Donation Dip Leaves Charities Struggling

With the strain of the pandemic, individual donations could be a lifeline for charities and the communities they serve. NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

(NBC News) — Every holiday season millions of Americans open their hearts and wallets for a good cause.

With the strain of the pandemic this year, those donations could be a lifeline for charities and the communities they serve.

The Zawadi Cultural Collective, a small non-profit in Los Angeles, is one of many that have seen resources dry up.

“25 percent of our donations were corporate funds and now, since the pandemic, zero,” says Zawadi’s Daysha Wills.

National organizations are feeling the blow as well.

Icing Smiles, a non-profit that provides dream cakes to critically-ill children, is one of them.

“The goal is really providing them with a temporary escape because they’re going through a lot,” says founder Tracy Quisenberry.

Quisenberry says she worries about covering overhead with the dip in cash donations, and now requests are starting to surpass the number of volunteers available to fulfill them.

“The bakeries are either closed, or if they are open, they don’t have the ability to donate the way they used to,” she says.

With the dip in donations so far, executives from the Independent Sector predict as many as one-third of non-profits will have to close or merge before the economy recovers.

Experts say small non-profits specializing in arts and education are the most vulnerable as individual and corporate donors have been prioritizing organizations that provide services such as food or assistance with bills.

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