Deciding how much to give

This article has been adapted with permission from the original by Kathy Richardson, executive director of Our Community.


Giving comes in many forms; our time, our resources, our voices, and our money. Though frankly, money is often what is most needed and as not-for-profits and individuals adjust to the exceptional reality of operation under COVID-19, the financial pressure is the most urgent challenge.


Consider what you usually give or are already giving, and if you want to expand on that.


We can’t tell you how much to give, but we can tell you to get a clear-eyed view of your income and expenditure, factor in any potential changes and use the leftover sum as a giving guide. Give what you can, but for starters be conservative.


If you’re still a bit lost, tithing could serve as a guide. Traditionally, tithing saw one-tenth of income given to the church, but we recommend you give it to a good cause or good causes of your choosing.


Australian philosopher, Peter Singer has created a calculator that allows you to receive an estimate of how much you should give based on your income, which could also help. Singer is the founder of the ‘Effective Altruism’ movement. Giving within our means, he has calculated, would cure some of societies worse ills.


What to give if you can't give money

It’s not all about money and there’s other ways to give if you have none to spare right now. The COVID-19 Generosity Register lists organisation in need of a range of donation types, including time and goods.

  • Giving blood – “Blood and plasma donation remains absolutely vital”– see more information here.

  • Volunteer from home – If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, See if there’s any virtual volunteering opportunities that match your skills via Vollie, Seek or GoVolunteer

  • Start a crowdraiser – Now could be the perfect time to start training for that marathon or to grow that enormous beard. Set yourself a challenge and invite your friends to support you in your quest, while supporting a good cause. Get started here.

  • Finally, check out this list of other ways to give.