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COLUMN: The giving season should be year round



I love the holidays wholeheartedly. Between the pretty lights, happy music and constant stream of holiday parties, there is close to nothing to hate about the holiday season. 

While I am a big fan of the happiest time of the year, the characteristic giving spirit should be continued. Giving should not stop on Christmas, but continue throughout the new year.

The holiday season could be synonymous for the giving season. In the last three months of the year, non-profit organizations receive 34 percent of their total donations.   

A 2010 poll by Harris Interactive found that while 85 percent of Americans donate to charities, 34 percent of those Americans are more likely to donate during the holidays. During the holidays, three times as many people donate than during the rest of the year

One of the largest online platforms for social activism, causes.com, found donations increase in value by 42 percent in November and December compared to the rest of the year

Many charities and non-profits rely on this surge of money. 

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative reported that over half of all non-profits receive more than one quarter of their donations in the last quarter of the year, and 16 percent received more than half of their annual totals

Charitable giving should never be discouraged. However, the surge of giving during the holidays is often followed by a sharp decrease in donations throughout the rest of the year.  

Chief Executive Michael Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, a community kitchen that recycles food, said people are hungry in all seasons of the year, not just close to the holidays.

While charitable giving is encouraged by these organizations, they sometimes receive a heavy influx of clothes that are unwearable, food that cannot be eaten or more volunteers than are needed

The president of the Cavendish Foundation, a public interest justice center, said she would prefer to have “100 hours from one person than 100 people giving one hour.” 

Many organizations have long-term projects that would benefit from have long-term volunteers, as it better helps the goal of their organizations

Charitable giving doesn’t need to be monetary donations. It can be old clothes, food or time. However, it should not just occur at the end of the year. 

After the sudden influx of volunteers and donations, many nonprofits want volunteers throughout the year. And if we have time during the holidays, it is probable that we have time during the rest of the year as well. 

While Christmas and the holidays are a wonderful time of giving, this charity should be continued throughout all seasons. Imagine how amazing the world could be if we all gave as much throughout the year as we did in one month. 

npatwari@indiana.edu

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