Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Efforts

December 17, 2008

By Mason B. Hardy, President, SCANPO 

Indeed, these are extraordinary times.  National jobless claims are the highest in 26 years and the South Carolina unemployment rate is predicted to be in double digits by the spring.  One in ten people are on food stamps with the average receiving around $100 a month.  With the high price of food these days, $100 doesn’t go very far.   

To make matters worse, state government agencies are being forced to cut their budgets even more at the exact wrong time and nonprofits organizations are getting crunched during these tough economic times.  Lines at local food banks, shelters and other critical service organizations are growing longer every day.  Middle class Americans are those now seeking assistance from those nonprofit organizations that they have helped support in the past. 

The holidays have often been a time to give back, but now more than ever is the time to contribute to charities serving your local community and neighbors.  The need for services keeps increasing at an alarming rate.  Nonprofits need extra program and general operating funds to keep up with the escalating demand.  Although people are giving, the contributions are not keeping up with the higher need for services, so give now AND more than ever.   

Some wealthy individuals, corporations and foundations have indeed stepped up their giving levels, recognizing that extraordinary efforts are called for during these times of economic downturn.  They are to be commended.  The media should also be commended for highlighting the vital needs in our state and our communities as well as recognizing the people and organizations that are going the extra mile this year to respond to these growing needs. 

All of us are feeling the effects of the economy these days.  Many of our state’s nonprofits are dealing with critical service essentials such as heat, rent, food, and medical assistance.  The economic downturn impacts these needs tremendously.  We have much to be thankful for if we have our needs met and particularly those that are of the most basic to life.  Giving back to keep our nonprofit community strong in these difficult times could be the most important gift of the season.  Everyone’s help, which includes gifts of time and resources, is possibly the easiest gift to give this year.  If you would like to see a list of nonprofit members who make every effort to stay strong through professional development please visit our website at www.scanpo.org.  Be thankful for what you have, but recognize that you have more than you need – and others are in need now more than ever.  Now IS the time to give back and help the nonprofits in our communities serve the increasing needs of your community. 

Make your gifts extraordinary this year.