MIAMI - Today is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity.
People across South Florida and across the U.S. aretheir time, donating money, food, or blood, and taking part in community clean-up events. Being kind to others and helping provide a service is what GivingTuesday is all about.
GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York's 92nd Street Y with the United Nations Foundation. Over 80 countries participate, along with thousands of charities and businesses.
Many people donate online to their charities or non-profit organizations.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors President and CEO Katy Meagher said this is a crucial time for many non-profits who are raising money to function.
"We need the money to do that. Basically, everything we are collecting now will help us through the end of the year into next year. This is the big push to get startup funding for the beginning of the new year," she said.
She said during the course of the year Neighbors 4 Neighbors provides a variety of assistance.
"Obviously in times of disaster, so we're there in times of crisis and that takes funding to be available when that happens. Obviously right now is "Adopt a Family" season. When we do our Adopt a Family program, we are helping 40 different non-profits, 700 families, so you're benefiting way more than just giving to Neighbors 4 Neighbors, you're benefiting a lot of different organizations," said Meagher.
With many non-profits and industry groups saying donations are down this year compared with previous years, they will look to make up the difference on non-profits will run matching campaigns, meaning a supporter has pledged to double or sometimes triple the donation of other, smaller donors.which started as a hashtag in 2012 and has grown into one of the biggest fundraising dates on the calendar. Many
A large amount of charitable giving happens at the end of the calendar year, coinciding with the holidays and the time when some donors will consider the tax benefits of giving.
Large organizations offering donor-advised funds, which are financial vehicles for charitable giving, host webinars and put out reports to encourage their account holders to consider where and how much they want to give while they are gathered with their families before Thanksgiving, said Amy Pirozzolo, head of donor engagement at Fidelity Charitable.
Her organization forecasts grants from their donors will increase compared to last year, saying $9 billion has been granted as of the end of October, before the end-of-year bump which can account for 30% of the total. Last year, some $11.2 billion was granted from its DAF accounts.
"We are super, super optimistic about what the year-end is going to look like," Pirozzolo said.
The rosy forecast for end-of-year giving from organizations like Fidelity Charitable contrasts with warnings from organizations like the National Council of Nonprofits, which said in an August report that many organizations anticipate falling financial support this year. That would follow the trend of charitable giving in 2022, which dropped for only the fourth time in 40 years.
Perhaps more concerning for nonprofits, the Giving USA report found fewer people are donating at all, with less than half of Americans giving to charity in 2022 compared with more than two-thirds who gave in 2000.
The trend, though, is different for affluent Americans, whose charitable contributions have made up a larger and larger share of overall donations. The recent 2023 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy found households with a net worth of more than $1 million or annual income of more than $200,000 are still giving 19% more than before the pandemic.
State Attorney General Ashley Moody said would-be donors should research any group before they make donations.
"We want to ensure that charitable donations go to legitimate organizations that genuinely support their causes, rather than lining the pockets of fraudsters," she said.
The attorney general's office said before giving, donors should follow certain tips, including:
- Do not provide banking information to someone who calls or emails unsolicited on behalf of a charity. If interested in donating, ask that the charity send information and a pledge form by mail.
- Before donating, ensure that the charity is an accredited organization with the Better Business Bureau by searching the Wise Giving Alliance website at Give.org.
- Search the organization's name at CharityNavigator.org for further vetting.
- Verify a charity's name, logo, and email address before donating. Scammers can create sham charities that mimic legitimate ones.
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