This year has been exceptionally hard for everyone—
individuals, families, businesses, organizations and nonprofits.
It’s almost over. We’re collectively holding our breaths, hoping (but also scared to hope) that 2021 will ease up.
Experts who study charitable giving have been surprised at how generous people were in the first nine months of 2020, even with all the uncertainty the pandemic brought. They are hopeful that, when the final three-month statistics are in, giving will have held strong. But some nonprofits are struggling.
So if you want to end the year on a feel-good note, might I suggest digging a little deeper and making a final donation or two in these last days of the year to encourage a nonprofit organization that is meaningful to you?
Here are some ideas of where to direct those last-minute gifts:
Your house of worship—Having been a part of two churches this year, I can assure you most churches have some budget shortfall in 2020. Houses of worship deal with this weird phenomenon, while some people tithe, and others give something regularly, there are some whose philosophy seems to be “if I’m not there to see the show I don’t need to pay admission.” With many churches and synagogues going virtual for a large portion of the year, those not “paying for a ticket” hurt the budget. And yet the house of worship has the same expenses—staff, mortgage, utilities, etc.—along with additional expenses like cleaning supplies and technology needed to go virtual. So if you have slacked off giving, or can make a sacrifice to give more, trust me that your church will be thrilled to have your help.
Missionaries you or your church supports—Many missionaries have seen their support fall because individuals or churches (see the paragraph above) didn’t have the funds to send in their pledged support for months or even the year. While mission organizations do their best to help them and carry them through, the deficits remain and can make life difficult—and discouraging. Your gift will let them know they aren’t forgotten and that their work matters.
Food banks—”In October alone, food banks distributed about 50 percent more food than an average month.”* Feeding America estimates one in six Americans could face hunger because of Covid. Your financial donation (or nonperishable food donation) can ensure your neighbors stay fed and healthy. Many food banks are also looking for volunteers—an idea for 2021.
An individual in need—If you know someone who has had a tough time navigating this year—due to job loss or illness, extra car expenses or rising prices on everything—your financial gift could be the answer to their prayers. An anonymous gift will encourage them without them feeling beholden to you.
Museums and arts organizations—Ticket sales provide a portion of these groups’ income. The closures and attendance limitations this year really hurt. Les and I were supposed to be in Colonial Williamsburg for Thanksgiving. It didn’t happen. But we decided to make a donation for the amount our tickets would have cost us, because we value Williamsburg and we want to see it survive. Where would you have gone to see art, listen to music, or learn from history this year? Why not consider donating the amount of a ticket?
Your favorite charity—We all have them, charities whose mission connects with our hearts in a deep and meaningful way. Over the years I’ve blog about many of mine—organizations like Preemptive Love, Hope International, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. I’m sure you have yours (if not, feel free to borrow mine!). Why not bless them with an extra boost for 2020?
If you don’t get around to an end-of-year donation, don’t worry, those charities will be happy to accept your gift in January.
But why wait?
End your year on a positive hopeful note,
believing in the goodness you, and they, can bring into 2021.