How much do you donate/do for others?

I have to admit that I don’t do this very much, but I wonder what is “normal.”

I would have thought there’d be more responses :frowning:

There is no “normal” answer. It all depends on your circumstances and what you feel God is asking you to do. Asking others how much they give is rather a social faux pas. That’s between each of us and God, you see. :wink:

A lot of people give 10% of their hourly wage to their parish and donate to one or two favorite charities. But, as I stated above, it all depends, really.

I thought about it, but the poll is anonymous!

I am poor but I still donate what I can whether that be a 50 cents, $5, or $20 because there are people out there who are a lot more poor than I am. I get $26 a week from my grandparents for gas for my car. If I have extra money left over, I use it to pay back my personal debts or to donate to the Church and every now and then I’ll buy me a little something. But I don’t think I’ve ever donated more than $20 because I’ve never been able to afford it.

Which is why people may respond to your poll but not post any comments. :wink:

Where are all the responses to this thread? I thought there would be a multitude, but maybe it just needs to build up some steam. Anyway, I was a “born again” Protestant Christian for most of my first sixty years and did woefully little for the Church or, for that matter, my fellow man. When I came into the Catholic faith community at Easter 2005, I received a rude awakening that belonging to ANY church requires much more than simply attending a church service, or Mass once a week. Rather, we are all called to serve in some capacity. For a majority it begins with tithing. I had never tithed before. Instead I always rationalized or excused my lack of tithing on the fact that I had to put two kids through college and other members were better off financially than myself, so they could make up for what I was not contributing. In the last five years, praise God, my tuned has changed. Now I feel a deep responsibility to “make up for lost time” and give as much as I can personally afford. But, it’s not all about money either. Subsequent to taking early retirement 3 1/2 years ago, I became a Minister of Communion which entails taking Communion to the infirmed and the homebound. I do this 2-3 times per week and visit 4-7 people who would otherwise not get the Eucharist. This particular ministry is solely about being a vessel, an instrument of the Holy Spirit. The blessings are returned tenfold. Then there is also the added blessing of working at a local “soup kitchen” serving the hungry, homeless and the unemployed. To sum it up, give whatever you are able to give monetarily, and if that is not possible, then give of yourself any service that aids those less fortunate than yourself. That is precisely what Christ calls everyone to do. I’m just so sorry that if took me all of my adult life to come to that realization.

I felt compelled to reply after usemelord made the comment about other ways to donate. My grandparents are 94 years old and still independent however they can no longer attend mass and rely upon extraudinary ministers to deliver communion, pray together and have a chinwag about what’s going on in the parish. My grandparents are very thankful for this donation and wanted to thank people like usemelord who donate in this fashion :slight_smile:

I have a personal story about giving (not wanting to toot my own horn but I love this memory):
My uncle made a very provocative comment one day. It was just after the tsunami in Indonesia (2005?) and I attended the cricket with my uncle and my dad (I live in Australia- hi!). When we were leaving the cricket grounds they had large bins for people to throw money in and I wanted to donate but being a poor uni student (aka living off my generous parents who didn’t want me to leave home at the time) I gave what what little I could. My uncle made the comment later on that it was a very generous thing I did. I kinda shrugged off the comment because I didn’t think it was anything huge but he replied that there were millionnaires at the cricket match that would have donated that same amount (approx $5) but it meant more coming from someone who couldn’t afford it. Made me feel more ready to give even though I may not think it is ever “enough”.

We are called to donate where we can and with whatever gifts we have. Some of us would be able to donate millions because of good fortune from stockmarkets or inheritance and then there are those who donate whatever spare change they have on them and forsake having a yummy cup of coffee. :wink:

Something to think about: The Poor Widow’s Offering (Luke 20:45-21:4)
[21:1] As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

btw- where does everyone else hail from? Its summer here (approx 110 degrees / 35 degrees celcius) :smiley:

For me, this quote from Saint Ambrose shone a whole new light on giving:

“God created the universe in such a manner that all in common might derive their food from it, and that the earth should also be a property common to all. Why do you reject one who has the same rights over nature as you? It is not from your own goods that you give to the beggar; it is a portion of his own which you are restoring to him. The earth belongs to all. So, you are paying back a debt and think you are making a gift to which you are not bound.”

Wow. :thumbsup:

Actually, I probably could do more. But my giving is also based on bills, food etc, not just “fun” things.

I don’t give much money, though I drop change or a few dollars in Red Cross boxes, and to the salvation army bell ringers every Christmas. I’m more likely to give my time to someone, to help them do something they can’t do on their own. For example, I just got home from walking into town to buy my grandmother something for he to have for dinner so she wouldn’t have to cook, as she’s tired

I know I don’t donate as much as I should, but I’m not sure I’d ever be able to donate enough for my satisfaction. I do try to donate my time where I can, but again, I think my selfishness gets in the way of me doing more, it’s hard for me to break free from my comfort zone. It is often a point of mental conflict for me and is definitely an area I need to work on.

Where is the option for “I would love to be able to donate more but I have four children in Catholic schools?” :blush: Forget fancy vacations or new toys… we are paying tuition up the ying yang.

So for now… it’s money - not so much. Time / Talent - quite a bit.

I don’t think we should worry about the amount of money we give as it compares to the amount another may give, because God didn’t create us all having access to the same things (in the same amounts). Like the widow and her coins. It’s our heart - is our heart open?

Catholics are not required to give ANY set percentage of their money to the Church. Anyone who says otherwise is flatly wrong.

Quoted from Jim Blackburn, Catholic Answers:

“Scripture provides insight on how Christians should give:
On the first day of every week (Sunday), each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper. (1 Cor. 16:2)

The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor. 9:6–7)

There is no mandatory requirement to give a specific amount of money or percentage of our income (to the Church). We should each decide for ourselves how much to give and then do so in the true spirit of giving a gift."


We ARE obligated to support the Church materially (monetarily), as stated in the Precepts of the Church. But beyond this initial obligation, there are no rules. Total freedom. We can give whatever amount we want. You can do charity with 50 cents, 1 dollar, 20 dollars, whatever. If it is done, as Scripture says, “not reluctantly or under compulsion,” (2 Cor. 9:6–7) then what we give qualifies as a true gift – no matter how little or how much we decide to give.

Yes, true, God likes a cheerful giver. I go by this scripture:

Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

I don’t want to rob God.

But also I agree with what Paul says here to give what you are capable of giving, if not in money, then in your time.

“Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly,” (2 Corinthians 8:12, NLT). You reap what you sow.

Paul points out a family’s needs should not be affected by tithing, but rather, each person should give in proportion to what they have been given (2 Corinthians 9:10) while giving as much as they are able to (2 Corinthians 8:12, 9:16).

What they are able…

I always wondered, though, a priest told me once that the 10% tithe should be divided between giving to the poor and giving to the church. I always presumed I should give the whole 10% to the church and give any extra to the poor…

What do you think?

This is a real sore spot for me. I would love to give more to the church but my husband controls the finances now and gives a very small amount once in a while when the collection basket rolls around. A few years ago, I used to ‘sneak’ in more money either to our food shelf or to our parish collection, but it is almost impossible now. I wish he could understand the concept of ‘if you take care of His church and His poor, He will take care of you’ type of mentality. Sadly, he is a bit of a hoarder because we are prone to domestic disasters happening and he wants to put aside money constantly as a cushion. There never seems to be ‘enough’ money aside for him. I can see his perspective, but I still think God would take care of us and has taken care of us when catastrophe strikes. Our pastor is constantly sending letters out asking for money to pay down our building debt and it hurts to see how little we are giving our parish. :frowning:

Sounds like he is overdoing the “worry” part and trying to do it his own way instead of trusting in God. Like you said, he needs to trust God to take care of the situation. You could always show him the scripture that one reaps what he sows and the scripture I posted above in Malachi, that God will pour out His blessings as we tithe. I can understand how he is concerned, but God will definitely bless and work things out if he trusts. I’ll pray for him.

(Quoted from Sonny69 on Catholic Answers:)
“There is no NT tithing; you will not find it anywhere. God loves a cheerful giver.

Most people get the notion (of tithing) because of the preaching on Malachi “will a man rob God?”, then the rest of the semon goes into the abyss. The preaching of this actually puts guilt-trips on people and they give grudgingly and thus forfeit any reward they may have built up.

Tithing in the OT was a tax on the Israelites to run their government similar to our income tax. You will find a tithe to the Levites, a tithe commanded for the yearly festivals, and every 7 years another tithe for the poor.

If you add it up it is about 23.33%; so if you are going to tithe, then (pay) 23.33%…imagine a preacher teaching that…LOL.

Then, there was the “free-will” offering which was from the heart and that was above and beyond the required tithes commanded by God to support the theocracy of Israel. So the next time you hear the preaching from Malachi to you concerning the tithe; know it is not from God.

The lesson here is to read and understand what the Scripture teaches so you can discern between God’s truth and man’s error.”


Someone wrote on this forum: “a priest told me once that the 10% tithe should be divided between giving to the poor and giving to the church. I always presumed I should give the whole 10% to the church and give any extra to the poor…”

First, this priest should not have been talking about tithing. Because the Roman Catholic Church does not teach tithing. I cannot count how many times I have met priests who do not know that their own Church does not teach tithing. They have never examined this issue critically to learn the truth.

This is very disappointing. A priest should be a teacher PAR EXCELLENCE. Many priests I know simply settle for the routine of saying Masses and funerals. There is no deeper learning going on. This is extremely sad.

I have heard, once or twice, the suggestion that Catholics should give 5% of their income to the Church, and 5% to charity. This is a suggestion ONLY. Nothing more. No Catholic is obligated to follow it in any way.

Such suggestions on giving are occasionally spoken by Bishops (very seldomly.) They are not morally binding on Catholics at all. It is entirely up to you whether you wish to follow it or not.

There is nothing in Canon Law, the Catechism, or any official Church publication or teaching about giving 5%, 2.5%, or any other set percent of your income to Church or charity. You will never find any authoritative documentation to back up such a belief. It does not exist.

I have once heard 1% of one’s income suggested as a guideline for giving to the Church. But once again, nobody is obligated to follow this.

It’s strange. Even in the book “Catholicism For Dummies,” an instruction manual on Catholic belief, I have seen the “5% to Church, 5% to charity” recommended. And it is not made clear that this is merely a suggestion on giving, not a command or official obligation. Fortunately, this book invites people to write in and inform the editors of any mistakes they have made. I believe I might very well do this myself.

Then in which scripture is it said to give 10%? I do believe the verse in Malachi, however, as inspired scripture.

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