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Year-end donations: Big increases in some 2013 donations, Salvation Army decline

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Year-end donations are seeing some relatively big increases towards the end of 2013, with rich donors reportedly giving more and the holiday spirit apparently encouraging people to be more generous than in previous years. However, the Salvation Army is one notable charity that has seen a discouraging decline in contributions. Nonetheless, according to a recent spot check of 20 various national charities this week, the giving season at this point in time is showing an uptick in donations from people to the poor and needy, which stands as a heartwarming improvement overall. The Oakland Press and Philanthropy News provide the latest updates this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013.

These year-end donations first see struggles in terms of the Salvation Army, with total contributions said to be almost 10% lower than the organization’s Red Kettle goal of $8.75 million these winter months, and a decline than in previous years. This has led Salvation Army officials to extend a formal request for more financial support from those who are able.

“Without increased support, that represents a minimum shortfall of $875,000, significantly impacting The Salvation Army’s ability to provide vital services in 2014,” noted one SA spokesperson.

The Salvation Army continues to encourage U.S. citizens to give more as they are willing and able, with potential donation methods including:

• Via text: send “SALMICH” to 80888* to automatically add a $10 donation to your cell phone bill

• Online at www.salmich.org

• By phone at 877-SAL-MICH

At many places in front of stores like Walmart over the next week or so, local shoppers can also offer cash donations via the red kettle and bell-ringers.

“The greatest single source of The Salvation Army’s year-end donations are the $1, $5 and other denomination bills – and even personal checks – people drop into storefront kettles,” added the official. “With smart phones and the Internet such an integral part of our daily lives, our text to give and online donation options make it quick and easy for our supporters to make a contribution from any place and at any time of the day … Every donation during the Christmas season means we can give a hand up to people in need throughout the coming year.”

Hope for the poor and needy from these year-end donations sees a more positive light through other charities. Over 20 big charities have reported that they have seen significant increases as part of a “very healthy giving season,” notes the Network for Good. Overall giving this 2013 is said to have risen from nearly 17% than in this same period from 2012.

Rich donors in particular are said to be giving more than usual, even if they have the financial means to more readily do so. For example, says the press release:

Schwab Charitable, which offers donor-advised funds, received $962-million from January through November of this year, an increase of nearly 80 percent over the same 11 months in 2012.”

Says the President of Schwab Charitable:

“It is so much better for charities when the market is healthy at the end of the year,” says Ms. Laughton. “A great market and higher tax rates have driven a lot of our growth.”

Another year-end donations giver of note is the Greater Cincinnati Foundation that has raised $46.5-million since January 1, an increase of $3.3-million over the same period last year.

“It’s encouraging to see we are ahead,” says Amy Cheney, vice president for giving strategies. “The market being strong right now has to be a big help with people’s confidence … We have seen a nice increase in new funds from donors, up by about 20 percent. They think the market may at best plateau in the coming year. We are hearing that from a lot of donors.”

All people are encouraged to give to local charities in this time of holiday cheer to bring food, housing, and other necessary goods — perhaps even a gift and a smile — as we are able for our fellow humankind here in the U.S.

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