According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Heart of Florida United Way boasted a jump of 10% in its annual campaign. Like many charities, the organization experienced a drop in giving as a result of the great recession, but – in what could be seen as yet another sign that the economy is recovering – experienced a nearly $2 million increase in support.
This year’s $19.2 million in support far exceeded the goal, and is the highest result since 2007.
In announcing their success, the local campaign’s volunteer chairman – banker David Fuller – said, “I was amazed, in light of everything that’s going on in the economy, that the business community really stepped up — more so than I could have ever expected. People were very generous.”
As in many communities, local leaders see the effort as a barometer, suggesting the overall health of charitable giving in the region. An Orlando area agency executive was quoted as saying, “Philanthropy tanked in 2008 and 2009; but the fact that they’ve had record results is an important sign for everyone else.”
A trend just might be afoot. This week, the national Nonprofit Research Collaborative announced results of a survey showing that more than half of U.S. charities saw contributions rise last year for the first time since 2007, and more than 70 percent of the agencies expect an increase this year.
Again, from the Sentinel article, Mark Brewer, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Florida, added, “The high-net-worth people — their giving is up now, and it’s almost entirely because their assets are worth something again.”
86% of central Florida’s nonprofits tracked by the Community Foundation, report being on target in their fundraising efforts; and after four years of layoffs and program cuts, are hiring again.