Nonprofits across Detroit are hoping to receive an influx of donations this Giving Tuesday

Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 18:27:51-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The holiday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in which people are encouraged do something charitable.

Nonprofits say this comes as they're seeing a growing need for services and stagnant or declining donations and volunteerism.

"We have seen a marked increase of 15% month over month for those coming to us for all services: our parents needing support with diapers, formula, those coming to us for the food pantry, those coming to us for the soup kitchen," said Joe Zakens with Cross Roads of Michigan.

Cross Roads is a non profit that provides dried goods, hygiene items, transportation and clothing for people in need. Zakens says their ability to serve people in need is directly tied to the number of volunteers they have which trailed off during the pandemic.

According the chronicle of Philanthropy, donations to nonprofits dropped 7% in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021.

"This time of year is critical for all of us, 42% of our revenue is individual gifts," said Zakens. "With inflation we can only do so much with our dollar. We’re seeing more people come to us for help so that donation is not going as far as it did in previous years."

Nonprofits say they also need more volunteers.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Braun and her family helped restock the food pantry at Cross Roads.

"I wanted them to actually give back and do something rather than just donating money. I wanted them to be invested in the process," said Braun as she stood next to her children.

Calvin Colbert who is the executive director at Detroit Impact, a nonprofit that provides safe spaces for kids, said they've been dealing with similar issues.

"Detroit Impact, over its 31 years of existence has existed through grant writing, through program development and fundraising but since we were impacted by the pandemic our funding has fallen off," said Colbert.

Colbert says his organization needs dollars to support operational costs and programs. Detroit Impact currently offers reading literacy programs, free books, anti-violence initiatives, mental health counseling and several other services. Colbert says the services are becoming increasingly important.

"Many of our young people today are submerged in negative. They whole world is dark. So, we have to reveal to them that ain't all of it. That exists but look at this over here."

Nonprofits across Detroit say they hope people are reminded of the importance of a gift this holiday season. They say whether people volunteer time or monetary donations, it goes a long way.

"We’ve been doing this work for 51 years, so we’ve certainly seen recessions, we’ve seen struggles in the economy and inflation. We know together we can do this work," said Zakens.

For more information on how to help Detroit Impact or Cross Roads of Michigan, visit their respective websites.