“On Protection of Towns from Fire” in The Pennsylvania Gazette, Benjamin Franklin argued for tax relief in exchange for volunteer service with the recently-formed fire brigade. “For this Service they are consider’d in an Abatement or Exemption in the Taxes” (Volume 2: 1735-44, 12).
Even before the foundation of American, givers were recognized for their contribution to the society.
Giving and donating are more than just tax deductions, though. Unfortunately, too many of us are of the thinking, “Of course I’d be more generous too, if only I had more money.” Interestingly, “most of today’s millionaires were raising funds for good causes BEFORE [caps added] they became financially independent, and most did it because of noble intent” (Stanley, Thomas J. The Millionaire Mind. Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City MO, 2001: 377).
I believe and have experienced that giving a portion of our income, through donations or tithes, provides us a financial benefit in the long run. The mere practice of giving a portion of our income becomes a statement that we do not live in a void and that you and I are fellow travelers on life’s journey. In the end, we depend upon and are responsible for each other’s success.