Why Individual Giving is So Important to Nonprofits

by Sarah Dudzic, Director of Philanthropy

As a fundraiser, I’m often asked why we are always soliciting donations, when we have State contracts and grants that fund our programs. The truth is, to sustain our operations, provide the high-quality services our clients deserve, and have the flexibility to respond to community needs, we incur expenses that are simply not covered by grants and contracts.

In the for-profit world, customers purchase goods and services, and management can determine the best way to re-invest those profits to keep the business running. However, in the non-profit sector, most grants come with a set of rules or guidelines that define how the dollars can be spent. It’s not surprising to hear that government contracts typically cover little more than basic operations – staffing, minimal supplies, and occasionally a portion of the costs to keep the lights on. Non-profits are businesses too, and unrestricted donations allow us to be innovative, provide high quality services, and sustain our work when other resources are unavailable. Unrestricted giving allows non-profit organizations to make mission-driven decisions, unfettered by the values and guidelines set forth by other organizations and institutions.

For most of the people we work with and 40% of all Americans, a $400 emergency expense would put them on the road to financial ruin and a path to homelessness.

At The Connection, we help people who are struggling with homelessness, addiction, mental health, and other issues. Individual donations allow us to help people and families in ways that funders and program designers might not have considered. For example, some programs at The Connection have grants or contracts that allow us to help with costs such as rent, security deposit, or utilities arrears. When we have unrestricted funds to support the program, we can sometimes prevent homelessness, by addressing a client’s unique challenges, such as acquiring critical documents like a State I.D., social security card, or birth certificate, fixing a vehicle so the client can maintain employment, or assisting with past balances so a family can rent a safe and stable apartment.

Want to help?

Charitable giving is a personal act of generosity and kindness — so it’s important to give to the causes, organizations, and programs that are most meaningful to you! If you are uncomfortable with unrestricted giving but you’d like to understand more about its value, I’m happy to help! Contact me, Sarah Dudzic, Director of Philanthropy, to talk about opportunities to match your interests to our good work. Together, with our state and philanthropic funders, we are making a difference in Middletown, New Haven, Bridgeport, and across Connecticut!

Ready to give?

Every dollar matters! A meaningful gift to you is a meaningful gift to us.