Editorial: Local donations will be well spent

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday started six years ago as an antidote to the spend, spend, spend message of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. It was the brainchild of one Henry Timms, executive director of the 92nd Street Y in New York City, who says the annual promotion speaks to the most American of values. “America,” he says, “is the most generous country in the world.”

If you plan to take Giving Tuesday to heart by making a charitable donation today or any day, here are two points to keep in mind.

Charitable giving is up in North Carolina, and the charities and nonprofits registered with the state have increased their effectiveness in using donations, according to a report from the N.C. Secretary of State’s Office.

Rowan County has scores of nonprofits that could use your support to improve local quality of life. You don’t have to look far to find a worthy cause. Just pull out Sunday’s Salisbury Post.

On the first point, the 2016-2017 N.C. Secretary of State Charitable Solicitation Annual Report was just released. It states that state-licensed charities and nonprofits collected more than $39 million in the 12-month period, up $4.3 million from the previous year. (You can find the full report at www.sosnc.gov.)

That growing generosity reflects high confidence in the charities.

Elaine Marshall, state secretary of state, says many people give generously though they live on tight budgets themselves. “People across North Carolina continue to keep the faith that they can make a difference — and they have,” she said in a press release.

Speaking of tight budgets, nonprofit agencies serving Rowan County are constantly challenged to raise the funds they need to carry out their work. Sunday’s Salisbury Post contained a two-page compilation of local charitable groups and items on their wish lists, and there are many, many more. Churches alone could fill two more pages.

The advantage of giving to a local group is that the donor can be more familiar with how an organization operates and can hold that group accountable. You’re not getting hustled by a high-dollar telephone solicitation firm. And you don’t have to give to an organization sight unseen; you can check them out yourself.

Best of all, your money stays in the community.

To borrow from Kahlil Gibran, a person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. Consider doing good on Giving Tuesday. Make a local donation.