Charitable Donations Down - NewsCenter1 December 14, 2012
With Americans trying to hold onto their jobs, they're holding onto their wallets too, at least when it comes to charitable donations. Uncertainty over the fiscal cliff isn't helping to brighten the mood. The United Way is reporting that they are almost $300,000 short of this year's goal.
Renee Parker, the Executive. Director of the United Way Black Hills says, "We set our goal very, very conservatively because we knew that we were in some very uncertain economic times. So, even though we raised significantly more money than our goal was set...we are still having a hard time meeting that goal this year."
The goal is $45,000 less than the amount raised last year...and organizations rely on this money to fund certain projects. Scott Engmann of Black Hills' Habitat for Humanity emphasizes the group's importance. He states, "United Way is one of Black Hills area Habitat for Humanity's strongest most consistent partners. Without united way's support we would have a serious whole in our budget each year. In fact we depend on that united way funding to cover the construction costs of our homes."
Habitat for humanity is among fifty -two non-profit organizations that are worried of what may happen without united way's financial contributions. Stephanie Schweitzer Dixon of the Front Porch Coalition in Black Hills says, "it is concerning to us if we don't receive united way funds because as every other organization that struggles to fund raise during these tough times... We're not going to be able to provide the services that we've been able to provide."
With just eighteen days left of 2012, these organizations are looking to the community for help. Scott Engmann notes, "We just hope that everybody will dig deep this year and especially toward the end of the year here and just see if there's any opportunities to give beyond what they have been giving to help the united way campaign because I know each agency really depends on that and has already planned t into their budget...so, we need the community's support."
And the support is needed now more than ever. Renee Parker points out, "There are so many families who are struggling. They're working very hard, but they're still struggling just to make ends meet. United Way agencies help them...and it helps to give them hope."