Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Which Community Organizations Should You Donate to During COVID-19?

Wearing a mask has been a constant weapon in the fight against #COVID19

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, speaker, community leader and media commentator. He is the President of UniMark Creative Inc. 

The last day of December 2020 is the last day to be able to receive tax credits for donations to worthy causes.

How has the COVID pandemic impacted charitable giving?

COVID-19 has amplified the financial needs in our communities to levels not seen in Alberta for decades! Some businesses have failed. Thousands have been laid off and out of work for almost a year.

They are desperate. Families are in distress.

All of this brings increased pressures at food banks, family resource agencies, addictions recovery organizations, youth programs, and mental health services. Counsellors are overwhelmed by the number of people seeking help. 

Your ability to give depends on where your place is within the COVID economy. While there are many business failures, there are also companies that have experienced record-setting years. Some have invested in stock markets or businesses supplying COVID related products. 

While many can’t give, there are 100s of Alberta small business owners and private individuals responding to the tremendous need by giving generously.

How can you decide which charitable organizations to support?

Every day, worthy causes inundate companies with letters, emails and phone calls pleading for help. The challenge is to decide which organizations to help when each is desperate for support.

So, where do you start? Identify the areas of greatest need. I suggest focusing on your community. Make a list. It might include...


·                     Food supply

·                     Homelessness

·                     Addictions Recovery

·                     Troubled Youth

·                     Mental Health

·                     Seniors

After making your list, break down each category. For example, Food Supply may include food banks, school lunches, or hot meal deliveries for seniors. 

More Ideas: In early December I wrote a longer blog post that this is taken from called, Ebineezer Says Small Businesses are Making a Big Difference in a COVID Christmas

Why do Albertans give?

Albertans have a rich history of giving. For the most part, we give because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t give because we have to. We give because we can!

Many give because they remember the struggles of their past. They take great pleasure in helping young people who face various barriers to success. They see it as providing a hand-up rather than a handout.

Now families need the basics like food and shelter. In some homes, there is no breadwinner. Parents feel there is no place to turn. 

Does it matter how much we give?

To get through this, those who can give should give until it hurts! And many are doing just that. 

But the amount of the gift is not always as significant as the act of doing it. 

Dr. Marme Hesse was a generous Alberta philanthropist who died in 2016 at the age of 100. She had a great belief in the power of community.

We were sitting with a group of fellow Rotarians waiting for a committee meeting to begin. Someone made a sarcastic comment about the levels of donations to a fundraiser we were organizing.

She took a moment and then said, and I paraphrase, “Some can give a little, and some can give a lot. When we all give something, great things happen in the community.” 

And that’s how we’ll get through this! By coming together to mobilize the power of community.

The End

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, speaker, and community leader. He is the President of UniMark Creative which focuses on website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. 

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Twitter: @robyntbraley

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