Power of Giving

Community Connections Make Us Stronger

Connection with people is an inherent aspect of who we are as human beings. We seek out and lean on human interaction when we are experiencing the stress of life’s challenges. We rely on these interactions to help shield us from mental and physical harm. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to be creative in maintaining our social connections and managing our mental and physical health.

Recently, “Giving USA,” the longest-running and most comprehensive report on the sources and uses of charitable giving in America, reported that 2020 was a banner year for charitable giving in the United States. Total philanthropic giving by corporations, foundations, individuals, and bequests, grew 5.1% in current dollars reached a record $471.44B.  Adjusted for inflation, total giving increased by 3.8% over the revised total of $448.66B contributed in 2019. Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $324.10B, rising 2.2% in 2020 (a rise of 1.0%, adjusted for inflation), achieving its highest total dollar amount to date. “Giving in 2020 amid complex and challenging developments serves as a reminder of the unique way Americans respond to local and national opportunities and needs – in the moment,” said Ted Grossnickle, chair of The Giving Institute, the parent organization of Giving USA Foundation.

While this data may come as a surprise after such a tumultuous year, it reflects a direct response by individuals to respond to the economic devastation inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on communities across the country. We discussed a few months ago how one way to connect with others is through giving. This data exemplifies how giving allows us to feel like we are part of a community and helps maintain or create the type of community we want.

We saw this connection firsthand in Lorain County during the inaugural Connect to a Cause event last September.  Over 1,000 donors contributed to support 56 different non-profit organizations. These donors’ made up about one-third of the donors who supported the Community Foundation last year.   Together, in collaboration with a gift from the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, nearly $190K supported these participating non-profits.

The second annual Connect to a Cause takes place on September 16th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will feature 65 local non-profits in the focus areas of Health and Human Services, Arts and Culture, Education and Youth Development, and Strengthening Lorain County. This year is promising to be an even more exciting event, with the opportunity for Lorain County residents to support the non-profit organizations and helping us exceed our goal of $250K to support our community.

You can connect to the causes that matter most to you by making an online donation on September 16th, but you can also mail a check or make a cash donation using this form any time before that date.   Aside from the funds raised by donations from the community, these organizations will have the chance to receive additional dollars based on the amounts raised.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 440.984.7390 or lmalone@peoplewhocare.org to discuss further. I cannot wait to connect with you in September!