Some people give no charity at all. But of Americans who do, the average family donation is 2-3% per year. This program examines how people arrive at the amount of their charitable contributions, where the money is contributed to, and what holds donors back from giving more, especially if they could afford to without hardship. We profile an initiative known as Bolder Giving, which asks those who are inclined to donate to charity to dig a little deeper, because the extent of need is great, and sometimes goes unmet. We hear from Christopher and Anne Ellinger (pictured above), co-founders of the movement, who cite their own decision in their twenties to give away most of a family inheritance, because they felt—even on a modest income—they had “more than enough”. We also hear from Kathy LeMay, who tells her provocative story of growing up poor and now raising hundreds of millions for charity. She observes that true charity is more than just writing a check; but also a way of giving from the heart.
We get all these messages in the media news that you never have enough. So whether you actually don’t have enough and are scraping by, or you’ve gotten used to a certain lifestyle that you feel like you have to sustain, but still you’re feeling pinched by, or even if you have way more than enough, but something could happen in the market – which, of course, it will, at some point -there are many different ways to deal with risk. And the ways that we feel are really healthy are to—yes—have some financial reserve, but also to invest in community, in skills, and physical health. There are many other things that are just as important, if not more important, than financial reserves for your security.”
—Christopher Ellinger, co-founder of Bolder Giving