A Foundation for Sharing Wealth

by Kay Lynn


It was recently in the news that 40 billionaires have publicly committed to donating 50 percent or more of their wealth to charity.

One of the couples, Irwin and Joan Jacobs, lives in San Diego and were interviewed by the local newspaper. There were several interesting points in the article but the answer to the last question was the most interesting.

Mr. Jacobs was asked where he got his passion for charity. He answered that he was poor as a Depression-era child but his family always had a box on the table for giving and they gave what they could.

Lesson of Giving

Even though they were strapped the Jacobs family made giving a priority.  This gave Mr. Jacobs, who became wealthy after founding Qualcomm, the foundation for life-long giving.

Is this one of your core beliefs?  Are you teaching your kids to give?  No matter what your financial situation 99% of us can give in some way.  If not monetarily than with the gift of time.

Using Financial Peace University’s budget template, the category for Charitable Contributions is the first item in my budget.  If I don’t give that amount in the same month it rolls over to the next one.

Benefit of Charity

Although the Jacobs had already planned to give at least 50% of their wealth away, they indicate it was a hard decision to go public.  They decided the positives outweighed the negative with the thought that it would encourage others to make the same pledge if possible.

San Diego has benefited over the years from the largess of wealthy benefactors and it continues with the Jacobs.  We still have a symphony despite hard economic times and a new central library is in the works after more years of delay than I can remember.


We all benefit when people give, whether you’re the giver or a beneficiary.  What’s your philosophy on giving?

photo credit: Mindful One

Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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Little House August 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

I’m definitely coming up short in my budget on giving. Though growing up that was something my parents always did. They had one charity, in particular, they liked to donate to. I need to really get myself in gear with this one; even if it means first just donating my time. Thanks for reminding me of this, Kay!

Kay Lynn August 20, 2010 at 5:37 am

Little House, I don’t donate as much as I should but it’s definitely more than I did 18 months ago. Once I get the non-mortgage debt paid off, I’ll increase the amount gradually. I do also donate some time at my church.

SD Kevin August 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

Though I grew up poor – with depression-era grandparents who did everything from shredding t-shirts and turning them into pillows and cutting buttons off old clothes for re-use – and we definitely benefit from both public and private aid programs, giving was never part of what my parents taught me. As an adult, I’ve given where I could. Now that I’m a home owner and reap the tax benefits of giving, my husband and Igive somewhere on the order of 3 – 5% (monetarily) – although we have been increasing the amount this year – and we also donate our time to a few charitable organizations each year.

Kay Lynn August 20, 2010 at 5:40 am

SD Kevin, you’re a great role model on giving. I am not giving on your scale yet but will increase it once all my non-mortgage debt is paid off. I like that you mix it up with presence (time) and presents (money).

P.S. I remember my grandma and mom having a button box. It seems quaint now.

Khaleef @ KNS Financial August 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I know it was hard for these billionaires to come forward with their plans. Giving is the first item in our budget. I also serve as the Treasurer for an orphanage located in Haiti, so giving is always important to us.

I think that individual giving is far more important and effective than the government programs set up to help people in need. We all need to play a part, even if we don’t have the money, we do have our time and talents!

Kay Lynn August 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Khaleef, individual giving can be more effective because it doesn’t have all the red tape that seems to be involved once you bring in the government.

I’ve just started reading your blog so will have to check it out to find out more about the orphanage.

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