Yesterday, July 20, there was an article in The Huffington Post called "Debt Ceiling Standoff Hurts Consumer Confidence." In The Wall Street Journal today, an article says "Layoffs Deepen Gloom" and concludes, "The stepped up pace of layoffs suggests companies are losing faith in the prospect of a second half rebound." Obviously, this is all bad news for small businesses, but it is awful news for nonprofits.
With less discretionary income to spend, both businesses and individuals can't support their favorite charities like their heart tells them to do. Competition for nonprofit funding is fierce, and because nonprofits traditionally lag five years behind in a recovering economy, there are still several years of lean times ahead.
In spite of all this uncertain and disturbing news, our culture believes in supporting the right causes. I am seeing it increasingly driven by the younger generation, which seems to be better connected with what is happening not only in their neighborhoods but around the world. We get this information instantly now on our cell phones. Facebook has brought friends, groups and communities closer together. All of us, no matter how terrible the news is, are still experiencing the sense to do the right thing.
At dollardays.com we have established a "Wish List" program for nonprofit organizations, which enables charities to select from thousands of much-needed items and have a website set up instantly at no charge, and then it allows their supporters to donate these products directly to their cause. This way a donor can say, "I donated a case of socks" rather than wonder where their $50 donation went. Here is a list of all the participating nonprofits' Wishlists. If you are involved in a nonprofit or know one that needs this kind of help, let us know.
This country has got to get through this crisis together. No matter what your station in life is, don't lose sight of those less fortunate that need our help. If you can't help with money, help with your time.