by Melanie Norton
This is the time of year when we stop – if even for a moment – and reflect on those things for which we are most thankful. At JGA, that reflection leads to our clients and the dozens of charitable organizations we partner with each year. For those charitable partners, thoughts of thankfulness likely lead to donors and those who selflessly give of their time and talent to help advance the mission.
A recent online article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy gives us yet another reason to be thankful. In a poll conducted by the American Red Cross, nearly seven out of 10 Americans believe it is important to make giving to charity a holiday priority. And, 72 percent of those who plan to give also plan to make a contribution that equals or exceeds their gift from last year.
At a time when the economy can still be categorized as challenging, this is encouraging news for charities. In fact, the same poll indicates that givers plan to cut other expenses before scaling back on their charitable contributions.
Other key findings of the survey are as follows:
- 79% would rather have a charitable donation in their honor than a gift they won’t use
- Four in five Americans agree that helping someone less fortunate is an important part of their holiday tradition
- 68% of Americans believe that it’s important to give to charity because of the economy
- 45% of Americans will cut back their expenditures on travel, and the same percentage on decorations, but only 26% plan to spend less on charitable donations
Amidst the flurry of year-end mailings and appeals, it is especially important for donors and volunteers to feel like their contributions are appreciated. The good news above lets us know that charitable giving is still a strong priority for Americans and we need to let donors know we don’t take that goodwill for granted.
Take some time this holiday season to make certain your stakeholders know how thankful you are for their support. Send a card, write a note, or pick up the phone and share your appreciation. Despite the fast-paced nature of our society, changes in the economy and also personal priorities, Americans enjoy the opportunity to give to causes they care about. And we appreciate the opportunity to say “thank you” to those who make a difference.