Dec. 1, 2016 11:29 AM

Nonprofits in need, a community willing

Our first ever one-stop nonprofit spot is arriving online this holiday season at theind.com. Our community is in need, and those who organize and meet those needs have found their coffers increasingly low. It’s time to give.

After the flood we saw it. It was that homegrown help of neighbor coming alongside neighbor. It was a sort of grassroots nonprofit support. It was an outpouring of money and help in small increments that equaled something big to those in need.

This holiday season we want to see it happen again. And this time we encourage your family to make it entirely your own. Our nonprofit online will be ever-evolving to reflect the most pressing needs of our area’s nonprofit organizations.

“In 2008 and 2009 there was a big turning point for fundraising all over the country,” says Scott Brazda, who as executive director of the Stuller Family Foundation sees the influx of grants from local nonprofits seeking funding from the Stuller Foundation. “More and more funders started looking at donations more closely … then recession No. 2 hit [the oil recession]. If you were counting on an oil company to always be there they may have pulled out or cut completely their support.”

Brazda explains that as nonprofits seek to stay afloat it’s vital for them to realize the tough spot many of their oncegenerous donors now find themselves.

“Have a heart for your donors. A lot of these guys can’t give you what they once did but that doesn’t mean they don’t care,” he says. “Keep them engaged, ask them to be a part of the volunteer base.”

While some of the larger donors can’t give the same amounts, our community can find a way to meet the needs of our neighbors. Randi Landry, director of resource development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana, points toward the big difference a small donation can make for kids at their after-school programs as an example.

“You can donate books or video games or learning tools. It really helps our kids whose parents are often working two or three jobs just to make ends meet — working later than most parents just to put food on the table,” she says.

While any parent can donate in a child’s name or tell them they wrote a check, this season involve kids by looking to donate to organizations connected to their passion. Instead of your bunco group doing a gift exchange, consider giving as a group to a women’s charity. For your office Christmas party, ask everyone to bring school supplies or something simple on our list.

View the list here.

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