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Daily Archives: November 17, 2013

That Gift of Time Thing

Interesting reading. Tom’s post about philanthropic giving across the USA.

That includes data probably culled from tax returns. In other words, if you don’t use it as a deduction, it doesn’t really count.

Data that says my friends and neighbors are somehow lacking because we don’t declare larger percentages of our income on our tax returns as charitable contributions.

It brings to mind that quote about “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics”.

I look around me at Conservancy field trips. 5-10 volunteers. The clean up crews. Weekly. The restoration teams. The hike leaders.


The Patapsco Heritage Greenway teams cleaning up the river on weekends.

The parents out there with their scout troops selling cookies, or working on scout projects.


The Scout projects all across the county. The volunteers at the schools. For Neighbor Ride.

Those of us who put bags of clothes in the barrels all around the area, and don’t deduct them. The cash donations in the Salvation Army jars. Or, the $20 bills given to collections by fire fighters, or other local charities.

Quite frankly, when I looked at Tom’s list and saw the biggest leaders, and they were all in Utah (can you say religious tithing?), and this is used to say we aren’t philanthropic because we don’t tithe, I was somewhat annoyed.

I find there are hundreds, if not thousands of my neighbors and fellow countians, who open their pocketbooks, get in their cars, volunteer, give time and/or money to places they care about. We just don’t seem to care about being called philanthropic (because we don’t put these things on our tax returns).

I think I get it from this study. We have to account for every cent spent, on that 1040 form, to be charitable.

Oh well, I guess I will continue to donate to my favorite local organizations, put clothes in the St. Vincent de Paul container, take food to the Food Bank, spend hours volunteering, but because I don’t deduct these things, I contribute nothing to society.

Excuse my rant, but stuff like this drives me nuts.