We as Catholics have an obligation to support the Church.
This support, however, can be accomplished in many different ways.
A New, Old Way to Tithe
One way that my wife and I have decided to tithe is by donating directly to a person whom we want to support.
This person doesn’t have to be a non-profit organization; rather, if we believe in their mission and the work they are doing to spread the Gospel, we give to them directly.
In times past, I would only donate to non-profits: the perception is that they aren’t in this for the money, and also I could get a tax deduction. But, over the years I have realized that non-profit status doesn’t ensure wise decision-making, or a noble mission, or even what I would consider appropriate compensation paid to leaders of the organization.
I also care less and less about whether I can deduct a donation. Sure, it is nice to save money, but if I can directly help someone doing good and spreading the Catholic Faith, then I am not going to let the tail wag the dog and refuse to give to them simply because they haven’t jumped through the hoops of being a non-profit.
What Direct Tithing Looks Like
We continue to donate to our parish, to the local Church, etc., but we also now deliberately give to individuals as well. Of course, these are people with whom we have a lot of trust, but they are free to do with the money what they want.
Some people also have set up Patreon accounts which facilitates exactly this kind of giving. I recently met Ryan Grant, the guy behind Mediatrix Press, and he has a Patreon account where people can donate to his mission on a recurring monthly basis.
He is translating classic Catholic works from Latin into English, books that have never been translated before. This kind of work doesn’t pay well; it’s hard to make a living selling Catholic books, but it is a noble and incredibly valuable service to the Church, so people can support him directly in his endeavors.
I was inspired by him and by other Patreon users, so I made a Patreon account where you can support me directly in the Catholic evangelization that I do.
What exactly would you be supporting? Here’s a partial list:
- Online courses helping over 500 Catholic men conquer porn addiction
- Powerful apologetics books that have led to hundreds of conversions
- Online courses equipping Catholics to lead their friends into the Church
- Mobile apps that help deepen Catholics’ prayer lives.
- Webinars that teach Catholics practical apologetics
Why This Is Happening
We see increasing fragmentation in various Catholic spheres. Sometimes we decide that we can’t fully support certain organizations or collections that are asked for, because those groups or decision-makers are not making wise choices.
Instead of deciding not to tithe at all, we can find people and organizations within the Church, whether non-profit or not, and directly donate money to them. In doing so we are making an intentional choice about where our donations go and do not have to worry that people we don’t know or trust are going to make poor decisions with the donations.