In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I think everyone should consider that as much as the economy and the stock market may be hurting you, its hurting other people and institutions even more, especially charities and non-profits. Judging just from my ability to give money this year, non-profits are in for a world of hurt. This Time article highlights some of the emerging problems: Time article on charities’ problems
The crisis couldn’t come at a worse time: many charities, such as City Harvest, which delivers leftover food from restaurants to the needy in New York City, collect the bulk of their donations during the holiday season, and with unemployment on the rise and 401(k) plans tanking, it’s likely to be a blue Christmas. Over the past two years, City Harvest received $100,000 from Lehman alone — one of the charity’s Top 5 donors. “We are obviously very concerned,” says Jilly Stephens, City Harvest’s executive director. “We have the bulk of our fund-raising ahead of us — between November and January we raise nearly 40% of our annual budget — and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
What makes it worse is that in general non-profits and charities have greater demands on their services in tough economic times.
So, enough about the problems, what can we do? Well, money ain’t going to cut it for most of us, we are a lot poorer and don’t have the ability as we did in the past to give. We can however, volunteer and help out in person. I believe non-profits and charities are going to have to lay thousands of people off. My solution is to pick your favorite charity or non-profit and see how you can volunteer and try to help them. They are going to need it.