As a Catholic single lay person, one thing I have been feeling called to do is to tithe. Due to student loans and some other obligations, I am not at the point where I can tithe 10 percent of my income, but I have started participating in the yearly “pledge” program at my Church. I also donate to charities and I try to pick mainly Catholic ones, like Catholic Charities. But I have also donated to organizations like Doctors Without Borders when I wanted my donation to go to a specific cause.
While I don`t have a lot of money to give, the Lord has blessed me and I feel it is important to give back some of what the Lord as blessed me with. I may not have much, but I know I have more than most. One thing I struggle with, is how to decide where, or how best to give my money. My Dad, incorrectly in my mind, stopped putting money in the collection basket at Church because he did not want any of his money to be used for the legal defense of priests accused of abuse. The Church I attend now is very good at explaining where all of the money goes. And I know it is important for innocent priests to have money to defend themselves. Likewise, I want victims to receive compensation. But at the same time, I want to know the money I donate goes to help not only the Church as an institution, but also to those truly in need.
For those of you who tithe, or give to Catholic charitable organizations, how do you decide where to donate, and what percentage to place where? I try to stick with organizations with low overhead costs, but sometimes wonder if I am going about things in the best manner. Is it better to stick with just tithing directly to my local Church?
I would appreciate any advice.