Be thoughtful about your giving
Rutger Bregman – Historian and author
I think all of us wonder sometimes if we are doing enough to make the world a better place.
The average Dutch person gives only 0.4 percent of their income to charity, and this is understandable. After all, how can you be sure that your gift really makes a difference?
There is good news – now there is a whole movement of people conducting rigorous, scientific research into exactly that question. As it turns out – if you are a resident of a rich country, you can improve the world by donating.
A few years ago, I made a decision: I pledged to donate at least 10 percent of my future income and think more about what I want to give to. Since then, it has become a yearly ritual. After the annual tax return my wife and I calculate what our “10 percent” is and we think about what we want to do with our donations that year.
Giving has become a normal part of our lives. It is no longer something I do by chance after seeing a tear-jerking commercial, but a habit that has great meaning to me, just as I consider it important to vote.
I really enjoy looking at our “portfolio” of donations now and thinking about how our money is at work making the world a better place.