The holiday season, usually a high point for nonprofit organizations across the country, is expecting a significant dip this year, in light of a down economy that's been slow to recover. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the top 400 charities in the U.S. expect to raise an average of 9% less through Christmas than usual. USA Today also reports that corporate giving will be down between 3 and 5%.
What does this mean for the nonprofits? Just as with other businesses, many groups will freeze hiring and may even let go of non-essential programs, depending on the speed of economic recovery. Those who've given recently may find themselves asked even more frequently to give again.
Unfortunately, in a struggling economy, needs are greater than usual. Shelters and food kitchens may have less to give out come Christmas, even as the number of needy grows.
The Salt Lake Tribune profiles Glen Bailey, who passes out boxes of food every Christmas at Rowland St. Mark's School:
Bailey, executive director of the Crossroads Urban Center, said about 1,000 families were provided Christmas food at his organization's annual gift program in 2007. The next year it increased to 1,600. And this year, Bailey said, he's expecting a record turnout....Problem is, Bailey said, many traditional donors have been stretched thin..."We're going to pull this thing off," he said, "but I'm not sure how. We may need to spend more than we have."
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