Thursday, June 18, 2009

News You Can Use

Charity Declines Less Dire Than Feared

This optimistic headline is from a recent post of the Wall Street Journal blog The Wallet. In this posting, WSJ Newswire's Shelly Banjo reports that the dire predictions for charitable giving may have been quite overstated.

Her analysis concludes that, yes, giving was down in 2008 for the first time in more than two decades. However, giving declined overall by about 6% which is far less than the 10-30% predicted in the panic days of late last year. Some sectors, such as religious causes even saw a rise in giving. And while she warns the full effect on giving of the economic downturn has yet to be seen - the worst really began in the 4th quarter and continued into 2009 - it is clearly not the bloodbath predicted. One thing the article highlighted was the observation that when people are worried about the economy and their security, they pull back on giving. It isn't that they stop giving, however, they just tend to give less and get more picky.

Lisa Philp, head of philanthropic services at JPMorgan Private Bank put it this way: Families are realizing these are no longer “flush times where they can haphazardly give a little here and there” if they’re going to make an impact–they’re seeing it’s time to get focused and do some planning.

What can we take from this relatively good news?

  • First, don't be shy about asking for money in this economy, people are still giving where they believe it matters.
  • People are becoming more discerning and want to make sure their giving makes an impact. We must emphasize our remarkable success rate and life-changing results at modest cost. Our strengths can help us overcome the tough economy of this fiscal year.

You can read the article at this address. (subscription may be required)

(If you come across any news you’d like us to share, please email me or send it along.)


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