By Michael T. Hughes, Chief Executive Officer
Charitable giving last year leaped to $373 billion, setting a national record for the second year in a row, according to a recently released report from the Giving USA Foundation. On behalf of A New Leaf, I thank all of our generous supporters who took the time to donate to our shelter programs and invest in transforming the lives of vulnerable families to become independent, thriving members of the community. You are making a difference!
The good news is that Americans are now donating to charities and nonprofits at a record-high rate of more than $1 billion a day, according to the latest report on national giving.
What is striking is that at least 60 percent of American households give to charity regularly. That is more than vote. That is more than read a daily news site.
The report attributes the two-year surge to continued economic recovery, including a more stable financial situation for many households.
Wealthy donors tend to get the most media attention for philanthropy for their sizeable gifts to nonprofits. But even people who haven’t felt the benefits of the economic recovery have continued to give to nonprofits they support. The American tradition of philanthropy is alive and flourishing – its diversity and cross-generational footprint expanding at an accelerated rate.
Religion is the category with the most contributed revenue at $119 billion, followed by education with $57 billion. Human services ranked third at $45 billion, which is the highest it has ranked since 2000. The reason may be that there is still such need among nonprofits that help people who are still recovering from the recession.
For organizations like A New Leaf, donors represent the lifeblood of the organization. Their philanthropic support elevates the work of staff and volunteers who deliver programs across the Valley by generating critical funds and widening our network of supporters. A New Leaf’s donors represent the best and brightest in the Valley, and they come from local businesses, foundations, churches, colleges, and social media communities.
Their caring spirit brings a message of hope to individuals in crisis who come to A New Leaf and who need a second chance. Last year, A New Leaf served 21,140 individuals and families with essential programs – an outcome only made possible by the philanthropic support of our generous contributors.
There has never been more opportunity for donors to give in a way that’s both easy and impactful. A New Leaf’s philanthropy staff work hand in hand with donors, providing ideas on giving methods, tours of programs and facilities, legacy gift planning, suggestions on ways to increase impact, and resources for specific campaigns.
At the center of it all is the Donor Bill of Rights. A New Leaf operates with the highest integrity, applying these foundational principles to every donor relationship. Trust, transparency, stewardship, and confidentiality – these ethical standards form the day to day work of A New Leaf in engaging supporters and maximizing the impact of their gifts.
This is a time to both celebrate the year’s growth in charitable giving and to honor A New Leaf’s dedicated donors who give so much to make a difference in people’s lives. Every gift, large and small, ripples through the lives of vulnerable families, giving them a second chance with new skills and success. This year, your gift will earn you an Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit of $400 for single filers and $800 for married couples filing jointly – which is double the credit from the previous year. Your simple and affordable gift will make all the difference in someone’s life. To make a donation visit our donation page or call the Philanthropy Office at 480-464-4648.