My behavior isn’t very Christian-like. After all, we’re only talking about a few cents here. So why the aversion to helping someone less fortunate with my loose coinage?
We haven’t vetted the charity
We do give to our church and a few charities. You can bet it isn’t a few cents we dish out here-and-there. They were chosen because they line up with our beliefs, not someone else’s.
How will my $.57 here and $.24 there cause someone’s life to be changed? Have you ever tried to buy something of value with only a handful of change? You would need a strong belt to hold up a pair of trousers with enough coins in the pockets to buy a combo at Mickey-Ds!
I could be collecting that loose change myself and writing a larger denomination check to a charity of our selection.
The cost is too great
When a company rounds my purchase up to the next whole dollar amount it also increases the likelihood that a portion of my gift won’t be going to that charity.
This is especially true if I were to use plastic. The store pays a percentage of the overall transaction that is processed through their clearing house. The larger the purchase amount, the more they have to pay Visa or MasterCard. This guarantees that a portion of my gift makes the credit card industry more profitable, not the non-profit!
It’s not as organized
Our gifts are done through organizations, most of which are registered 501(c)(3). That means the donations are tax-deductible. This is just a side benefit, which I talk about in a recent podcast episode “Reasons for Giving“.
It’s my job, not theirs
If I want to give money to someone I should be able to give it without persuasion. Having my money handed to someone else without my direction isn’t REAL giving.
By the way: The most inefficient way we give is through the government. Politicians pander to their constituencies by promising to solve their problems, assign a committee to create a new social program, and then take tax dollars from us in the name of that benefit.
It isn’t illegal, it isn’t immoral, but it isn’t really their job!
Being Biblical with our gifts
God has provided us with everything we have: The ability to earn an income, the ability to buy things with that money, and the responsibility to manage it wisely.
Giving requires some planning
My aversion to the “round-up” scenario may seem to conflict with being a generous person, but our checkbook register will vouch for our level of generosity. While true giving isn’t rational, we do budget our gifts and make them count!