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The Capital Region boasts numerous nonprofits from varying sectors that exist to better our community and those residing in it. Such organizations (an estimated 6,900 in the area) are at the ready to assist in answering calls for help. Yet while these entities provide aid to our community, they too are in need of help during these challenging times.
Currently, the unemployment rate is hovering around 8%. Largely due to the pandemic, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and are currently struggling to make ends meet. The financial stress coupled with health stress has been quite trying for many individuals and families. Due to the pandemic, nonprofit organizations (not limited to those involved with healthcare) are facing their own, similar trials.
With a decrease in staffing and donations as more organizations and citizens are facing financial insecurity, nonprofits that work to serve cannot make as large of an impact as they have been able to in the past. In April of this year, there was a reported 47% reduction in nonprofit employment nationally for large and mid-sized organizations. In addition, 83% of organizations saw a reduction in revenue and contributions in April of this year, compared to April of 2019.
Nonprofits have faced major operational setbacks in their unique missions as they are forced to limit their services. In a time when the pandemic has accentuated pre-existing social inequalities, limited educational opportunities for vulnerable youth and dramatically increased the number of domestic violence cases enkindled by stay-at-home mandates, we need our local nonprofits to lend their strong, steady hands to those who need help the most.
Local community members and businesses who have weathered the storm over the course of the past several months are fortunate. Those of us who are in positions to come to the aid of nonprofits and better our community have numerous options and opportunities to do so. We’ve highlighted a few such ways below.
As the holiday season approaches, many community members are looking for ways to spread hope and cheer. From a retail shopping perspective, we can see social media feeds populated by people polling their friends and acquaintances on favorite local stores in an effort to wholly shop local this holiday season. This challenging year in particular, there has been a strong emphasis on supporting the community and supporting one another.
The theme of support in the retail landscape applies to the nonprofit sector as well. There is a great deal of anecdotal and statistical evidence that suggests that people are more committed and more involved in bettering their communities than ever before. However, there remains a hesitation factor as individuals and businesses are unsure as to how to best support these entities. So, we thought we’d give you a few ideas!
During challenging financial times, it might be a bit nerve-wracking to begin your path of charitable giving with a cash donation. And that’s okay as there are other methods of donation!
Donating your time to a nonprofit organization is a great way to get your feet wet. As the holidays approach, regional food pantries and food banks will need extra sets of hands for set up, food delivery and clean up.
If donating money and volunteering isn’t a realistic option, a third donation manner lies in donating goods. Many of us have gently used or never worn articles of clothing in our closets that haven’t been looked at in years. Consider taking inventory and gathering these items to donate to a local charity. Unsure of what clothing you can or cannot donate or even where to donate? A quick Google search should turn up nonprofit organizations near you that are happy to provide you with advice on how to go about giving back.
Social media is a powerful tool that can reach the masses and garner powerful emotive responses. As such, it’s a great way to learn about and engage with nonprofits making a difference within communities.
Supporting nonprofits that are important to you or your business has never been easier through the use of social media. Help these entities raise awareness of their mission, their events and their successes by liking, commenting and sharing specific posts or pages as a whole.
Assisting nonprofits raise their profile and increase brand awareness has never been more important, especially as research shows that about two thirds of those who do donate do so without conducting much research. Instead, they give to organizations they already know or organizations that are recommended by friends and family. If you’re passionate about an organization, those close to you will take note.
Due to the pandemic, in-person fundraising events have evolved into virtual events. Such events range from virtual road races to impressively designed, interactive Zoom events (and just about everything in between!) While not quite the same, these events offer more flexibility for participants, foster community engagement and many times, cut down on some of the costs associated with large-scale, physical events.
In addition, since fundraising events are now held virtually, supporting national nonprofits and nonprofits from your childhood hometown has never been easier. Visit the website or online channel of national and local nonprofit organizations to learn more about events to participate in.
The Times Union is dedicated in supporting the region’s nonprofit community through several annual initiatives as well as through ongoing, continuous campaigns.
For leading corporations in the Capital Region, working to improve the community is a must. Over the course of the past several years, philanthropic giving has grown. Businesses and individuals alike understand the power and the impact community assistance has and makes on nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to provide essential services. Now, due to COVID-19, people are even more aware of what is happening in their community and the businesses that are stepping in and stepping up to assist some of the most beloved nonprofits in the area.
We encourage you and your business to reach out to us to learn more about ways to help. We also want to note that it’s certainly not too late in the year to give! Nearly a third of all giving occurs in December and about 12% of giving happens the last three days of the year.
There is still a great deal of opportunity for you to make such a challenging year a little less so for a nonprofit, and in turn, your fellow community members.