Patrice Onwuka in Real Clear Policy: Inflation is Straining Charitable Organizations

In an article published this week in Real Clear Policy, Philanthropy Roundtable Adjunct Senior Fellow Patrice Onwuka wrote that rising inflation is putting pressure on American households … and on the charitable sector. As families turn to food banks for help in unprecedented numbers, frontline aid workers and organizations are struggling to meet this rising demand. 

Below are excerpts from the article entitled “Inflation is Straining the Charitable Sector”: 

“In America, our civil society springs to action whenever people are in need. As with other crises, shelters, food pantries and feeding programs, soup kitchens and other direct service organizations have stepped up their distribution to meet the burgeoning demand from clients up and down the income ladder. In turn, they depend on gifts from private individuals and foundations to meet those needs. Yet these frontline aid workers are also being squeezed by inflation from different directions.

Sadly, inflation is allowing givers no rest. Rising food and gasoline prices make it costlier to deliver goods and services. For example, in California, the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s expenditures jumped from a pre-pandemic monthly average of $250,000 to as high as $1.5 million. Supply chain disruptions that plagued our economy still persist as well, prompting organizations to find ways around securing food items for distribution or implementing rationing on staples like meat.

Wages are rising, but this benefit – although good for workers – places greater pressure on nonprofit budgets. Organizations must offer their employees more money to stave off staff departures, especially in a jobs market with over 11 million unfilled positions. Every additional dollar allotted for salary is a dollar less for services.

In the meantime, inflation threatens to impact overall giving to charity as well. The generosity of the American people has been a stopgap for surging demand during the pandemic and other crises. While megagifts by wealthy donors attract headlines, they only account for about 5% of individuals giving to our charitable sector.”

Please continue reading “Inflation is Straining the Charitable Sector” at Real Clear Policy.

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