On my travels through the Internets today, I came upon something I didn't know about: the website for the I Live Here, I Give Here campaign. Basically, the deal is that Austin is ranked 48th of the 50 largest cities in the country when it comes to charitable giving (though, interestingly third in volunteerism), and this campaign is striving to increase charitable giving by Austin residents by educating them about community needs and the organizations that are in place to meet those needs.
The goal of the campaign is to get Austin residents donating 3% of their incomes, while working towards 5%. Giving that church-based tithing is generally 10%, that seems doable. Right now, the average American household gives 3.2% of its (post-tax, I think) income to charity.
I think the campaign has the right idea--people would give more if they knew how and where their money could be best used. As for myself, their goals and the use of their handy giving calculator (under "How do you compare?") have once again opened my eyes to how much more I should be doing. I'm giving less than 2% of my take-home right now. Given my fairly low financial responsibilities (no kids), I ought to be doing better. And I am hoping this campaign will help me to find ways to do that. I'll definitely be re-checking their site when I decide on December's blog-highlighted charities.