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Nonprofits Hope for Holiday Charitable Giving Boost Despite Inflation

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Thursday, December 1, 2022   

Economic uncertainly created by the pandemic did not stop Americans from boosting charitable donations to record numbers in 2020 and overall giving in 2021.

But with inflation, it is unclear if it will continue. About 20% of charitable giving occurs between today and New Year's Eve.

Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of the nonprofit Direct Relief, a humanitarian organization providing emergency medical assistance and disaster relief in the U.S. and internationally, said choosing a charity you believe in is the first step to feeling good about making a contribution.

"Once you decide what it is that you care about, it's worth doing your homework to find a group that's going to do right with your money; going to make you feel proud," Tighe explained. "They're meeting these transparency standards. And that's a good thing to do, just to make sure that the cause speaks to you. Is your money going to serve the cause?"

Despite inflation, online Black Friday sales in the U.S. topped a record-breaking $9 billion this year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Tighe believes civic engagement is ingrained in American culture, evidenced by the existence of 1.5 million charities nationwide. According to Kindness Financial Planning, individuals accounted for almost three-quarters or $324 billion of charitable giving in 2020.

"For groups that rely on charitable support, it's a time of 'cross your fingers and hope you did everything well and that people are in a position to give,' and that's the big unknown, what the effects of inflation are," Tighe noted.

Among Baby Boomers, 72% give to charity, compared with 60% of millennials and 59% of Gen-Xers. Tighe added younger people often give smaller amounts to groups or causes not associated with corporate workplace campaigns.

"There's no sense that people who are younger care any less, I think they may engage differently in the type of giving that they do or engagement," Tighe explained.

To make sure your contribution goes as far as possible, consumer-guidance services such as Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau rate charities for a variety of trust factors.


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