fatigued by ActBlue’s emails. I’m happy to donate to races that are close or need funding to push a candidate over the edge, but I was getting so many solicitations from really high-name-recognition candidates (we’re talking Beto, Nancy Pelosi, etc.). It soured my feelings toward political donations quite a bit. We may donate to candidates for our local races next year, but I think we’re suspending how much we give to this category for national races right now.
Here’s how our donations have changed over time
I’ve been playing with the idea of boosting our donation rate to 15%, which I think we’ll start doing in 2024. Well, technically, we did donate 15% of our net income in 2021 and probably closer to 12.5% in 2020 (basically just throwing our stimulus checks into charity). But then we scaled it back to 10% this year because of inflation and layoff fears. Similarly, why not 2023? Well, next year is the year of the newborn and I think there’s a good chance I’ll be unemployed for part of it, so I’m being a little more cautious about our savings at the moment.
In terms of mechanics, we usually route our donations through our Schwab donor advised fund, which allows us to roll over capital gains as well as keep our donations anonymous. We may contribute more or less to our DAF depending on our tax strategy for the year, but we generally make sure distributions are 10%+ of household income. The one exception was 2017/2018 when I front-loaded our charitable contributions into 2017 to account for the Republican tax changes that were happening at the time.
What is your charitable giving philosophy? How much did you donate in 2022 and to what organizations?
One thought on “‘Tis The Season For Charitable Tax Deductions 2022”
I love this post, I didn’t know about some of these organizations before! As you probably have noticed, I spend a great deal of time throughout the year fundraising to support families directly on the Pine Ridge reservation so that my help goes a lot further than it could if it was our own money. We also donate widely across a range of causes.
Helping people build a life after incarceration: Thurmond Perry Foundation, Food: World Central Kitchen, supporting LGBTQ+ folks: OutMemphis, advocations for unaccompanied immigrant children: Young Center, survivors of domestic abuse: Mid-South Immigration Advocates, Inc Survivor’s Project, animals: the local humane society and breed rescue, diversity: We Need Diverse Books, abortion: Yellowhammer Fund, the local library, teachers and education: Donors Choose, foster kids: the local CASA chapter, access to water: The Human Utility, unhoused people: the local homeless support organization, food again for elementary school kids: T. Greg Doucette Foundation, Inc.’s Foodraiser, scholarships for WOC: Zetas of Charlotte Benevolent Foundation.