Charitable Giving By Wealthy Hits Ten-Year Low; Nonprofit Sector Finds Innovative Ways To Encourage Americans To Donate To Charity
A recent article by the Chronicle of Philanthropy shows that charitable giving by the wealthiest Americans is at a ten-year slump. Vincent Everett (CEO Works of Life International Ministries) holds that the slump is attributed to slow national economic recovery and uncertain tax laws next year. The Works of Life executive pledges to accept a wide variety of donated items as charitable tools to encourage more Americans to give to charity in whatever way they can.
| Posted in Philanthropy on Feb 28, 2011
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Philanthropy was a hot topic of discussion among the wealthiest Americans in 2010 especially after the Giving Pledge--a project launched by Bill and Melinda Gates together with Warren Buffet--was signed late last year. However, the Pledge, which was a public commitment by 40 of the wealthiest Americans to donate half their fortunes to charity, didn't exactly deliver what it promised. With all the talk about philanthropy by the mega-rich, there wasn't that much giving going on in 2010 or early this year, according Vincent Everett (CEO Works of Life International Ministries). "The sluggish pace of national economic recovery combined with uncertain charity tax laws next year are making potential donors afraid to give," says the Works of Life executive. "The non-profit sector is really trying to figure out creative new ways to get more Americans involved in charity," adds Everett.
Donors as well as experts in the non-profit sector say fears over the economy dipping further back into a recession combined with uncertain tax regulations are mostly to blame: "Donors are not looking to give away much of their capital in assets, cash, or property when the think the state of the economy is likely to worsen," says the Works of Life CEO.
"It's one thing to pledge half your fortune to support a variety of worthy charitable causes," says Everett, "but at the same time if Obama is announcing that he wants to reduce tax deductions for charitable giving to 28%, a thirty percent drop, then wealthy Americans are going to be turned off to the idea of charitable giving in general."
Recently Works of Life, along with With Causes, was mentioned in Forbes magazine as well as Huffington Post and USA Today because, contends Everett, "We give people the chance to donate to charity in unconventional ways. Works of Life is garnering national attention in part because literally thousands of Donors across the country have reached out to help someone in need directly through our organization. Donors can give away valuable collectibles or automobiles, cars or boats, or even aircraft they don't even want anymore to help solve many pressing social issues. It's an efficient charitable system with great potential, especially in times of economic uncertainty."
Over a decade ago Everett made the decision to diversify the kinds of items Works of Life accepts in order to boost the number of contributing Americans. "No one has to sit back and watch the drama of charitable giving play out among the richest of the rich. Charity is about everyday people doing what they can to help those less fortunate," says the Works of Life CEO. In light of the slump in charitable giving by the wealthy, Everett pledges to continue to use the wide range of donated items Works of Life receives in order to provide charitable assistance to many worthy causes, and to get more people involved.
With donations by the super-rich at a ten-year low, Everett says that organizations like Works of Life should strive to not only make up for the slump in giving by wealthy Americans but also to provide avenues through which anyone with the means to help can do so in whatever way they can. "It's all about saving the Donor money and striking a natural balance; we accept many kinds of items as charitable gifts in order to help you make a contribution to communities in need," holds Everett.
More information: Works of Life International Ministries, Collectibles With Causes
Nonprofit Non-Profit Charitable Giving Vincent Everett Works of Life International Ministries Donations Causes
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