I recently read a Chronicle of Higher Education article on giving in the U.S. It stated that Americans contributed a total of $307 billion to charity last year down from $314 billion in 2007, according to Giving USA. I know what you're thinking, $3 billion is a lot of money and foundations and non-profits should be more than able to sustain their programming with that.But I challenge this notion. I sit on the Board of Directors for a local DC non-profit who, along with thousands of others throughout the country, rely on foundations and individual donors to pay for programming, pay for staff, overhead, fundraising expenses, health insurance, rent, printing, etc. etc. You name it, and when you take a million dollar budget or a ten million dollar budget, every dollar counts.
So if individuals like you (I hope) and I, who write substantial checks to these non-profits and help to fundraise and raise more dollars for programs, cut back - we cut back what non-profits can offer to communities.
I make a concerted effort each year to donate money and fundraise for charities I truly care about. As you know, most revolve around children and the arts, but each of you has an issue that is close to you. So I'd like to ask that you, the readers of DC This Week, write to me. Tell me about charity you support and what you have done for them lately. Maybe you donated a painting, wrote a check, planned a fundraiser, wrote an article about the non-profit, put them in touch with a big donor or just volunteer countless hours to a cause. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about the charity and why they are important to you and perhaps I will feature them in the DC Charity Spotlight in the coming weeks.
I maintain we need to keep the momentum going for all of these amazing charities we support. And though yes, I spend a lot of money on trips, dinners, handbags and the likes, I can attest, my philanthropic giving doesn't decrease because of my spending habits. Put your money where your mouth is - and give! Prost. Jade