Thousands of Nebraskans — and the millions more they serve — woke up this morning in need of your help. Unlike the past few months, they didn’t have the marketing budget allure, imminent tax incentives, or the holiday spirit to fuel solicitations. They hope you recognize that charitable giving is not a transient, blink-and-you-miss-it proposition; it’s a year-round emergency.
With a new calendar to navigate, there’s no shortage of considerations for business owners to evaluate. Key performance indicators (KPIs), financial forecasting, tax preparation. Let’s make one a simple reality: charitable organizations operate year-round. “To the best of our knowledge, there are more than 10,000 active tax-exempt organizations operating in Nebraska,” said Jim Hegarty, BBB Midwest Plains President & CEO. “These organizations have pressing needs that span all four seasons and the vital support they provide extends beyond the traditional peak months of giving. November and December collectively garner some 35% of annual contributions. Support is needed throughout the calendar.”
From grants expiring in March to essential programming commencing in April, salaries to meet in May, and mouths to feed in June, the demands on these organizations persist throughout the year. Since President Eisenhower formally initiated workplace giving in 1956, a historical trend has emerged, with a predominant concentration of charitable contributions occurring in the latter part of the year. Increasingly it seems that these campaigns are compressed into a handful of weeks between the holiday festivities.
Most charities function as year-round operations, necessitating sustained support, both in terms of donations and volunteer assistance. Encouragingly, each of us can play a pivotal role in fostering a culture of sustained giving by considering becoming sustaining (monthly) contributors or dedicating days throughout the year to volunteer collectively, ensuring that the spirit of giving transcends temporal boundaries.
The desire for a service-minded ethos stands out among Generation Z, according to numerous studies. As evidenced by scholarship recipients like Matea Gordon, the next generation of employees actively seeks out organizations that prioritize social impact. As a business owner, aligning with this desire not only resonates positively with prospective employees but also reinforces a commitment to corporate social responsibility.
For those interested in supporting a community organization but faced with the dilemma of choice or seeking additional information, a valuable resource is available. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers Give.org, a comprehensive website dedicated to evaluating nonprofits. Upheld by the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance, this platform assesses thousands of charities against 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. These standards encompass governance, oversight, effectiveness of service, financial practices, and solicitation methods, offering prospective donors a transparent view into an organization’s impact and practices.
“The communities we serve — and the businesses that operate in them — are remarkably charitable,” said Hegarty. “Our community should take great pride in that.”
Let’s collectively elevate philanthropy beyond a seasonal surge. By recognizing and addressing the year-round needs of charitable organizations, businesses and individuals alike have the power to make a sustained, positive impact on the communities they serve. Through ongoing support, both financial and through volunteerism, we can ensure that the spirit of giving remains vibrant and impactful throughout the entire year.
BBB Student of Integrity Scholarship Recipient
Student: Matea Gordon
Currently studying at: South Dakota State University
Major: Business Economics
Anticipated Graduation Date: 2026
What does Integrity mean to you?
Integrity means making good choices that are honest and fair, and represent good moral character.
When joining the workforce, what are your expectations for an employer/organization?
I would like an environment where employees are valued for their contributions and have a voice to share
What are the most significant aspects of a prospective company to you and why would you be interested in working for a specific organization?
I want a culture that is inviting for employees and service-minded for customers. I would like the opportunity to utilize and grow my skills and be compensated for my efforts. As a new individual in my career field, I would be seeking mentors who engage with and challenge me. I would like some in-person work for the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others.
As an SOI recipient, how has the scholarship helped you with your educational journey?
My scholarship has allowed me to focus on my academics and enjoy learning with a little less financial stress.
Better Business Bureau
of the Midwest Plains
Address: 11811 P St, Omaha, NE 68137
Social Media: @BBBMidwestPlains