Post-Sandy, Donors Cut Back on Donations to Other Nonprofits

As the crucial holiday giving season enters its final weeks, some New York City charities are experiencing a drop in donations for programs unrelated to Superstorm Sandy relief and recovery efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

While the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University reports that donors contributed some $219 million in the three weeks following the storm, nonprofit organizations providing services unrelated to storm relief and recovery efforts told the Journal that there seems to be "a bit of 'ask' fatigue" among donors. The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, for example, is anticipating a 29 percent drop in donations from October through the end of the year, while the United Way of New York City, which mobilized volunteers and created a fund to assist the region in its recovery efforts, expects that its other program areas, including education and income inequality, will see a decline in donations this holiday season.

According to the Journal, this isn't the first time non-disaster relief charities in a region affected by a major natural disaster have experienced a drop in donations. "There is often a short-term blip," said Marian Z. Stern, adjunct assistant professor at NYU's George H. Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising. "It could be a month, it could be a quarter, it could be a year depending on how the donor does their planning."

Anjali Athavaley. "Nonprofits Fear Donors Have Post-Sandy 'Ask' Fatigue." Wall Street Journal 12/09/2012.