December 2020

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Friends in Philanthropy: December 2020 Issue

“I said to myself: ‘Well, game over. We gave it a good shot but we won’t have a program without our volunteers.’”

–Adam Porter, Meals on Wheels director for the nonprofit Sound Generations, on his reaction to stay-at-home orders in March. Though struggling, the program remains active.

Looking back on the year in philanthropy, it’s clear the pandemic made Americans open not just their wallets, but also their hearts. Acts of kindness came from unexpected places, like the little girl whose friendship bracelets paid for PPE $3 at a time. But even as donations soared, nonprofits struggled, with volunteering plummeting just as need took off. The outlook for 2021 is extremely uncertain, but one thing is for sure: too many people are counting on philanthropy for any of us to declare “game over” now.

Americans Are Giving More Than Ever to Charities. Is It Enough? (Christian Science Monitor) – Giving broke records in 2020, but volunteer help evaporated. Can nonprofits survive this strange moment of both abundance and scarcity?

6 Reasons to Donate Stocks (Charity Navigator) – Serious tax benefits. Fewer processing fees. If you’re used to cutting checks to charities, you might be surprised to learn about the advantages of giving securities.

How a 7-Year-Old Raised $22K for the Children’s Hospital That Cared for Her (Chicago Tribune) – When Hayley Orlinsky of Chicago heard doctors and nurses needed help buying PPE, she got to work. Thousands of friendship bracelets later, she’s still going strong.

What Life Is Like Inside the “Ethnic Theme Parks” Where These Refugees Resettled (New York Times) – The Kayan people—known for their distinctive neck rings—fled Myanmar for Thailand in the 1980s. Soon they were living tourist attractions.

2020’s Most-Read Bible Verse: ‘Do Not Fear’ (Christianity Today) – Searches on the YouVersion Bible app shot up 80% in 2020. Here’s the verse people were most drawn to in a turbulent time. Plus: trends from around the world.

Photos from Unsplash

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