ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Dec. 26, 2023) — As the end of holiday giving approaches, reports show charitable giving continues to decline while demand for social service programs is high. According to a Giving USA report, the overall year-over-year giving is down by more than 10% when adjusted for inflation.1 The Salvation Army, the country’s largest nongovernmental provider of social services, relies heavily on end-of-year contributions to provide essential services at Christmas and for the next year. The national Red Kettle Campaign, a major holiday fundraising effort for the organization, is currently tracking nearly 12% behind the same time last year, despite still climbing above pre-pandemic levels.
With the depletion of federal aid programs, the need to provide financial assistance to those struggling to make ends meet is greater. One in 3 Americans say they are financially worse off now than they were a year earlier,2 almost 92 million people have had difficulty paying for essential household expenses in the last week,3 and 44.2 million people in America are food insecure.4 Nonprofits are also facing increased operating costs. Some local Salvation Army corps have experienced increased costs anywhere from 10% to 50%.
With a footprint of nearly 7,000 locations across the U.S., The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to meet local needs with tailored programs for each community as long as resources are available. In 2023, The Salvation Army assisted nearly 24 million people and served over 155 million meals, safeguarded 8 million people with shelter or lodging assistance, and provided more than 3 million individuals and families with rent and utility assistance to help them stay in their homes and keep the lights on.
“We are grateful for every generous dollar entrusted to us,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “Without that support, The Salvation Army would not be able to effectively meet the needs of vulnerable people in nearly every ZIP code across the United States, today and next year.”
The best way to love beyond the holidays and help make a difference for neighbors in need is by visiting SalvationArmyUSA.org to make a donation or learn more about ways to support or volunteer with The Salvation Army all year round.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army helped nearly 24 million people in 2022 overcome poverty, addiction, and spiritual and economic hardships by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in His name without discrimination in nearly every ZIP code. By providing food, shelter, eviction prevention assistance, emergency disaster relief, rehabilitation, after-school and summer youth programs, spiritual enrichment, and more, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at nearly 7,000 centers of operation around the country. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on X @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.
1 Giving USA report, June 2023. Summary from Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
2 Federal Reserve, May 2023. Summary of “Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022”
3 U.S. Census Bureau, 2023 Household Pulse Survey of “Spending Tables”
4 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service “Food Security Status of U.S. Households in 2022”