Non-profits as important to community as small businesses
Thursday, Oct 3, 2013
Studies have shown that locally owned businesses provide greater support to non- profits than chain or non-locally owned businesses. Not only must we do all we can to ensure small local business survives and thrives, we also must ensure that our local non-profits do the same.
Though non-profits aren’t businesses in the traditional sense, they provide a tremendously important economic and social function in our community.
They help feed the hungry, train and educate mentally challenged children and adults, protect abused women, steer wayward teens toward a better path and so on. The list is endless of the non-profits that enrich our community.
These organizations make their money largely through our generosity either through direct donations or buying whatever it is they are selling.
Non-profits are major employers, too. That sector employs close to 11 million people across the country, the third largest sector behind retail and manufacturing.
Moreover, the mission of some non- profits is employing people who may not be able to find a job otherwise. Take Goodwill as an example. It employs people with mental and physical disabilities who haven’t been able to secure a private sector job.
On a national scale, there are 1.4 million or so non-profits, making up 8 percent of our gross national product (GNP). Some 80 million people volunteer and the non-profits draw billions of donations each year.
Non-profits suffered during the recession like everyone did. But donations are rising again as the economy slowly recovers, according to a report by non-profit consulting firm Blackbaud.
Interestingly, donations to small non- profits grew more last year than donations to large- and medium-sized non-profits. The Blackbaud report showed that giving to small non-profits increased 7.3 percent over 2011, compared to 2.7 percent for medium ones and just 0.3 percent for large ones.
So imagine small, local business supporting small, local non-profits. That certainly is a nice recipe for helping sustain a community. There’s no telling how many non-profits we have in the Cookeville and Upper Cumberland area. But surely, there’s one or two that could use your time and financial support.