Designated giving: It’s not just for Presbyterians

A growing trend in the local presbyteries and our synod is for churches to designate their mission giving to specific ministries on the list that the governing body supports leaving some budgets short or having limited unrestricted funds for new opportunities.

From a news story today in the Lompoc Record, this is also the fashion for giving in other organizations.  In this case the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.  The Lompoc Record reports:

According to financial records, about two-thirds of the $47 million that United Way in Los Angeles gave away last fiscal year went to benefactors’ favorite causes, one of the highest ratios in the country.

And in the case of the United Way, it is not just selecting a charity on the list, but the money can be designated for any non-profit that is designated a public charity.  This includes many of the SoCal arts and cultural organizations and Harvard-Westlake School, a college preparatory school with an annual tuition price tag of over $23,000 per year.

The result: “But local United Way officials said donor choices are leaving one of the charity’s fundamental missions – to help meet basic human needs – with a smaller piece of the pie.”

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