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Michigan nonprofits bank on holiday giving

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With the holiday season now underway, Michigan nonprofits are making their big end-of-year push for financial donations.

Over the next couple of weeks, chances are you’ll find lots of letters in your mailbox asking for charitable donations. That's because nonprofits across Michigan are doing their annual end-of-year holiday push for financial donations.

Kyle Caldwell is with the Michigan Nonprofit Association. He likes to call the holiday season the “giving season.”

"Year end is when people are thinking about their taxes and thinking about their charitable contributions, and it’s an important time to think about how you want to spend the precious resources that you have, especially in a tight economy."

Caldwell says most nonprofits in Michigan are struggling to do much more with less. "When you look at individual giving, corporate giving, foundation giving," explains Caldwell, "all of them are really struggling. But corporate and individual giving is especially down.

A survey by the Michigan Nonprofit Association found that, while 80% of people surveyed donate to nonprofits, the size of the donations have decreased over the last two years.

Did you know that Michigan's nonprofit sector is one of the biggest sectors in the state? Here are some facts about the sector from the Michigan Nonprofit Association website:

  • Michigan’s nonprofit sector employs nearly 1 out of every 10 workers in the state.
  • There are more than 47,000 nonprofit organizations in Michigan.
  • The 374,537 nonprofit employees in Michigan earned nearly $14.5 billion in wages in 2009. This translates into an estimated $90 million of personal income tax revenues for Michigan’s state and local governments.
Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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