Nonprofit organizations across the nation generate the lion’s share of their contributions during this last quarter of the year – with particular generosity exhibited at year-end, according to the DMA Nonprofit Federation (DMANF).

Of course, we’re all fascinated to read reports of wealthy individuals generously donating millions of dollars to their favorite charitable organizations.  But the truth is, most of us are not millionaires.  So when we hear about such mega-donations, the amount we can afford to give may seem insignificant in comparison.  We might ask ourselves, “Will my check for $10 (or maybe even less), really help anything? Do such small gifts really help charitable organizations accomplish much?”

The answer is yes!

While charitable organizations always welcome large contributions, it’s important to remember that even the smallest year-end contribution goes a long way.  In fact, according to the DMANF, the vast majority of charitable gifts are quite small.

Keep in mind that there’s a reason huge donations make news headlines — they’re rare.  And while nonprofit organizations greatly appreciate exceptionally large gifts— if they relied on these alone, they could never stay afloat.

For those non-millionaires among us, there are many ways to give – and many different ways to time our donations.  We may choose to give a one-time gift, or spread their donation over a longer period of time.  We may give in response to specific appeals, or we may prefer making small gifts on a regular schedule, such as in a monthly giving program. Giving that way also makes the process easier.

Writing one larger check might put too much strain on a budget— while the cost may be more manageable if the overall donation is spread out as a series of gifts throughout the year. That’s why a regular giving program, such as being a monthly donor, can help both the donor and the charity budget more easily. But even when small donations are received on a more random schedule, efficient charities know how to maximize their effectiveness.

The point is that giving— regardless of the amount or the schedule— is always impactful.  Your donations always make a difference.  So when you read about a millionaire’s gift, do not feel intimidated.  Know that in your own way, by making a year-end contribution to your favorite charities, you’re helping just as much, if not more.

Nonprofits can help encourage donors to make whatever donations they can afford, but it’s important to let them  know that their gifts, of any size, matter.  If you are a nonprofit, and would like help getting the word out about the power of small donations, DMANF can provide you with some helpful sample language you can use.  Please contact




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