Nonprofits ‘hopeful’ during inflation impacted ‘giving season’

Direct Relief is a global, humanitarian organization
Direct Relief is a global, humanitarian organization(Direct Relief)
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 7:08 PM HST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With holiday season in full swing, charities are ramping up the push for donations. But with uncertain economic conditions across the country, it is unclear just how much giving will happen this year.

“You’re hopeful but you’re also being realistic,” said Tom Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief.

Tighe acknowledges inflation could impact organizations like his that rely entirely on charitable donations. His humanitarian medical assistance non-profit is operating with the recognition that some people in this country are simply not able to give as much as they have in years past with prices higher than normal.

“How do you maintain the same level of service with fewer resources? You have to look at ways to become more efficient,” said Tighe.

Tighe says there is a serious need across the world for his organization’s help, but he is optimistic they can continue their mission despite a grim economic outlook. He says that comes from building trust with consistent donors in a position to give.

November and December are known as giving season, when many charities expect a majority of their donations come in. Stacy Palmer from the Chronicle of Philanthropy says non-profits are nervous this season, but the richest Americans are still doing very well.

“They have been giving very generously and so we’ve seen very big gifts coming in. That doesn’t mean it helps the local food pantry or those other kinds of organizations,” said Palmer.

Palmer says wealthy people might donate to colleges, museums, or hospitals but not necessarily local community groups. She says this year those who can give cash might want to boost their donation to account for inflation, but also volunteering can help just as much. Palmer adds it is a good idea for nonprofits to explain exactly where those dollars will be going to make donors feel a personal sense of impact.

“People want to help others, they just have questions sometimes about what’s the most effective way to do it and is my donation going to make a difference?” said Palmer.

The big holiday for non-profits, Giving Tuesday, is coming up on Tuesday November 29. Its purpose is to be a global day of giving.