Janette Allen: On Giving Tuesday, remember small donations essential for local nonprofits

World drum students in the Cathedral Arts Project's arts education program perform at the nonprofit's 2022 showcase.
World drum students in the Cathedral Arts Project's arts education program perform at the nonprofit's 2022 showcase.

During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to lose sight of things beyond hosting family, making travel plans and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But one of the greatest gifts you can give this season is a small donation to a local nonprofit. A contribution, no matter the size, is integral to those working toward the greater good in our region.

According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, the number of donors to organizations fell by 7% in the first half of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021. This decline is due to a collapse in the number of small-gift supporters. Small-gift supporters are loosely defined as people who contribute $100 or less to a nonprofit.

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It may not seem like your gift of $100, $50 or even $25 will make much of an impact, but with a possible economic recession looming, this broad support from small-gift donors is critical to the continued operations of our nonprofit sector. Nonprofits play an essential role in the vibrance of the Jacksonville community. Your gift can provide meals to families experiencing hunger, allow a child to participate in transformative afterschool arts programs, help a neighbor afford basic necessities, protect our waterways and so much more.

It can also help nonprofits cover their administrative costs, which are essential for organizations to remain impactful and financially sustainable.

Giving doesn’t have to be seasonal. Many nonprofits offer the option to give monthly through recurring electronic donations. A small amount like $10 a month may not make much of a dent in your wallet, but it gives nonprofits peace of mind knowing they can count on your support month after month. If you already make a recurring donation to an organization, consider increasing the amount by a few dollars each month to offset the impacts of inflation.

Giving Tuesday, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is Nov. 29. This day of global generosity is the perfect opportunity to start small and support your favorite local nonprofits. If you’re unable to give a monetary donation, consider giving your time as a volunteer or lending your voice as an advocate for a cause close to your heart.

Jacksonville’s nonprofit community needs your help — and no donation (or act of support) is too small to make a big impact.


Janette Allen, vice president of development, Cathedral Arts Project 

This guest column is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Times-Union. We welcome a diversity of opinions

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Janette Allen: Small donations essential for local nonprofits