How much should I give?

January 27, 2020

The answer is of course, that there is no right answer. It can be difficult to predict how giving might impact your life, and it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole of spreadsheets and accounting, to work out how this is going to fit in with your day to day spending. Should I cut back on dining out? Should I lose that cup of coffee each morning?

This can be a painful process, incorporating a lot of number crunching and soul-searching. So we’d like to suggest a couple of different approaches to take out all the angst.

  1. Just have a go and see: Pick a percentage out of the air. Something that sounds reasonable yet ambitious (our average user gives 1.96% if that helps). Try it for a month. See how it feels. And then set yourself a reminder in your calendar to make time to review. We intentionally designed Tyve so that the percentage you give can be increased or decreased at any time, and so you have the flexibility to try a few different options and adapt accordingly.
  2. Start small: As with any habitual change, the classic advice is to start small and build up. If you want to start exercising, it’s better to commit to a 10 minute jog, 3 times a week, than try to work out at the gym for an hour and a half every day. We can apply the same to charitable giving. Give a little, see how it impacts your life, and if you’re ready to give a little more, then go for it.

We think the approaches above can be effective for two reasons:

Firstly, we think it’s best to think about giving as an expression of your identity, rather than a sacrifice that you make. Something that becomes a part of your day to day life and that you are proud of, rather than a different way of spending that £3 on your morning coffee each day.

Secondly, human beings have a tremendous capability to adapt to new situations, and so we predict that making this change will require a lot less planning and number crunching than you might think. To put it more simply, you might find that when you start giving - especially if you start small - everything just kind of ‘works out.’

Ultimately, the answer is just to start giving. Change your default from giving nothing to giving something, whatever that looks like for you. To donate a portion of your salary is already a fabulous commitment - the exact percentage is somewhat arbitrary - and we encourage you to find a way that allows you to take that first and exciting step.

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