DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There is a mix of anticipation and anxiety among area nonprofits as North Texas Giving Day is now one week away.
The annual event organized by the Communities Foundation of Texas each September rallies North Texans to support and donate to local nonprofits.
Then COVID-19 hit.
“Many people who could give in the past, are maybe receiving the services, now, ” says Susan Swan Smith, Chief Giving Day Officer at CFT. “We’ve always said ‘every gift matters for North Texas Giving Day, no matter the size’. That’s true this year, more than ever before.”
In the past, North Texas Giving Day has broken records each year.
People donated $50 million last year.
This year, more than 3,300 nonprofits have registered to participate. Some are able to match donor dollars to make the gifts go even farther. And local nonprofits say those dollars are needed, now, more than ever.
“Many of our clients, particularly among children and families are some of the most vulnerable in our society already,” says Arnie Adkison, Chief Development Officer at Buckner International. “The pandemic just made them that much more vulnerable.”
Like so many nonprofits, Adkison says Buckner pivoted quickly to provide their services, including counseling and foster care services online.
He is aware that some estimates have predicted that as many as one-third of nonprofits in the U.S may not survive the economic turndown that followed the pandemic.
However, he remains optimistic.
“What we have seen overall, though, is that generosity is still there. It may have shifted from some organizations to more frontline service providers, but people are still finding ways to give.”
As of Thursday evening, early giving has already netted some $5 million in pledges.
Cash-strapped nonprofits are assisting with everything from hunger relief to arts group that have been unable to welcome patrons, are urging North Texans to give whatever they can.
“In some cities, it has spurred real cutthroat competition,” says Swan Smith. “We’ve been pleased in Dallas that it’s sort of a friendly competition and there’s a lot of collaboration that goes on. But, yes, I think everybody knows that dollars are scarcer this year.”
North Texas Giving Day officially runs from 6 a.m. until midnight on Thursday, September 17.