How local charities are affected when major disasters strike

How local charities are affected when major disasters strike

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In the wake of national and global devastation, it's common for local non-relief charities to see a short-term decline in financial contributions, said Rick Cohen, spokesman for the National Council of Nonprofits. Many of those groups, including the food bank, are now feeling the effects of donor fatigue after an unusual onslaught of recent disasters: multiple hurricanes, an earthquake in Mexico, wildfires out west, the Las Vegas shooting massacre.

Natural disasters and other catastrophes that get significant media coverage trigger an outpouring of financial support, most of which is funneled to disaster response agencies such as the American Red Cross, Cohen said. In many cases, donors who give regularly to local causes will temporarily redirect their contributions toward larger-scale relief efforts.

"Does it divert some money from some nonprofits? Absolutely. And with so many nonprofits very reliant on every donation they can get, it can make a really big difference," Cohen said. "But at the end of the day, when there are disasters, people try to dig a little bit deeper, and they'll continue supporting the groups they've always supported."

Source Name: 
Chicago Daily Herald
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