This year of disasters, while enriching some charities, has created a crisis of its own for others -- and there's a fear it could be more than a temporary shift. In 2005, many donors have eschewed their customary charities and have given, again and again, to crisis-relief organizations.
Does this year's disaster-to-disaster giving pattern mark the beginning of a change in the way Americans give?
Already, there are indications that donors' priorities are changing. Some people say that after watching aid arrive late in many cases this year, they want relief groups to have money in hand so they can respond immediately. Plus, donors want their own giving to be predictable, so they're setting aside money in advance rather than being caught off guard by new crises.
At least one survey suggests a shift toward disaster-relief may be subtle: In a Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive poll conducted this month, 8% of donors reported giving less to non-disaster-relief charities this year; 65% said they gave the same amount; and 15% reported increasing their giving to nonrelief charities.
[By Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal]