Across Tupelo today, Salvation Army bell ringers stand as an iconic reminder of how many non-profits depend heavily on generosity of individuals and some businesses in the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s period to make their budgets or shore-up shortfalls, especially during a lingering recession.
Numerous studies over the years confirm that holidays inspire many Americans to make donations for the least and the neediest.
The charitable impulse usually makes beneficiaries of people never personally known or even encountered face-to-face.
The Associated Press has reported that about 80 percent of all the money raised by charities comes from individuals, and people tend to be most generous during the “Christmas season.”
It remains helpful that donations made before year’s end also produce tax deductions next April.
Many of Northeast Mississippi’s charities and religious institutions are particularly in need this year because the recession that began late in 2007 clings.
In our region, legitimate charities span a broad spectrum of concerns, and while most people are familiar with the charities receiving their gifts, it’s always wise to know the results empowered by charitable donations.
Many charitable-giving advisors also suggest considering continuing gifts that can be relied on in the long term, making long-range planning possible by gift recipients.
The IRS Web site – www.irs.gov – lists charities registered as a 501c3 organization.
The American Red Cross, itself a charitable recipient,, reports that a recent survey found that in spite of the on-going economic downturn, Americans remain committed to digging deep for charitable causes even as they reduce other holiday activities.
The survey found that that while 86 percent of Americans reported their personal finances are the same or worse than last year, 72 percent expect to give the same amount or more than last year to charity.
Nearly six in 10 say that because the economy is in bad shape it is more important this year to give to charity.
The survey, conducted October 21-24, found that seven in 10 people (70 percent) are planning to reduce spending for at least one holiday expense, but by comparison, only about 23 percent plan to reduce their charitable contributions.
Making charitable gifts a priority at the start of holiday spending often reorders what’s considered most important, which is wise financially – and morally enriching.