Today, August 17, is National Nonprofit Day, a tremendous opportunity to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact nonprofits have on communities across the country. It is a privilege to serve as CEO of a 44-year-old nonprofit, National CASA/GAL Association for Children. I am thankful to our staff, 950 programs and 93,300 volunteers who work endlessly to serve over 271,000 children who have experienced the trauma of abuse or neglect.
National CASA/GAL is one of nearly two million non-profits in this country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonprofits are one of the greatest sources of employment, making up over 11.4 million or 10.2 percent of the American workforce. Nonprofits address some of society’s toughest issues. In fact, for nearly every issue there is a nonprofit. When children return to school, nonprofits step in to provide backpacks and school supplies to those who need them. When it’s cold outside, a nonprofit steps in to provide coats to people from all walks of life. Every second of every day, a child, a family, a senior citizen, a student or an animal benefits from the incredible work of a nonprofit. Nonprofits are the heart and soul of the community.
This year has been one of the most challenging seasons most nonprofits have faced in their existence. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, 73 percent of charities say they have seen a decline in contributions, and half say they expect to see revenue decline by more than 20 percent over the next year, according to a new global study. Thirteen percent have suspended all or most of their operations. Unfortunately, vulnerable populations, the poor and elderly are the hardest hit.
Nonprofits weather all kinds of storms. This year is different—needs have shifted, communication methods have changed, the ability to give has evolved and the demand for services is higher than ever before. But, here’s the good news—some people are using skills they didn’t realize they had, we’re using technology in new, different ways, and we’re finding ingenious methods upon which to get things done.
Yes, this year has been an incredibly difficult, heart wrenching year for nonprofits. However, I am so encouraged and deeply moved by the resilience, ingenuity and creative fundraising strategies I’ve seen—and the love shown by people who make extraordinary sacrifices to help others. And, during this time, like other very difficult times, nonprofits are on the frontlines—addressing society’s most pressing issues.
Today and every day, please join us in celebrating the phenomenal work of those in the trenches who are impacting lives every day! Here’s what you can do to make a lasting difference in the lives of people in our communities:
- Extend gratitude. Thank those who volunteer and work for a nonprofit.
- Volunteer. Use your talents and skills for the good of the community.
- Give. Giving is a great way to improve our communities.
- Be socially active. Follow your favorite nonprofit on your social channels. Share the good news about your favorite non-profit with your family, friends and co-workers.
National Nonprofit Day is a great reminder that nonprofits impact society in positive ways too numerous to count. For more information about National CASA/GAL, visit nationalcasagal.org or follow us on Twitter @NationalCASAGAL.
Thanks for all you do to support our work!
CEO, National CASA/GAL Association for Children