Nonprofits leaning on individuals and corporations in tough times

(ARA) – A new study released by the Corporation for National and Community Services reported that the number of volunteers in America rose 1.6 million in the past year. The dramatic increase ultimately demonstrates that people are contributing to their communities at an increasing rate, even during financially challenging times.

Nonprofit organizations of all scales – small or large, local or international – rely on the generosity of others to support research and programming, increase awareness and ultimately help those in need. While individuals often lend a hand through social or religious groups, corporations are also playing a large role in giving back to an array of causes.

According to a new report released by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, though 2009 was financially challenging for many nonprofits due in part to a 3.6 percent decrease in overall contributions, corporate donations increased more than 5 percent from 2008.

In 2009, Delta Faucet Company, an Indianapolis-based faucet manufacturer, contributed to the corporate total with donations from its flagship Delta Faucet brand to programs benefiting local health services and rebuilding organizations in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

This year, Brizo, a high-fashion faucet brand and part of the Delta Faucet Company, pledged to dramatically increase its philanthropic efforts through a first-ever national sponsorship of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dream Home Giveaway program. As part of its sponsorship, the brand is providing Dream Home builders, designers and contractors with hands-on support and more than $430,000 in products.

“Having Brizo’s support helps St. Jude in a multitude of ways,” said Alan Johnson, St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway program director. “Their contribution at a national level allows us to free up valuable resources at the market level and lend additional effort to promoting the campaigns and cultivating other opportunities. We are also able to capitalize on the relationships that Brizo has with top builders and designers across the country, allowing us to expand our reach and provide more assistance to the hospital and the children it treats.”

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway was created in 1991 and has since become one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude nationwide, raising more than $175 million for research and patient treatment.

“It is inspiring in this economy to encounter a company willing to devote such significant resources and attention to a cause that falls outside of day-to-day business concerns, such as fighting childhood cancer,” added Johnson.

While financial support is integral to the livelihood of nonprofits and fundamental to enabling the organizations to improve the lives of those experiencing hardship, corporate sponsors are also becoming increasingly engaged and involved in hands-on activities and programming.

“We see our relationship with St. Jude as a partnership. Certainly our support benefits its fundraising needs, but participating on a more literal level is equally rewarding to our team,” said Brian Nobbe, director of Brizo brand marketing. “This type of hands-on engagement helps to strengthen the emotional connection for us.”

Habitat for Humanity is another organization that has benefited from large corporate support. Over a number of years, Bank of America has donated $20 million, as well as 150,000 volunteer associate hours, to Habitat for Humanity to support its efforts to build homes for those in need. The donations from Bank of America have helped the organization build more than 160 houses in the United States, as well as 100 houses in Mexico.

Whether donations and volunteer support is needed for research, rehabilitation or development, the continuation of support is important to the livelihood of any non-profit. To search for charities and locate an organization in your area, go to

Courtesy of ARAcontent