On These Days this morning they hosted someone from the NewTithing Group to talk about a new study. The group has just completed a study on quarter of a million individual tax returns. They looked at the charitable donations compared to a percentage of their assets, and the way that broke down into different age groups. The study shows what everyone expects, older people donate way more than younger people. That seems to be the norm in the UK as well.
I need to give more, I have no doubt about that, but even if I did, I don’t believe I will show up in this study. I have some concerns with the methodology of the study. As I understand it, since it relies on IRS tax returns, donations are only going to show up if the submitter has enough deductions to go over the standard deduction. In my case, Anna and I have no house, no kids, and no real deductions. This means we have to exceed $10,000 per year in charitable giving to go over the standard deduction, and thus add this information to the tax return to be counted. While it would be cool to be able to donate that much, I just don’t see it happening.