Tax time is that time of year we gather all our financial information together to figure out just how much income we made and how many deductions we can find. It is a great time to see just what our GQ – our “Generosity Quotient” - really is. What percentage of our income did we actually give away last year, and to whom?
If you itemize your deductions, take the total charitable deduction number from Schedule A and divide by your adjusted gross income from line 37 of your 1040. This will give you the percentage of your income you gave away last year. The average for all Christian givers is 2.9%. For Christians who attend worship regularly the average is 4.1%. How do you compare? Where would you like to be? What would you be willing to change in your spending patterns to be able to grow your giving to where you would like to be?
The first step is to have a plan. Paul advised the Galatians to set aside something on the first day of each week. Whether it is weekly, monthly or quarterly, a regular pattern of giving will do wonders for our GQ, and we will gain great joy in growing our generosity.
The late Andy Gustasfon served as the Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Financial Development from 2004 to 2014.