Charitable groups see boost in end-of-year contributions

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

Several local nonprofits and charitable organizations saw slight increases in giving this past month as residents hurried to meet the deadline for a charitable tax deduction.

Monday was the cutoff date to donate to a qualified, tax-exempt organization to receive a tax deduction, and several Lee County organizations look forward to the period of year-end contributions.

December donations can range anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Sanford-Lee County, said Executive Director Bo Hedrick.

"It has been like a traditional December," he said. "That is a good sign, but we could always use more support."

The Boys and Girls Club recently lost $149,000 in grant funding, a large portion of the organization's $700,000 budget, Hedrick said. Donations, particularly toward the end of the calendar year, help the organization close the void.

"We are fortunate people have room to make those contributions to help their tax purposes," he said. "And we appreciate people who have thought about the club."

December has been a strong month for United Way of Lee County, according to Executive Director Jan Hayes. Gifts from individuals are up from last year, and the organization typically sees an increase at the end of the year, she said.

Hayes said nonprofits are always grateful for donors' end-of-year gifts.

"We would like to think we are such a good organization, and our partner agencies are doing so much good work," she said. "But, we are sure it has something to do with year-end contributions."

Hayes said her family financially supports several organizations, including United Way, and always makes sure to make those gifts before the December deadline.

HAVEN in Lee County Executive Director Kenosha Davenport said the organization, which serves victims of sexual and domestic violence, has seen more monetary donations in recent months, but donated items have decreased.

"For our individual organization, a lot of grants are beginning their new cycle," Davenport said. "It can be very scary for us, and we really rely on the community support. It keeps things going until the grants kick back in."

During recent years, donations have dropped annually despite December being one of the better months for the organization, she said.

Kathy Wilson, one of the co-founders of Divine Finds, a thrift store that supports Carolina Animal Rescue & Adoption, said in the past week more than 100 people dropped off items for a tax refund.

"We have seen a ton of people here," Wilson said. "It's really up, and we've had a lot of last-minute people coming in, which is excellent."

In its first year, Wilson said Divine Finds has done very well and she is proud of her store.