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New web site offers a Safe Way People Can Donate to Local Charities; Also Serves as a Clearinghouse of Information on Area Nonprofits.

WASHINGTON, DC - November 21, 2002 - As the financial crisis intensifies for local nonprofits, we risk losing vital organizations that feed the hungry, house the homeless, and offer emotional support to people whose lives are broken. Local nonprofits are facing drastic funding cuts from every direction — foundation and corporate giving is down, and government cutbacks are looming.

Contributions and volunteer manpower are needed now more than ever, and local nonprofits are looking to individuals in the Washington region to provide this much needed assistance. In a sign of the times, DC area nonprofits are turning to e-philanthropy as a way to attract individual donors and combat this funding crisis. Today, a coalition of 20 organizations led by Washington Grantmakers is launching, a web site where people in the Washington region can safely and easily donate time and money to their favorite local charity. Best of all, the charity will receive 100 percent of each contribution. was created by an unprecedented coalition of funders, businesses, and nonprofit umbrella organizations — it is supported by the AOL Time Warner Foundation and powered by Network for Good. The site serves as a clearinghouse of information on area nonprofits, highlighting issues of concern in our region, human interest stories, and specific charitable initiatives in the community.

The TouchDC Coalition, along with local broadcast and print media outlets, is conducting a public awareness campaign during the 2002 holiday season to drive supporters to The goal is to capitalize on end — of — year giving, and remind individuals how vitally important their contributions are to our region.

Trends in Giving

Washington Grantmakers' recently released report, A Region of Givers, 2002, forecasts a drop in individual, foundation, and corporate giving for 2002 in the Washington region, primarily due to the economic downturn. Foundation endowments have eroded, government budget cutbacks are imminent, and lower earnings have flattened corporate giving.

In June 2002, Washington Grantmakers conducted a survey of over 2,300 local charities to determine how the current economic environment has affected their fundraising and to assess the demand for their services within the community.

  • 80% of the nonprofits responding reported that corporate support had remained flat or decreased.
  • 71% of nonprofits surveyed reported that foundation grants had decreased or stayed the same.
  • 54% reported that individual giving had stayed the same or decreased.
  • At the same time, 82% of these nonprofits reported that the demand for their services had increased over the past 12 months.

In response to this critical funding crisis, the TouchDC Coalition is working to encourage strong individual giving in our region and to highlight the value added by local nonprofits.

Washington Grantmakers is a network of 142 funders who give in the National Capital Region and who support and promote effective and responsible grantmaking. Our members represent over $20 billion in assets and their annual giving totals $991 Million.

Contact: Eric Rigaud

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