Today’s Friday Book Club will feature Chapter 7 of The Automatic Millionaire and is entitled Make A Difference With Automatic Tithing. In this short – and final – chapter David Bach makes an argument in favor of charitable giving. We’ll start things off right again this week, with a quote (also quoted in The Automatic Millionaire) from Winston Churchill…
We make a living by what we earn – we make a life by what we give.
Before we go much further I have to admit that I’m a big proponent of charitable giving and philanthropy (see Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty and A Charity I Recently Donated To). I suppose this makes me a little biased toward this topic. With that being said I’d like to get back to discussing the points that Mr. Bach is trying to get across in this chapter.
There Is More To Life Than Money
It’s true. He said it. In fact, he said exactly that. There is more to life than money. But… isn’t this book all about becoming a millionaire? Isn’t the whole point that money is the ultimate? Not exactly, at least not according to Mr. Bach (and I tend to agree). As he points out in this book, “money will not give your life meaning.” He instead points to the fact that by acquiring money we are allowing ourselves to feel something – acquiring money allows us to get things which may inspire a feeling within us. Mr. Bach is under the impression that this same feeling can be acquired, but not so much by buying things with our money but rather by giving it away to those in need. In fact he goes so far as to say that (essentially) we will feel the same feelings from starting to give tithes now that we will feel when we become millionaires.
How To Tithe
David doesn’t mention it in his book but one way you could give back to those less fortunate would be to spread your wealth around locally. Honestly an even more fulfilling way of giving back to your community is by offering your time, which can often be more valuable than your money. However David doesn’t focus on these topics at all. Instead he chooses to reference charitable organizations.
An important point that David makes is that it’s not good to just hand your money out to some random organization who claims to be a “charity.” Instead you should research and make sure that the charity you are donating to doesn’t pocket half of it in “administrative costs.” A good charity has admin costs of around 25% or maybe even less. Any more than 50% in administrative costs and you probably shouldn’t take a second look. The idea is to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge out there on the internet and use it to choose some good charities. I’ll list three of the websites that David mentions in his book right now.
These are fantastic resources to use to research charitable organizations. If you have any questions at all please let me know. I’d be more than happy to answer them for you, and if I don’t know I will find out.