The Jones family began designating 10% of their income to charity in 2008, and instantly began noticing tangible benefits springing up in their lives, in ways which seemed almost miraculous. Being a bit of a skeptic, Andrew decided he wanted to put this notion that there was a connection to the test - by giving extravagantly for 40 days and seeing what happens.
There have been a number of questions about exactly what money will be used, so let's be specific:
- Andrew has a "day job" for which he receives a paycheck. The paycheck has taxes, retirement contributions, insurance premiums, and some other amounts deducted from it. The full amount of money that he actually receives deposited into his bank account is set aside for giving purposes, for the two payments that fall within this giving cycle. During the experiment, Andrew also received a bonus ... and it is also designated for giving.
- Andrew has a job as a writer on About.com, and any income gained from this during the 40 day period is set aside for giving. Any other writing or freelance income, including profit from direct sales of books (after restocking), will be designated for giving purposes.
- Rebates, or any other way where money already earned is saved or comes back to us, does not count as income for the purposes of this income.
- The family receives a modest amount of income from rental income (less than $100 per month after paying the mortgage), and that money will be set aside for work on the rental house.
- The family also receives child support money from Amber's first husband. Since this money is not income, and is intended for child care, it will not be designated for giving purposes.
During this experiment, Andrew and Amber will be blogging about their experiences. The goal, in addition to learning more about generosity and giving, is to write a book about the whole project, which can help to educate others about how they can integrate giving - albeit probably on smaller scales - into their lives ... and why they should do so.