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focus on:

Nonprofit Giving


erks County is home to hundreds of active nonprofits,
ranging from the arts to health & human services to
children/youth development to education to faith-based
charities, among many others.

3. As mentioned above, the last two to three years we have seen
an increase in participation from our donors, an increase in the
amount of the gift size, and participation in our events. For Berks
Encore, the trends are positive and moving upward.

As our local nonprofits close the books on 2017 and establish
a strategy for a successful year of fundraising, they're grappling
with the potential effects the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might have on
giving trends. With significant changes for taxpayers who typically
itemize their deductions, nonprofits may be impacted. Meanwhile,
nationwide, changes to giving are being felt from the way people
give-whether it's through crowdsourcing or digital giving-or
what types of causes they feel most passionate about this year and
beyond. What do local nonprofits see on the horizon in 2018?

4. Berks County residents are very generous and that is what
makes it a great place to work and live! They are passionate and
committed to the many nonprofits that call Berks County home!

1. How did your 2017 donations compare to the previous
2. How do you think the tax plan will impact giving in the
coming year?
3. What trends do you see in charitable giving-are things
4. Is Berks County more generous than other areas?

Luann Oatman, President/CEO, Berks Encore
1. For the last two to three years, Berks Encore has seen an
increase in event participation, number of gifts, gift size, and
general support of the organization. We are thankful for the
increased support as the need for our services and programs is
increasing within our community.
2. Berks Encore has a very faithful donor base that is
committed to our cause and the work we provide for the
community. While it's possible to see an impact from some of
our donors, we are going to have to just wait and see what the
impact will be. The new tax plan is not going to change our
approach to how we serve the community or how we engage our
donors. Our supporters know the need for our services like Meals
on Wheels, our free Medicare counseling program, and our many
evidence-based health and wellness programs. It's our belief that
they support the mission and vision of Berks Encore first and a tax
break or lack of is second.

Timothy Daley, Executive Director, Habitat for
Humanity of Berks County
1. Although our donation amounts remained stable, we
introduced some new fundraising avenues that have produced
growth. Chief among these is an annual year-end giving
campaign accompanying quarterly supplements in the Reading
Eagle. These detail current projects that are advancing the work
of our organization. Further information provides readers with
opportunities to see how they can help us reach our objectives
and, in turn, make positive contributions to our communities and
2. We at Habitat for Humanity of Berks County realize that
the new tax plan may well cause us to re-evaluate our approach
to fundraising activities. Because of the newness of the plan, the
tax benefit to donors giving to nonprofit organizations remains to
be seen. On our end, we place an increased emphasis on instilling
donor confidence that their contributions will effectively produce
positive results in their communities. Further, donors will gain a
sense of civic pride and duty because their efforts are significantly
helping individuals and families improve their circumstances.
3. Donors are more likely to invest in plans and projects
designed to make a significant impact on a community or
a particular condition shared by individuals and families.
Recognizing this trend requires expanding our levels of strategic
thinking/planning, broadening our scope of involvement, and
forging functional partnerships with community and civic
organizations intent on making a difference. If Habitat only sees
housing as its mission, we are, in essence, asking donors to make
a limited investment, not being respectful of their hard-earned
dollar. To that end, Habitat is adopting strategies to bring decent,
affordable housing under the umbrella of better opportunities for
healthcare, employment and education.
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