An Internet debate about "the dress" has gone viral again, this time with serious undertones. A Salvation Army campaign to fight domestic violence has played on the brouhaha about the color of a dress and in doing so has racked up at least 30 million Twitter impressions and loads of media coverage, said Carin Holmes, public-relations secretary for the Salvation Army in South Africa.
I was recently invited to a reception called the Super Service Challenge through The Salvation Army's involvement with DEFENDER. This outstanding Indianapolis-based company provides a model example of philanthropy for others to follow. It believes in having its employees engage with a variety of charities, providing much needed services to the communities they serve. Employees are encouraged to be philanthropic and are given four days off each year with pay, as long as time off results in volunteerism.
(Press release, Jan. 22, 2015) — Schwab Charitable™, one of the largest national donor-advised funds, reported $928 million in grants to charities on behalf of its donors in 2014, a 25 percent increase over 2013. Gifts went to more than 48,000 charitable organizations. Support increased substantially across all categories with the highest number of individual grants going to health and human services, religious causes, and education. Among the most widely supported charities in 2014 were Doctors Without Borders, Wounded Warrior Project, The Salvation Army, and local public radio and television stations.
There is an assumption in the U.S. that the best charitable giving season is October, November and December each year (year-end). The facts do not support this myth. Most believe that there are two reasons that year-end giving is good. First, they assume that donors are in the giving mood as they engage in all types of holiday gifting. The second theory is that donors are anxious to make gifts that they can deduct on their upcoming 2014 tax returns. Facts don’t support these assumptions.
One of Australia's best-known welfare organizations, the Salvation Army, has dropped 17 places from last year in the 2014 AMR Charity Reputation Index, a yearly survey which measures the overall reputation of the country's 40 largest charities.
The Salvation Army dropped from No. 10 in 2013 to No. 27 this year.
The results follow allegations of child sex abuse by Salvation Army staff that were the subject of a royal commission inquiry. More than 100 children came forward with reports of physical, sexual and indecent abuse.
In this season of giving, we are blessed to have such corporate friends. Never take for granted any amount of corporate support. It is needed and much appreciated.
Donations climbed 3 percent last year to $335.2 billion after adjusting for inflation, with almost all of the increase coming from individuals, couples and estates, according to the latest figures from the Giving USA Foundation. The gains have been uneven, however, skewed toward groups favored by the upper-income households that benefited most from the rebound in stocks and housing. Groups connected to higher education, medical research and cultural institutions are flush, while growth for those such as the Salvation Army and United Way that rely on smaller individual gifts is lagging behind.
The time-honored practice of sneaking charitable donations in under the wire during the waning days of December is safe for another year. Despite the efforts of some nonprofit leadership organizations, Congress is unlikely to pass a measure before it adjourns that would extend the deadline for claiming a charitable deduction until tax day, April 15.
For now, lawmakers are working on legislation that would extend for a year several existing tax provisions that have expired or will soon expire. Many of those provisions are designed to encourage charitable giving.
Think about ways your organization can partner with others to help those in need. It may stir your passion toward others.