Buoyant Market Fuels Hopes of Year-End Gifts for Nonprofits

A buoyant stock market has New Jersey charities feeling bullish that donations will reach levels not seen since the 1990s, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

The timing couldn't be better. The recent surge in the markets coincides with the advent of the busiest giving season of the year, when fully a third of all donations are made. And because people tend to feel more confident about their finances when the bulls are running, charities and nonprofits are looking forward to a banner season. "All of us in the philanthropic community are enthusiastic that 2006 will end with a blitz of philanthropy," said David Flood, president of the Somerset Medical Center Foundation, which raises between $6 million and $10 million a year to support its operations. "It is interesting the way the stock market represents security more than any other financial indicator."

But while some experts have predicted that donations overall would increase during the second half of the year, others caution that national trends are unlikely to play out everywhere. In New Jersey, for example, nonprofits should be mindful of the state's budget crisis and sluggish economy, said Linda Czipo, executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Corporations in New Brunswick. "Not all organizations are going to benefit equally. For small organizations, the impact won't be as large."

Still, the mood is one of optimism. Flood, for example, is hopeful there will be more first-time donors than ever. "When they make that first gift and then realize...it felt great, hopefully that will create a [stampede] of new donors."

Peggy McGlone. "N.J. Charities Put Their Faith and Hope in Stock Market." Newark Star-Ledger 11/23/2006.