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WI Charities: The Pinch That Stole Christmas

December 24, 2008

Madison, WI - The economic meltdown means that a lot of Wisconsin nonprofit organizations are hurting this holiday season. Mike McCabe, director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said many nonprofit and charitable organizations depend on seasonal good will for a large portion of their proceeds.

"They are enormously reliant on money that's given during the holiday season, and this year's holiday season came at a time when the economy had just tanked."

McCabe added that many nonprofits and foundations that fund charities also took a beating when the stock market crashed.

"Charitable foundations lost anywhere from about 30 percent up to almost half the money they had to give away, because their money is tied up in the stock market."

When the economy took a turn for the worse, it forced more people to seek out help from the very organizations that are feeling the pinch. McCabe said it's a double-barreled problem.

"The demand on them for services has grown substantially at the same time their budgets are often being pinched, and sometimes pinched very severely."

McCabe said nonprofits are hoping people come through to help out and take advantage of a last-minute tax deduction before the end of the year.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI