• Charity and Your Tax Bill

    Edit: I made a mistake with the standard deduction math and explanation near the end of the original version of this post. I have since corrected it. Thanks to the readers who pointed it out. Monica writes in: Last year, I took the advice of my older brother and made several charitable donations during December …

  • Balancing Giving and Saving

    Sharon writes in: How do you manage the balance between saving for the future and for your own personal goals with a desire to give to those less fortunate than you? It feels like they’re going in opposite directions. To an extent, this is a struggle for virtually everyone in the first world. Everyone reading …

  • How to Investigate a Charity

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Via a private message, Colleen said “I have …

  • A Simple Request

    Since my tongue-in-cheek post on Monday about my “seminar series,” I’ve been stunned at the outpouring of emails and notes from people who wanted to pay me anyway for that “seminar.” I really appreciate it. I deeply appreciate it. Right now, though, I’m in a financial situation where, for the time being and for the …

  • Personal Philanthropy: Twenty Ways to Improve the World, Even If You’re Broke

    So often, people assume that charity and philanthropy mean stretching an already-tight budget even further. “If I donated $100 to the food kitchen, I’d have to start using the food kitchen!” goes the common train of thought. (That’s not to say that donating money isn’t useful – it certainly is.) Money can often be a …

  • Guilt and Charitable Giving

    Monica writes: My biggest “financial leak” is charities. I constantly see people in need and I feel deeply guilty if I don’t help them, especially since I know I have plenty of financial resources with which to help them. The result is that I end up with less money than I expected and it’s hard …

  • Some Thoughts on Angel Food Ministries

    Over the last few weeks, quite a few readers have written to me asking about Angel Food Ministries. I’ve been very hesitant to discuss Angel Food Ministries on The Simple Dollar for a handful of reasons, but this is clearly a topic that many readers are interested in hearing about, so I’ll do my best …

  • The Giving Pocket

    When I was about twenty years old, I was walking near the edge of a rough part of Des Moines, Iowa and I saw something that’s stuck with me ever since. There was a young boy there, about six years old, and he was climbing out of a dumpster behind an apartment building. He was …

  • The Simple Dollar’s Christmas Charity for 2008: Jump for Joel

    Each year, I like to highlight a charity that’s near and dear to my heart and encourage readers, if they’re considering donating money to a charity during the holiday season, to look carefully at this charity. This year, my charity of choice is Jump for Joel. What’s Jump for Joel? Jump for Joel‘s mission is …

  • Giving Outside the Box: Generosity on a Limited Budget

    Many of us want to give to others. We see others in need and deeply desire to reach out and help them. We want to give to the charities we care about and to other causes. Many people want to give to their church or religious organization as well, using that as a conduit for …

  • Giving Now Versus Giving Later: The Gospel of Wealth Versus Everyday Charity

    We only have a limited amount of time on this wonderful Earth, and there are almost countless people around the globe who have far fewer opportunities for a pleasant life than we have. Thus, it’s natural for most people to eventually come to the conclusion that it’s quite important to share the wealth we’ve earned …

  • Seven Things You Can Do Right Now To Help Flood Victims

    As I write this, Iowa is suffering through incredibly disastrous flooding. Levees have been breached in Des Moines, and Cedar Rapids is nearly underwater. If you want to see how bad things are right now, the best place to watch is KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, which has had amazing coverage of the events around here. …

  • The Simple Dollar’s Christmas Charity Drive 2007: L’Arche Tahoma Hope

    Each year at Christmastime, I identify a particular charity that fills an important need in a community. I usually choose one that I have a personal connection to, having visited the facility and/or have had a close friend or family member working there, and the charity must be in line with my personal values of …

  • The Charity Dilemma: Small Donations to Many or Large Donations to a Few?

    Recently, my wife and I took account of all of our charitable spending. Over the last year, we’ve donated small amounts ($10-$50) to many different charities, a list that was almost shocking in length when we finally examined all of them together. Our total charitable spending was an amount we were comfortable with, but we …

  • Money, Spirituality, and Charity

    While writing about personal finance and personal development books, several people have written in to ask me to write about Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and especially Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, Warren and Osteen are charismatic Christian evangelists with …

  • Review: The Soul of Money

    When I showed my sister-in-law The Simple Dollar, her first comment was, “You talk a lot on here about ways to make and save money. Do you really talk about how to spend it in a spiritually fulfilling fashion?” It was a question that actually made me think quite a bit. I do talk about …

  • Charity: Why You Should Give Your Money Away

    I’ve wanted to write this for a long time, but once again a reader of mine comes through. I received this question in an email recently: I have a question about giving to charities. I was always taught by my parents I should be giving 10% of what I earn to the church, charities, the …

  • Put Your Donations Where They Count

    My wife and I used to give about 6% of our annual income to our church. They don’t require it or even ask for it outside of a collection plate; we do it because we see how much good the church is doing in the community. For example, this month they are having a non-ecumenical …

  • The Simple Dollar’s Favorite Charity: The Child Abuse Prevention Center

    No Credit Needed requested that the personal finance blogging community create posts about their favorite charities. As Thanksgiving draws near and Christmas approaches, there’s no time better than now to talk about my favorite charity, the Child Abuse Prevention Center. The Child Abuse Prevention Center of Dallas County, Texas works tirelessly and effectively to help …