A look at the causes that matter most to you

There is no doubt that since the pandemic mitigated, you have received more than your share of emails, texts and voicemail messages from nonprofits asking you to donate.

You may or may not have had the resources or the inclination to donate to them. Regardless, the generosity of our community has been enormous during this difficult past year.

However, you might not need to worry about how you spend your money. You could be part of the club of American billionaires whose net worth has increased by $ 1 trillion since March 2020, when the pandemic emerged in full force. However, you probably still want to know how your donations are spent.

There are two sides to giving: the wealthy philanthropists who donate to nonprofits and those who give all they can within their budget to nonprofits. Meanwhile, both parties are concerned about specific social causes, which they believe lead to changes in the community.

Interestingly enough, it turns out that all income groups, low, middle, and high, give roughly the same average percentage of their income to charity. Across all income groups, people donate around 1.5-2% of their income. Donations are usually measured by the actual dollar amount and / or the time the donor spends volunteering, which, of course, has a high monetary equivalence.

No doubt, all donors care deeply about their causes. Most importantly, they support the causes that matter most to them.

Consider this point: over a decade ago, police worked with social services, including mental health and domestic violence, primarily because the services were funded by the federal government or the state through subsidies. However, when legislators and other government intermediaries decided to fund some programs, some services were abandoned. The financially strapped nonprofits did not have the financial resources to continue the programs, which raises another problem.

The uneven trajectory, ups and downs, intermittently of social services becomes difficult and often frustrating for law enforcement and other groups and individuals who rely on their services. One year, for example, an agency may be able to work closely with law enforcement on appeals, and then in a year or two, that agency no longer has funding for the program.

Philanthropists, and the rest of us, have realized that giving back to the nonprofits we care about on a monthly support basis means that new programs can be rolled out faster, and existing programs can. operate more efficiently and consistently than heavily dependent social programs. on subsidies.

Therefore, the measure of successful social impact is getting newer, stronger, evidence-based services faster and making them last longer.

The past year has opened our eyes to many inequalities and human needs. They may have always existed, but the pandemic has now made them more evident. Given the increased calls for action and social awareness within our communities, 2021 promises to be a hopeful journey on how we can live and work together in harmony, financially, socially and emotionally.

This is where donors come in. Support your local charities. The people they serve need you more than ever.

Jamie Lehane is President and CEO of Newport Mental Health in Middletown. Peace of Mind, co-authored with Sandra Oxx, is published in The Daily News and online at newportri.com.

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