3 Ways to Make 2024 Giving the Best Year!

by | Mar 21, 2024

Exactly twenty-two months ago, we adopted a two-month-old corgi. On the drive home, we named her Sophie. Later, while completing her registration papers, I decided that Sophie’s name didn’t do her justice.

The application provided a long string of squares to fill in, so I settled on Sophie’s Firecracker Celebration as an appropriate name since we adopted her on the Fourth of July weekend.

I had searched for months for a tri-color corgi because I love that pattern, and it reminds me of our first Corgi, Casey. He was a laid-back guy who lived one month shy of sixteen years. He potty-trained quickly, teethed on an old, weathered table on the back porch, and loved to chase a ball.

He had two buddies: Clyde, the stray puppy that just showed up under our bedroom window early one Easter morning, already six years old when Casey came along, and Grady, the two-year-old tabby cat that believed he was king of everything.

Oh, How Wrong Could I Be?

I made the grave mistake of expecting Sophie to be just like Casey. Sophie was and continues to be a firecracker.

For the first six months, my hands and arms looked like I’d been stringing barbed wire without gloves. Finally, the baby teeth were gone. But that didn’t stop her love for playing tug of war and determination to tear up toys.

We’ll leave my journey through the chew toy aisle for another time. This story is about making the mistake that if you’ve met one Corgi, you’ve met them all.

I have not.

Casey plodded along on short legs on long walks through streets and woods. Sophie races for parts unknown to wherever her nose is taking her. I’m past the shock of the differences and still struggling to adjust.

Adjusting means accepting differences, changing expectations, and getting to a proper fit or suitability for a purpose or a situation.

The word is appropriate for my life, as I have spent almost all my adult years engaged in nonprofit organizations, adjusting to survive another year.

Challenges Facing Nonprofits Today

Recently, I read a philanthropy periodical that touted a review of the trends and challenges nonprofits can expect in 2024.

First, there was the hiring crunch. Finding the right person with the right skills who is willing to work for the pay a nonprofit job offers is harder and harder. So, nonprofits are often working short-handed.

Then there’s the reality of fewer volunteers willing to commit to regular shifts compared to the nineteen eighties and nineties. So, nonprofits are really working short-handed.

Second, nonprofits are adjusting to the shift from COVID-related payroll protection checks back to reliance on donors. At the same time, most donors are giving less, while only a few nonprofits receive mega-checks from mega-donors.

Third, this is an election year.

Any nonprofit fundraiser who’s worked through a few national election cycles can tell you that fundraising is harder in election years.

Why? Many community-minded donors are also bent on supporting political candidates to ensure our democracy and way of life.

There is much adjusting going on this year at your favorite nonprofit organization.

Be a Difference Maker

Since mega-donors are rare, we have the opportunity to fill the ever-widening gap.

Volunteer – Make a Commitment

If it’s been a while since you checked in with your favorite nonprofit organization to learn about volunteer opportunities, now is a great time. Commit to a volunteer job and shift for six months; be brave and commit to one year. Volunteers are crucial for most organizations and are absolute gold when they can be counted on to show up weekly or monthly—pure gold.

Keep Nonprofits High on Your Giving List

If you’re the donor who gives to political campaigns and nonprofit organizations with an eye on your giving budget, recognize the impact of reducing one to give to the other.

2024 is not the year to bale on the nonprofits. Their challenges are real.

What to do with the Extra?

And if you have a little extra, this could be the year to give more. Remember, we’re all adjusting to something all the time.

Smart donors like us are paying attention and looking for the best ways to adjust alongside our favorite nonprofits.

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