Ours is a generous nation when it comes to philanthropy. When we give our time and gifts to a church or another nonprofit organization on behalf of a worthy cause, we shine. Giving USA reported that in 2016 charitable giving rose $10.53 billion to an all-time high. That’s impactful.
The new tax law decreases the likelihood of people filing returns with itemized deductions. Prior research indicates tax benefits are part of the motivation for charitable giving by many people.
But there are many reasons for giving beyond tax deductions. In Stephen Post and Jill Neimack’s book “Why Good Things Happen to Good People,” they cite multiple studies showing that charitable giving results in improved happiness and health. That concept is obvious to some, but you have to take special notice when studies prove that giving, and getting involved, can significantly reduce mortality in later years.
Let’s be creative together, not just when sickness or disaster strikes, but every day, when we tend to take things for granted. Consider partnering with one of the groups or committees at St. Mark or another local nonprofit. Fall in love with the mission and bring others to the table who can assist.
We can work together to shift the focus to what’s best for our church and community without leaning on a tax deduction as a motivator. Let’s do it all for the right reasons, together, as generous people, with care for all.
Dave Obedzinski, Stewardship Chair