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Gas Prices & Charity

            Some pundits are quick to proclaim that “recovery” is complete.  Likewise, some are quick to say that the non-profit world can expect a better still 2011.


            But before you jump on that bandwagon, consider this fact:  the dollar remains low and there is a move away from the dollar as the currency of choice.  What impact does that have? 


            One area to look is at gas prices.  Here’s a quick look at gas prices around the world.


            Netherlands               $6.48

            Norway                       $6.27

            Italy                            $5.96

            Sweden                      $5.80

            Germany                    $5.57

            France                          $5.54


            Today, gas prices in the US are roughly $3.00 per gallon.  But if the dollar no longer is the standard of exchange, we’ll have to pay more our gas. What impact will $5.00/gallon have on average American families?


            Here in the US, we’ve built a way of life around the vehicle—travel.  Travel to and from work, travel to and from the grocery store, travel to and from our leisure are all daily and expected facets of American life.


            But if the amount of money, I have to pay for that travel nearly doubles then I’m going to feel the squeeze.  It will affect my standard of living.  It will change my day-to-day patterns.  It will change what and where I spend my money on.  One of those changes will be in the giving arena.


            Given the crash of 2008, we’ve already seen a decline in giving.  If we see the dollar remain low, and the rise in gas prices we are likely to see further changes in giving patterns.


            The wise charity is planning ahead now.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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