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Create and Publish a Donation Plan

Once you’ve seen just how much better someone else’s life is thanks to a well-chosen donation, you can decide if you would like to donate part of your annual income on a regular basis, and what percentage that should be.

The Giving Pledge: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have been able to attract a significant number of billionaires from around the world who, through The Giving Pledge, commit to doing just that. They write a statement in which they pledge to donate a portion of their income/wealth to charity. The publication of these pledges on The Giving Pledge website has been an immense success, and has encouraged more and more people to join The Giving Pledge. In just a few years, a self-obligation to donate part of their assets for charitable purposes has become the standard for billionaires in the United States.

Of course, you don’t have to be a billionaire to donate a portion of your income to making someone else’s life better, and by putting it in writing, you increase the probability of following through with that intent. By spreading the word and sharing your intentions with your circle of friends you also encourage them to take a similar step and, little by little, we all can help to make donating part of our income to charity, a voluntary, universal norm.

The Life You Can Save Pledge: In the same vein as the Giving Pledge, The Life You Can Save has seen hundreds of people pledge to donate at least 1.5% of their net income to charity during their working lives, effectively helping people in extreme poverty. If you are looking for some guidance regarding the amount of your own annual donation, you can get a recommendation from the online calculator for contribution amounts based on net income.

Founders Pledge: Over 200 entrepreneurs and startup founders have joined Founders Pledge and publicly committed to donate at least 2% of the sales revenue of their companies.

Researchers at the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia have shown that making donations and generally spending money on others makes you happier than spending the same amount of money on yourself.

With the Spiegel Online donation calculator one can compare how much other Germans with similar incomes donate on average.