The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Nonprofits and recessions

A Boston Globe article (March 26) pointed to research by the Giving USA Foundation, Glenview, Ill., showing that charitable giving drops only slightly during economic recessions.

DonationsWhile large gifts to universities, hospitals and the like remain relatively stable, the article noted that the vulnerability increases for shelters, food pantries and other small social services agencies that survive on modest donations.

Heather Feltman, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of New England, told the Globe that the agency’s major donors had portfolios that were valued less after 2007. “So if they’re giving through stock, they don’t stop giving but they might extend their pledge over multiple years,” she said.

“We need to be more creative about how we address donors, and talk with them about how they can work with financial planners or tax experts to accomplish their philanthropic goals.”


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March issue

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