I was recently doing some research on year-end giving. Many people have favorite charities they support throughout the year, and for various reasons. One thing I appreciate about working for the YMCA is that giving is in our DNA. Many think that because an organization is a not-for-profit, we only ask for money. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Allow me to share with you something we give that (in my opinion) is worth the equivalent of – or even more than – cash. It’s our heart and soul.
This holiday season, I give props to my co-workers, along with hundreds of others in our region who may be working for a non-profit or social service organization.
At times, society takes for granted people such as the child care employee who devotes most of their waking hours to pouring love and attention into developing other families’ children – while at times struggling themselves to care for their own household. The same analogy can be made for caseworkers, nurses, educators and staff who teach kids water safety or how to play fairly with others in recreational sports.
This class of ‘givers’ pour their time, energy and character into developing and helping others. The hours are long and the rewards are not measured in dollars. And many, in addition to contributing their time and talent to a variety of worthwhile missions, also donate money to the causes they care about. That’s the kind of people they are.
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans gave an estimated $373 billion in 2015, a 4.1% increase from 2014.
- In 2015, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $268 billion, or 71% of total giving; followed by foundations ($57 billion/16%), bequests ($29 billion/9%), and corporations ($18 billion/5%).
- An interesting fact…the majority of charitable dollars in 2015 went to religion (32%), education (15%), human services (12%), grantmaking foundations (11%), and health (8%).
The average annual household contribution is $2,974. And in case you’re wondering, 63% of high net worth donors cite “giving back to the community” as a chief motivation for giving.
Tis the season – and good reason – for giving. Whether it’s money, clothing or time…please consider giving to help those who may have less and need more.
To all who give selflessly at work, at home and in relationships…I wish you and yours a blessed holiday season and a happy, healthy new year.