I decided to start giving 10% of my income to charitable causes. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time without taking action. But tonight, I made the plunge.

I am incredibly lucky and incredibly rich. If you are reading this, you probably are too. The median world income is under $10,000. I make considerable more than that thanks in part to the lucky fact that I was born healthy into a supportive family and society.

After going through my finances, I am surprised by how little of a sacrifice I expect it to be. I make more than enough money to afford rent, food, clothes, entertainment, and travel.

The things that make me most feel the most fulfilled are spending time with my friends and family, learning, and building new products. Most of these don’t require money or at least not a lot. And in fact, my work which I tremendously enjoy actually gives me money…

Are you also giving a percentage to charity? Or are you thinking about it? If so, reach out. I’d love to see how we can get more people onboard.

Questions that I’ve asked myself

Why 10%?

It’s a start. I want to do something that feels sustainable. I could give more than 10% and still afford most things, but with less wiggle room.

Why make this public?

Accountability and encouraging others.

I hope writing this and posting it online will make me keep up my 10% donation for longer. I actually want to create a bot that will automatically Tweet my 10% donation (and this post) every time that I receive a paycheck. So you could see if that bot stops Tweeting…

And I hope that this post will encourage others to make the same pledge. I don’t think that charitable giving needs to be or should be a selfless act. It’d be cool to see people win internet points or social status by pledging to donate.

What charity?

For now, I am giving the full 10% to GiveDirectly.

GiveDirectly gives money directly (hence the name) to people who are living in extreme poverty and is recommended by GiveWell.

In the future, I hope to be more active with finding new charities and causes to donate to and writing about that thought process.

How are you managing the donation?

At Luma, we use Gusto to manage payroll. Gusto allows you to automatically deduct an amount from every paycheck and give it to a charity.

I think it’s important to make this automated. I don’t want to experience the pain of siphoning off 10% of my money each month.

But Gusto uses FirstGiving which charges a what seems like exorbitant 7.5% transaction fee on donations. So I may switch to this being an automatic bank transfer…