The generosity of Americans continues to amaze us. It is estimated that millions of people will give to the less fortunate during the upcoming 2016 holidays. In fact, in general, about 35 percent of donations occur in the last 3 months of the year, with about 18% occurring during the month of December according to Blackbaud. While there are many reasons for contributions to take place towards the end of the year (such as tax deductions) a major reason people give then is to help the less fortunate at Christmas.
Charitable giving has been increasing each and every year for the last several years. With the strong economy, low unemployment rate, and record high number of unfilled positions because companies can’t find employees to even work, many people feel it is time to give back. They are buying toys for kids, bringing food to pantries, and writing checks to utility company assistance programs. All of this donating is meant to help low income families so they can give their kids free Christmas gifts.
According to Charity Navigator, during 2015 there was a 3.6% increase in donations to all charities, such as the Salvation Army, United Way, and others. The increase for all of 2016 may be as high as 4%, however the exact amount will not be determined until early next year. What may be good news for people looking for holiday presents is that much of the increase tends to occur each December, just in time for the holidays!
A large percentage of donations come from individuals. It is estimated that more than 70% of what is contributed to a charity (whether at Christmas or any point of the year) comes from “regular” families or individuals, such as you! Other free Christmas gifts are donated by businesses.
While we know that there are times when people have struggled in the past or may struggle in the future, if you can afford to give back, now is the time to do it. The job market in 2016 is firing on all cylinders, so it is a great time to give to groups such as the Salvation Army or even a local church.
Christmas is one of the main times to give back. People tend to be in a more generous mood, and they want to ensure that every kid has some type of gift to open on Christmas morning. Using data from Charity Navigator, it is expected that 2016 will be no different. The generosity of many Americans never seizes to amaze us.
There may be tens of millions of dollars donated to the charities that run these holiday programs. It comes in the form of gifts for boys, girls, and the struggling. Many people volunteer as well. So even if you do not have any extra money this year, you can always volunteer your time, as there is no cost to do that!
Any donations will go to assist struggling families, especially those with children. Groups such as the US Marine Corps and their Toys for Tots or the Salvation Army try to provide kids free Christmas gifts or give their parents a little money to buy a meal. The enrollment period for most holiday programs starts in October 2016 or so, so if you are going to give back or apply for help,the earlier it is done the better. Please do try to provide for those that are still have difficulties this upcoming year.