December 14, 2016

Editorial: The least charitable city in the country?

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Only 17 days remain in Giving Season, which is critical to many nonprofit institutions.

Whether people feel more charitable during the holiday season or give as their yearly finances come into sharper focus, the final three months of the year, and more specifically the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, local institutions rely on this period of the year to fund their mission.

A 2012 GuideStar survey found that 50.5 percent of organizations reported they received the majority of their donations in the fourth quarter of the year.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, one study “found that their respondents reported giving about 24 percent of their annual total between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.”

In addition, “According to the Winter 2011 issue of the Nonprofit Fundraising Survey, over half of the nonprofit organizations queried reported that they received over a quarter of their contributions between October and December, with 16 percent of all organizations receiving over half their year’s total contributions during those same months.”

In this light, and with the city of Worcester home to so many deserving nonprofits, it came to us as a shock when a recent survey claimed Worcester was the least charitable city in the United States.

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