Sunday, December 26, 2010

Many nonprofits see year-end gains

Crain's NY Business reported that more than half of 181 nonprofits surveyed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy said they've raised more this November and December than the same time a year ago.

Although they aren’t raising as much money as they did before the recession, many nonprofits report that donations are up from last year. More than half, 53%, of 181 nonprofits surveyed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy say they have raised more so far this November and December than the same time a year ago. One in five said their donations had jumped by at least 20%.

The NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association raised $1.1 million for its Memory Walk this year, up 7% from the previous year. And revenue from its Forget-Me-Not gala jumped 17%.

UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street & Financial Services Division raised a whopping $19.5 million at its gala dinner earlier this month, more than it has in the last three years and close to the event’s record of $21 million from before the financial crisis.

And Gods Love We Deliver, which like many charities raises more than 25% of its annual revenue in December, has seen the size of its average direct-mail gift increase to $57 this holiday season, from $51 last year.

“We’re very encouraged by the early results,” said David Ludwigson, chief development officer for Gods Love. “We were more targeted in our mailing so we mailed 20% fewer pieces, but we’ve gotten more gifts in.”

Not everyone is enjoying the holiday cheer however, and in some cases it’s lacking for those who need it most.

City Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to the homebound elderly, is down $132,000, or 5%, so far in its direct-mail campaign. That loss translates into about 20,000 fewer meals that the charity can serve.

“This is the first year in my 29-year history here that this has happened,” said Marcia Stein, executive director of City Meals.

Ms. Stein said she doesn’t have a reason for the decline, but that perhaps people have donor fatigue.

“In the depth of the recession, I was astounded by how many people gave us eye-popping amounts,” she said. “It could be that people are now spending their money on personal purchases that they had delayed, and less on helping those who are more needy."

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