Local charities deliver essential goods, therapies, counseling, refuge and support to needful members of our community. Many local organizations benefit from charitable gifts and volunteerism because a particular need is featured in the news or online.
Giving USA 2015, The Annual Report of Philanthropy, indicates that contributions to charities fell off in 2008 with the recession but have been rising every year since. The 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics Report confirms that the only 25% of all Americans volunteer each year. The most common reason for taking action was because a charitable organization approached them. I say, don’t wait to be asked.
As a planner, I encourage my clients to budget for charitable gifting every year. We research the local organizations to find the best recipients. Experts encourage gifting to charities with low fundraising and administrative costs. But many charitable missions require more administration. Many lesser known charities must spend simply to raise awareness. Still, be wary of those who spend heavily on promotion.
2017 is going to be challenging year for charities, even more so for those delivering health services to the uninsured. So if you feel a call to action, think local, volunteer, and gift smart.