By in Relationships

Donations from Benefactors: How Much Does It Amount To, Really?

A rich man was reputed by a university to have donated something over a million dollars to build a branch facility to help kids. This was so appreciated they named the building after him. And here's the thing. I do not mention the guy's name, because it isn't right to impute wrong motives to a particular person. However, realistically, motives are heavily in question when large public gifts are made...

1. Was the gift given to avoid paying taxes?
2. Was the gift given out of a desire for fame or honor?
3. How much did the gift really amount to, after all?

Let's examine just point number three. How much of a gift was the $1,000,000.00? That's a lot of money, right?

Well let's figure a percentage of the man's total wealth...

(1,000,000 / 5,000,000,000) X 100% = percentage of the man's wealth.

That expression calculates out to 0.02%. Well, if the man had an average annual income of say $60,000.00, what would 0.02% of this amount to?

60,000 X (0.02% / 100%) = $12.00

Twelve Bucks.

So next time the Policeman's Ball wants a donation and you give 'em twelve bucks, tell them they ought to paint your name on at least one squad car.

Image Credit » Pixabay

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VinceSummers wrote on May 5, 2018, 9:16 AM

Oh. And by the way. I gave that man a break. He was reputed to have assets of MORE than $5-Billion.

lookatdesktop wrote on May 5, 2018, 9:33 AM

Funny mathematics here.

VinceSummers wrote on May 5, 2018, 11:03 AM

Numbers don't lie. That's the cool part. Those rich dude donations are peanuts for them. Yet the public oohs and ahhs.

MegL wrote on May 5, 2018, 4:35 PM

Not only was it a small part, it also reduced his tax bill. On the other hand, I bet the university was really glad to get it and were only too happy to name the building after him. Cambridge in England has a building called the William Gates building. It is named after Bill Gates' father because it was funded or part funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. No doubt it was only a small portion of the assets of the Gates' foundation but the town / university was glad to have it. I understand that computer science is taught there, so presumably the students also feel privileged. Mind you any students going to Cambridge should feel privileged anyway! I assume you are thinking of the widow's mite? Proportionally she gave far more and it was a more "worthy" gift because it "hurt" her to give, however, it would take a great many widows and their mites to make a material difference in some areas. The mite has been on my mind since childhood. She gave her all, or nearly and it was recognised as an extremely charitable thing to do all those years ago. Was the story written to try and shame the rich people into giving more? Just a point of discussion.

VinceSummers wrote on May 5, 2018, 5:28 PM

No attempt was made to shame others. It was just pointed out as a good example.

MegL wrote on May 5, 2018, 6:20 PM

It was also a good mathematical example of the proportion of one's "riches". It has stuck with me for many years.

VinceSummers wrote on May 25, 2018, 11:09 PM

I just realized you asked a question at the end. No, it wasn't to shame the rich. Jesus' words would not have been recorded for that purpose. It was to show his followers the correct spirit to cultivate, the spirit of generosity. The Bible is available to just about every person on Earth, which sets it apart from all other so-called holy books. But it is a book that is all too often not understood. It is, in part, written to reach honest-hearted ones. Much like Jesus' words in his use of illustrations. To quote:

"That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it. And the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in their case. It says: ‘You will indeed hear but by no means get the sense of it, and you will indeed look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’"

MegL wrote on May 26, 2018, 6:24 AM

The spirit of generosity seems to be shown much more in poor areas than rich ones, as it seems they are more likely to donate to charity.

VinceSummers wrote on July 24, 2018, 8:27 AM

You just reminded me of Bob Dylan's words: "When you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose."