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Question of the day

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* From WUIS

The governor’s latest tax returns also show he gave $7500 to charity.

That’s about $4000 less than he gave in 2011.

* The Question(s): Which charities do you usually contribute to, and what percentage of your income goes to charity?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    I contribute to my church, my employer (a nonprofit) and lots of various charities like cystic fibrosis and cancer related stuff. And I buy a lot of Girl Scout cookies.

    Having just done my taxes, I’m embarassed to admit I only contributed about 3% of my income to charity.


  2. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    I have raffle tickets, people! A dollar a pop, proceeds go to Harmony House, a LEED-certified no kill cat shelter on the north side. The raffle is June 9, and first prize is a kitten! Okay, it’s all cash prizes, starting at $500.

    I also give to an orphanage in Uganda–I have a friend on the board there. And I clean off my book shelves every year and take the stuff I’m getting rid of to Open Books. I try to leave the store with fewer books than I’ve donated.


  3. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    As far as the percentage, I have no idea. I never take the deduction.


  4. - Darienite - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    Our church, my alma mater, a variety of charities and non-for profits (March of Dimes, On Your Feet Foundation, National Coalition of Cancer Survivors, others when attending a wake or funeral).
    Have to agree with 47th Ward on % - does the giving of time mean anything?


  5. - Killarney - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    The entity that gets the most from me every year is my parish. Others are schools that I graduated from, the YMCA, and Contact Ministries.


  6. - Pale Rider - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    I give to Sojourn House. I contribute just over $500 per year which is about 7%. It’s a worthy cause and it exists because some men don’t understand that abuse is never ok.


  7. - Skeeter - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    In the past, we’ve written big checks to Cabrini Green Legal Aid and to support Prentice Hospital.

    For various reasons, we’ve sort of stepped away from charitable stuff the past year or so. We take deductions for material we donate(old clothes, etc. to places like Goodwill) but we no longer write the checks.

    Part of it is self-centered and part of it is that our incomes have gone down.


  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    I support my Church School and St. Jude’s Hospital.


  9. - Earnest - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    I donate to the nonprofit I work for and the local United Way. I was a bit embarrassed to do the math and see the amount was a little under 1% of my income. I have donated to some national charities in the past but regretted it when I became inundated with calls and mailings for further donations.


  10. - What is to be done? - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    The USO. And you should too.


  11. - TCB - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Does the Illinois Rebpublican Party count as a charity?


  12. - Just Observing - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    - Institute for Justice
    - Marijuana Policy Project
    - Drug Policy Alliance
    - Jewish United Fund
    - Various charities in support of Israel
    - Various health related charities
    - And more…

    Have no idea what percentage of income — probably about 3-5 percent of my net.

    Of course, much of the taxes we pay go to support various charitable efforts.


  13. - countryboy - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    All are orgs I have no first person connection to… VFW, American Cancer Society, MS Society, Feed my Starving Children, Northern Ill Food Bank, Breast Cancer Society… About 6%.


  14. - LisleMike - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    I support March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Dakota Partnership (Native American/Church group to Souix Reservation),Church, YMEN (N Lawndale group keeping men out of Gangs and helping get them into college- successfully) Support our Tropps Illinois, — I am an easy touch..I also work at most of the org I support, so it is time as well as $$$ All told, I am around 11% or so. (I don’t donate for tax purposes, but also make sure I include them on my tax forms….) I am fortunate enough to be able to help and glad to do so.


  15. - Stones - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    Usually our church, various cancer related charities, local Hospice, and clothing donations to several veteran’s organizations. I am not sure of the percentage of our income but it is very small (maybe 1%).


  16. - JL - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    I am active with the Big Shoulders Fund and Chicago Children’s Charities. I probably give about 2-3% of my yearly income.


  17. - Loop Lady - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    Southern Poverty Law Center,Planned Parenthood, WTTW, NPR, The Anti Cruelty Society, The Salvation Army, The Smithsonian, and the Chicago Food Depository…about 0.5% of income.


  18. - democrat Grrrl - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:04 pm:

    My church, Habitat for Humanity, my alma mater, Planned Parenthood, Feeding America, Carter Center, Interfaith Alliance, PBS (several public radio stations), Boys & Girls Clubs, Salvation Army, a few others. Came to just under nine percent (9%) of income in 2012.


  19. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    I donate time to my kids youth activities and the county home where my mom spent the last of her Alzheimer years.

    The Vietnam Vets and Salvation Army always want to pick up stuff, and I always put something out.

    I don’t claim anything.

    I’m a sucker for any funder, but I don’t think of percentage of income. It’s more than zero but less than 5. If I find an extra dime, my kids generally grab it.


  20. - John A Logan - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    I contribute in a hap hazard fashion and never have kept track of it to take the deduction either. A couple I can remember is Public Radio, National Parks Conservation Association, American Cancer Society, Illinois Sheriffs Association, St Jude’s Research Hospital, Ducks Unlimited, and Rich Whitney’s campaign fund.


  21. - Skeeter - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    I forgot about USO. That’s the one check that we still write. We attend the block party by Boss Bar in September and write a check either that night or around the same time.


  22. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    –We attend the block party by Boss Bar in September and write a check either that night or around the same time.–

    That’s a blast from the past; haven’t been there in a while. Kind of a cult-of-personality theme going with that big Richard J image on the wall.

    Good day for it, throw those big doors open and let the Spring in.


  23. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Children’s Miracle Network, Make a Wish Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I’m not sure what percentage. It’s not a lot but it’s as much as I can afford.


  24. - Joe M - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    Local United Way; local food pantry; Salvation Army, local NPR station; Make-a-Wish Foundation.

    Recently, only about 1-2% of my income - due to the situation of putting my five kids through college over the last ten years.


  25. - titan - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    My church (and some like-minded charible organizations), and some charities for aiding the homeless and special needs children.
    All together, I try to hit at least 10% of gross income, and plan to increase that percentage in the next few years as some debts are finally paid off.


  26. - carbaby - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    I donate back to the non-profit I work for. I also donate money and time to a women’s non-profit organization that I am a member. I also donate to the Glass Slipper project, ETA Theater and a couple churches. I never take the deduction but it’s probably somewhere near 3-4% of my income.


  27. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Lots of serious comments
    How about boats and video poker as a pass through to the school kids
    Cigars as a pass through to public health
    Indiana fireworks as a pass through to never ending disaster relief
    501(c)3’s that stage golf outings at private clubs

    Then the boring stuff Church, YMCA, St. Jude (but no running allowed) local stuff

    Attempting to set aside 10%. Usually this is a challenge, but the pass through expansion puts the goal in reach


  28. - Bluefish - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    Northern Illinois Food Bank. Salvation Army.


  29. - Chris - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    Chicago Food Depository, alma maters, kids current school, hodge podge of others.

    A %age smaller than it should be.

    For those who do not claim it–do you not itemize? If you do itemize, do you feel it’s not worth the record-keeping trouble (or it’s all non-cash)? Or are you doing the ‘voluntary’ payment of extra taxes thing (ie, also donating to the Federal and IL government)?


  30. - kimocat - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    It seems to me that comparisons of charitable giving are unfairly skewed by donations to churchs. Those that give large chunks of their incomes to churches may be seen as more “charitable” individuals. But it remains to be seen how much of these funds actually get put toward true charitable causes. And I don’t consider proselytising to be one of those.


  31. - Susiejones - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    I give 10% of my gross income to my church; also support local causes like our local volunteer fire department and St. Jude’s.


  32. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    Chris-It’s a combination of not wanting to be bothered with keeping track of what I’ve given where and the idea that a donation is a donation, not a way to keep from paying for governmental services.


  33. - Chris - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 4:17 pm:

    “the idea that a donation is a donation, not a way to keep from paying for governmental services”

    Interesting; thanks.

    You can then also respond to the “if you think taxes should be higher by just paying more” crowd by saying “I do”, if you like.

    One can think of *every* deduction as simply a way to “not pay for government services”–you are not *required* to claim any of them, and are free to pay a higher income tax.


  34. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 4:23 pm:

    I donate to disaster relief funds, like for Superstorm Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombings.

    Like many of you, I also have charity needs in the family, so I’m always helping some friend or relative. One of my relatives recently became disabled and began receiving public assistance: SSDI, SNAP and Medicare. Even with the government benefits, we give this person money on pretty much a regular basis to try to keep him out of utter poverty.


  35. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 6:04 pm:

    To the Church and a few other Charities–both in cash and property. % wise roughly in the 3-4% range…


  36. - Sunshine - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 6:07 pm:

    Salvation Army…..about $1500 annually.


  37. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 6:56 pm:

    Church, some outdoor/conservation things like Lincoln Memorial Garden, arts things, Central Illinois Food Bank, I like to give to the missions but my wife doesn’t, she likes to give to the Dems but I think I’ve about got her talked out of it, Big Bro/Sis, Goodwill and Salvation Army in kind, Catholic Charities on occasion, public broadcasting on occasion, really whoever seems to need it the worst that year. I think we might have touched 10% a couple of years ago when the wife pumped up the Sangamon County Community Foundation pretty good. Not normally anywhere near that. I itemize and claim every last dime, figuring it’s a stewardship issue - the more you can reduce your taxes honestly, the more you can afford to give.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 7:57 pm:

    Nore more than 10%, no less than 5%, but claim only 5 big bags of clothes to Goodwill yearly.

    Feed My Starving Children, March of Dimes, CF, Juv. Diabetes, American Red Cross are the big ones that get the OW donations , I guess, but will donate if someone recommends, and its a good cause.

    Got to invest in the best of Men to GET the best of Men in return.


  39. - Capitol View - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 8:05 pm:

    Was roughly 7 percent until I launched a drive to replace my congregation’s facility. Now well over 10 percent these last three years.

    Dipping into my IRA to meet my charitable obligations, but I sleep well at night.


  40. - 1776 - Monday, Apr 29, 13 @ 8:40 pm:

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Way, Ronald McDonald House Charities, my church and my university. I donate about 10 percent of my gross income.


  41. - The Lowly LA - Tuesday, Apr 30, 13 @ 8:48 am:

    Child’s Play, which gets toys and games to children’s hospitals around the world to make the little one’s stays a little easier.

    Also whatever we can afford around the holidays to the USO and APL.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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