Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Albuquerque Tribune: Editorials-Editorial: Bouquets & brickbats

The Albuquerque Tribune: Editorials: "Editorial: Bouquets & brickbats

November 30, 2005

Brickbat: aid fatigue

It's a tough sell, but charities - with good reason - are worried that donations may decline this holiday season. They understand, but they still hope people will dig deep.

Americans have given generously this year, in response to disasters such as the tsunami in South Asia, the earthquake in Pakistan and hurricane damage along the Gulf Coast. People also are contending with higher fuel costs. Charity officials are concerned that people are tapped out and that 'donor fatigue' will decrease individual donations, half of which are made between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

While giving overall has increased in recent years, studies by Charity Navigator, for example, show local agencies are hard-pressed, because people are shifting their giving to big charities. The American Institute for Philanthropy reports that giving for social-service agencies has been declining, too. Small, local groups especially, it seems, suffer because they don't have the fund-raising resources - or face the enormous, desperate emergencies - of the big charities. But small emergencies can be just as critical."

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