GivingTuesday: Alexandria Nonprofits That Could Use Your Help

Nonprofits could use support as small gift donations have dropped in the U.S. Here are some local nonprofits worth a look.
Emily Leayman,Patch Staff

GivingTuesday is a chance to show support for Alexandria nonprofits during the holiday season.
GivingTuesday is a chance to show support for Alexandria nonprofits during the holiday season. (Shutterstock)

ALEXANDRIA, VA — If you’re like many Virginians, you’ll spend many of the last few days of November immersed in consumerism, buying this and that for your friends and family, and even indulging yourself. GivingTuesday on Nov. 29 is a chance to turn your attention to local nonprofit groups seeing an alarming decline in small gifts.

Since 2012, nonprofits, community and grassroots groups, and mutual aid networks worldwide have used GivingTuesday to galvanize fundraising, rally volunteers and add momentum to their causes.

Local nonprofits are having a particularly tough time this year. The number of donors shrunk by 7 percent in the first half of 2022, largely due to a “collapse” in the number of small-gift supporters, according to the most recent GivingTuesday quarterly fundraising report.

Donors giving $100 or less were down 17 percent in the first six months of the year, and 8 percent fewer donors made gifts of $101 to $500, according to the report.

GivingTuesday is locally led in more than 240 U.S. communities, networks and coalitions, including Giving Local Together in the DC region. You likely have your own favorite causes among the nonprofits, community and grassroots groups and mutual aid organizations that address local needs here in Alexandria.

Alexandria has its own day of giving called Spring2Action each spring, but GivingTuesday is another opportunity to support the city’s nonprofits. One GivingTuesday initiative in Alexandria will benefit Rosie’s Riveters and ALIVE! Rosie’s Riveters supports girls in STEM, while ALIVE! provides food assistance and other programs to Alexandrians in need.

Participating Old Town businesses that will contribute a portion of sales to benefit the nonprofits are 3 Sisters, Chadwicks Restaurant, fiibre space (20 percent of sales goes to Project Knitwell), Lucky Knot, Old Town Books, Penny Post, Red Barn Mercantile, Salon DeZEN and Ten Thousand Villages.

Some worthy causes to support directly in Alexandria include:

  • Act for Alexandria: A foundation serving as a coordinator and funder to organizations serving Alexandria
  • ALIVE!: A nonprofit providing safety net programs such as food assistance to Alexandrians in need
  • Carpenter’s Shelter: A homeless shelter in Alexandria helping its clients transition to independent living
  • Animal Welfare League of Alexandria: Providing shelter and adoptions to pets in need and services for pet owners in Alexandria
  • Islamic Relief USA: This Alexandria-based relief organization’s Giving Tuesday campaign is focused on helping refugees during the colder months.
  • Community Lodgings: A nonprofit working to help homeless and low-income families with transitional and affordable housing.
  • The Campagna Center: A nonprofit providing programs to serve Alexandria youth and adults.
  • Senior Services of Alexandria: A nonprofit providing Meals on Wheels and other services for seniors in Alexandria.
  • Alexandria Tutoring Consortium: An organization helping Alexandria City Public Schools students become proficient in reading.

See other nonprofits to support from Volunteer Alexandria and Great Nonprofits.

There are some bright spots in the GivingTuesday fundraising report, released by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, a research effort of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Foundation for Philanthropy and GivingTuesday.

Importantly, although the pool of donors shrunk in the first half of 2022, the dollars contributed increased 6.2 percent as major donors stepped up. At the same time, the increase in large donor contributions was outpaced by second-quarter inflation rate of about 8.5 percent.

“Recaptured donors” — people who at one point had given to an organization, but not in the most recent reporting period — grew by 6.3 percent.

That group likely includes people who supported a charity in a surge of pandemic giving in 2020, as well as those who paused their charitable donations during the first two years of the pandemic and gave again this year, according to Lori Gusdorf, executive vice president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals group, said in a news release.