The economy and recent disasters are fueling broad changes across the face of Philanthropy in the US. Many of the “typical” large donors had less money to contribute at the end of 2009. We heard stories of big dips in revenue at the very time there were increases in demand for service. Some donors established innovative or new ways of supporting the charitable sector and some of the wealthiest people actually stepped up their donations to compensate for the declining revenues some of their favorite causes were realizing.
One exciting result of the economy is that increased understanding of the impact of the fiscal crisis, and new forms of communication highlighting how people could help, did spur the birth of new donors across the country. While I greatly appreciate major donors, it is inspiring and heartwarming to realize that average citizens are starting to see that by pooling resources with others they too can make a significant impact. Like I often say, “You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference in Colorado.”
National trends show these new smaller donors are interested in the environment and social issues. I would love to hear stories about how these “average citizens” are contributing their time and money to your communities. Please share!