The summer season is full of plans. They can include vacation preparation plans, outdoor events, traveling, family gatherings, local festivals, or enjoying a staycation amidst busy work schedules. It’s a season full of distractions and destinations and we look forward to it every year.
However, it’s also a season of dips in how we gift our time, talent and treasure to the nonprofit organizations that need us year-round.
Hundreds of groups operate throughout our communities serving thousands of people, providing food, shelter, counseling, recreational and educational programs, not to mention compassion, care and love.
It’s true that some of these groups are holding their annual golf tournaments, fun runs and other fundraisers in the warmer weather and getting involved with one or more of them as a volunteer, contributor or both is a great way to help them with furthering their mission.
Summer is also when food, fuel assistance and blood donations tend to decrease. Food banks are more depleted while we are far from Thanksgiving and winter holidays and frankly we’re not thinking about fuel assistance when it’s warm outside.
We’re busy, but so are the groups caring for our community. They don’t stop and nor should we.
My church makes a point of reminding our parishioners of the importance to stay current with gifts despite travel plans so that summer operating expenses can be met.
Maybe we can include these groups in our plans, for example, including a blood donation, dropping off some food to a local pantry we won’t need while on vacation, or sending off a gift to a local charity online or in the mail at a time when we normally wouldn’t could be part of our new traditional summer plans.
It might be fun to take one day from a vacation to volunteer with our family for a local group we know or wish to learn more about.
Contributions to nonprofits by Connecticut residents and the businesses around us remain relatively strong but the pressures and threats facing our charitable organizations keep increasing with changes to the federal tax code and decreasing state government assistance.
According to Giving USA’s most recent report nonprofits are increasingly relying on grants from foundations like ours and the donor advised funds families have established with us to help them achieve their mission or provide scholarships to students.
And as good community partners we listen for the needs, we establish efforts like our long-standing early childhood initiative, a new program to strengthen nonprofits, and our new degree completion initiative to help students finish college.
You can always join us in our efforts, but I whole heartedly encourage you to reach out this summer, as part of your plans, and help those groups around us do what they do best 365 days a year.
To learn who’s doing great work around you go to www.211ct.org and type in your interest and town.
David J. Obedzinski is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain which serves Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, Southington, and beyond. Founded in 1941, the Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, responsibly manage permanent charitable assets, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. Learn more at www.cfgnb.org .