11:49pm

Fri June 21, 2013
Business and the Economy

Summer Challenges for Non Profits

Credit news.ca.uky.edu

The summertime is known for drawing more people out and about with recreation and vacation related activities.  It can mean less attention on charitable organizations and their year round needs.  Even one agency which typically sees increased response is feeling the pinch.

A large number of donations tend to occur during the wintertime holidays and just before the New Year.  But, it’s the summer months which often mean good things for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.  It’s a time when many people clean out storage areas and take in garage sales.  That’s usually the case, but not this year, says Vice President of Goodwill David Cobb.

“We are having our donations drop and that’s very unusual for us historically.  Normally we’re up in donations pretty much year after year after year.  This year we’re down about eight percent in the Lexington area,” said Cobb.

Cobb says it’s still a time of economic uncertainty and people tend to hold on to potential donations longer.  The Goodwill executive says ‘for profit’ donation bins in store parking lots are also having an impact.

“It makes it difficult for us because donations are hard to come by already and when you have other for profit operators coming into the state it makes it twice as hard for us to find donations,” added Cobb.

Cobb says Goodwill helps to employ more than a thousand Kentuckians, many of whom are disabled.

At the Hope Homeless Shelter in downtown Lexington, Carrie Thayer says the high months for donations are in November and December.  The Director of Development at the Hope Center says there’s more and more emphasis on on-line giving.“And it’s not just the 35 and under group either,  It’s other donors as well, so a lot of non profits now and a lot of the seminars and everything are about how to utilize the on-line giving,” said Thayer.

Thayer says agencies like hers realize changes can come in government support.  She says it’s all the more reason to seek out grants and private contributions.  Thayer says individual financial contributions are about equal to last year.