Editorial: This holiday season, your gift to charity is especially welcome

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Charitable giving has been down across the U.S. in 2023, and many organizations hoped Giving Tuesday—a designated day for charitable contributions amid post-Thanksgiving shopping—would help them catch up.

Instead, giving that day was relatively flat at $3.1 billion, up just $20 million over 2022, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. That’s an increase of less than 1%.

In addition, the number of donors fell 10% to 34 million people.

That comes on top of an already tough year. The National Council of Nonprofits said in an August report that many organizations across the country anticipated falling financial support this year. And that, the AP reports, would follow the trend of charitable giving in 2022, which dropped for only the fourth time in 40 years.

Unfortunately, many charities report that need is growing.

IBJ Publisher Nate Feltman wrote just last month that one in seven Americans (44 million) live in food-insecure households, including one in five children. The number of food-insecure households and children has increased 30% and 40%, respectively, over last year—the largest increase measured since the 2008 financial crisis.

In addition, the Salvation Army has projected that, by year’s end, requests for assistance nationally will have increased at least 13% over 2022. The group said the end of pandemic-era assistance has put more pressure on families and driven more of them to request help.

Rising rents, increasing interest rates and inflation over the past two years have put more families in vulnerable situations.

Now is the time to help. Hundreds of not-for-profits across Indiana are seeking donations so they can serve people who are hungry, homeless, sick, addicted or struggling in many other ways.

There are large organizations like Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, which provides food directly to people and to other food banks for distribution in neighborhoods and communities, and Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, which provides education, job training and health care services.

And there are smaller organizations that need help, like the Rophe Free Clinic, which provides health care services in Pike Township, and Brightlane Learning, which helps children experiencing homelessness with education.

Of course, these are just a few examples. You can find organizations that need help through your church or school, in your neighborhoods and communities, and even through your workplace. In fact, you should ask whether your employer matches donations to not-for-profits, which can help your giving have an even bigger impact.

IBJ’s Giving Guide, which is produced by our sales department, lists more than 50 organizations that are seeking contributions to fund a variety of services.

Choose something that is meaningful to you—then make a meaningful contribution. You can even donate in honor of someone else, which might make a perfect Christmas gift for that person who has everything.

Organizations across Indiana need all of us to help, and there’s no better time than now to give.•

__________

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