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Bill Neff

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April 9, 2013
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Community need requires year-round effort

Community needs never take a break.

Whether it’s a child in foster care in desperate need of a permanent home or a terminally ill patient in his final days, the demands on local nonprofits are never ending. A bad economy — something we all know far too well — budget cuts or a cold winter can greatly increase the need for help from nonprofits.

And we’re always ready to roll up our sleeves, lend a helping hand and do whatever is necessary to help our family, friends and neighbors (and often this extends to family pets and other animals, too).

We don’t — and can’t — do it alone.

Many of you greatly help the effort by donating money, items or professional services or volunteering your time — or often all of these. The donations support many nonprofits and provide a huge boost for the local economy.

Charitable donations have a far-reaching economic effect in the region. Nonprofits buy many products — from food to office supplies — contract with local companies, such as caterers, purchase ads in local media and rent office space. Of course, our biggest contribution is employees and the almost $40 million in annual payroll.

When you donate, you’re also investing in the local economy.

And Nevada County has always been generous when it comes to charitable donations and supporting local nonprofits. In fact, the average resident donates 4 percent — or $2,200 — to nonprofits per year, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

We deeply appreciate the commitment and generosity. We also want to remind the community that like the demand for services, donations are needed — and very much welcomed — year-round.

Many donors generously give during the final weeks of the year or tax season. Think of it as the Santa Claus or Uncle Sam effect.

However, just like you can’t always budget for the unexpected — dental work, a leaky roof or a slipping transmission — hard-to-imagine surprises sometimes arise for nonprofits and the people they serve. Even with careful planning and penny-pinching practices (you would be surprised at all the uses for metal folding chairs), sometimes demand exceeds dollars.

Because being a first-rate nonprofit in a great community means you never take a break — or walk away.

Bill Neff is chairman of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, an organization with 50 nonprofit members in Nevada County.

When you donate, you’re also investing in the local economy.


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The Union Updated Apr 9, 2013 11:10PM Published Apr 9, 2013 11:10PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.