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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~ August 2005 ~ Topics

Giving is Up in 2004

Donations to United States (US) charities have been in the doldrums for several years. In June, Independent Sector announced that giving rose by 2.3% in 2004. This is the first increase in three years, to $248.5 billion. The health economy and growth in gross domestic product are cited as reasons for the increase. Gains in the stock market and corporate profits are also reasons for improvement in the levels of charitable donations.

While overall giving showed a significant increase above the 2.7% inflation rate, it has not been even across the sectors within the nonprofit community. Small and medium sized charities are still struggling to raise as much money as they did in 2001. Large organizations, with budgets over $20 million raised more last year than they did in 2003.

Especially hard hit are social service groups with a 1.1% loss in donations from 2003 to 2004. This is the third consecutive year of declines.

Some people urge caution at this seemingly rosy picture of charitable giving. One organization that studies religious giving says that while the dollar amounts increased, a closer study of the results shows a decided cooling over time in philanthropic giving.

More data on this report on giving in the USA can be seen at the web site of the Chronicle of Philanthropy http://www.philanthropy.com. The complete report on Giving and Volunteering can be ordered online through http://www.givingusa.org or by calling 847-375-4709.

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Managers of Volunteer Programs Gather

Managers of volunteers will gather in Jacksonville, FL in November 2005 to attend workshops, network, and review resources. November 2 - 5, 2005 is the date for the International Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICVA), "Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity: A New Dawn of Volunteer Administration." For more information visit: http://www.avaintl.org.

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Muslim Charities Get Infrastructure Help

As many Islamic charities battle suspicions that they are linked to terrorist organizations, the British nonprofit group Islamic Relief is leading an effort to set up a new organization aimed at helping Muslim aid groups around the world become more professional, make their finances transparent, and build relationships with non-Islamic nonprofit and charitable organizations according to a report by Reuters, (http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112057442360.htm) in London.

"The real motivation behind the whole proposal is to help Islamic NGOs who have been targeted for suspicion, based on insinuation, to be given the ability and the opportunity to practice their humanitarian mandate," Islamic Relief spokesman Adeel Jafferi told Reuters AlertNet. "In order to do that, they need to have certain regulations and methods of good governance so people can tell they're not doing anything other than their humanitarian mandate."

The Islamic tradition of charity is ancient and well established, but many Muslim relief organizations have only recently started engaging in debate about standards of accountability to donors and aid recipients.

For more reading, check out Al Tatawae: Volunteering in the Arab World by Dr. Lobna M. Abdelmagid and Mr. Izzat Abdul-Hadi at our online bookstore.

Details on Al Tatawae Book

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