The article cites United Way campaigns in Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, upstate New York and Pennsylvania as examples of a national trend. It reports that smaller campaigns seem to be faring worse than larger ones.
The unofficial word among CFC insiders suggests that the same may be true in the federal campaign: almost everybody is down, but small campaigns are down more.
The article speculates about causes for the decline:
- Fundraising through intermediaries is losing popularity.
- Many people are out of work.
- Higher-wage manufacturing jobs are being replaced with lower-wage service jobs.
The federal workplace is different from private companies, of course. But perhaps some of the factors leading to a drop in private sector workplace giving have parallels in the public sector.
Like the CFC, many United Way campaigns have been declining steadily for the past few years. It will be another year or two before we know with confidence whether we’re seeing an anomaly or a long-term trend. Meanwhile, many of the charities supported by these campaigns will have to get along with less.