Some Charitable Donations Declining This Holiday Season

Charities watching donations closely

NBCUniversal, Inc.

It's a familiar sound ringing in the holiday and giving season: the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign bell ringers looking for donations.

Although people are giving, the numbers are down some.

"Because it's such a short season this year, we actually have six fewer days to ring the bell out in front of stores,” said Maj. Jonathan Rich, Salvation Army North Texas Area Commander. “Because of that, we are seeing donations down a bit."

Rich also attributed some of that to possible changes in people's shopping habits.

“People say there are fewer people coming out to physical stores these days, so there is some of that,” Rich said. “Fewer people carry cash and yet that kettle campaign is oh so important."

Charitable giving may also be impacted by national changes made in the 2017 tax codes.

"Fewer people are able to actually itemize their tax return when they make a charitable donation," founder and president of Carrington Group Tyler Talman said.

There could also be a generational gap in giving to charities. Many millennials are dealing with a lot of student loan debt and other issues that hinder their giving.

"You mix that up with the fact they are living at home longer, they are having babies later,” Talman said.

But despite all the things that can work against them, charitable organizations are remaining hopeful the giving spirit picks up.

"Our goal is to raise $2 million in the kettle campaign this year and that is very important to the services we provide 365 days a year," Rich said.

The United Way of Dallas reported seeing a giving increase of 29% on the recent Giving Tuesday.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign continues until 12 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

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