Volunteering and charitable donations are more important than ever as the cost of living continues to rise and charitable organizations work to meet the growing demand of those in need.
In late 2022, energy costs are rising sharply as cold weather approaches in many parts of the United States. According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, rising natural gas prices are driving increases in wholesale power prices resulting in higher retail electricity prices. At the same time, rent continues to increase. Asking rent prices were 23% higher nationwide in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same time period in 2019, according to a report from Axios.
As prices and inflation increase, volunteers and individual financial donations can make a vital difference as charitable organizations can’t react to the market as businesses can.
“The value to the community of donating time and money cannot be underestimated,” said Elizabeth Hupp, O-I Global Social Engagement Leader. “Most nonprofits depend on financial donations from individuals and the corporate world and they need volunteer help to fill in where they have shortage in staffing, or sudden emergency demand,” she added.
Estimated National Value of Volunteer Time Increases
The latest Value of Volunteer Time report from IndependentSector.org with the Do Good Institute estimates that each volunteer hour has a current estimated national value of $29.95, a 4.9% increase from 2020 to 2021. Hupp pointed out that while putting a monetary value on volunteer hours doesn’t begin to do them justice, it provides nonprofits with a tool to quantify volunteers’ tremendous value.
“O-I encourages our people to give back and actively participate in their communities. We strive to positively impact the planet and communities where we operate by supporting employee contributions and volunteerism,” Hupp said.
The O-I Charities Foundation donates more than $1.5 million (USD) annually to charities and non-profit organizations in North America, along with numerous grant programs. Through our robust Employee Matching Gift Program, which matches donations dollar-for-dollar and provides a 2:1 match for educational gifts, the Foundation amplifies employee giving and provides longer-term investments in areas where the company can support broad movements for social change.
A Desperate Need for Help
In Northwest Ohio, where O-I is headquartered, agencies serving low-income and homeless clients are tightening belts and gearing up for the challenges ahead as the homeless population continues to grow. As a result, there is a desperate need for financial donations and volunteers to help meet the increasing demand for services.
“We continue to see a rise in homelessness in the city of Toledo, so our numbers that we reported back in summer was about a 78% increase. We continue to see those numbers climb,” said Cherry Street Mission Vice President of Programs Savannah Rayford in an interview on WTOL.com.
The story is repeating across the United States. In August, the United States Census Bureau estimated that 3.8 million tenants would likely be evicted in September and October. As a comparison, the Census Bureau reported that only 3.6 million evictions were filed in all of 2018.
According to a new report from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, as the chances of an economic recession grow, nonprofits are losing the supporters who could help them navigate a downturn. The report cites a 7% loss in the number of donors to organizations in the first half of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021. In addition, fewer people are making small gift donations. Seventeen percent fewer people contributed $100 or less during the first six months of 2022, while the number of people making gifts of $101 – $500 was lower by 8% compared to the previous year.
Volunteer Support and Donations Are Vital During This Challenging Season
O-I supports nonprofit organizations on a corporate level and through its employees. It is active in education, arts and culture, environment, and the basic needs of its local communities.
“O-I works to positively impact the planet and communities where we operate by supporting employee contributions and volunteerism,” Hupp said. “We are proud to make a difference in the lives of others, especially today.”
Wherever you live, join O-I in giving back to your community and creating a more sustainable future.