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Hard times mean less holiday donations

NISKAYUNA -- Since the height of the recession givers have felt a little less generous when it comes to non-profits, especially during the holiday season. But we are told by the Community Foundation that this year things are looking up.

"We have been seeing over the past one to two years that giving among individuals has definitely been on the increase, and attendance at events, other types of fundraising's that other organization's rely on," Community Foundation president, Karen Bilowith tells us.

"Any time a store asks me for a contribution, to add it to my bill I tack it on," says one shopper.

"A little bit of decline in the number of people coming out. Some people are just so generous and wonderful and others, they just don't have it and that is okay too," says Jean Barnoski who was out ringing bells for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.

It's this time of year that many organizations rely on your donations, and it's when the majority of their revenue comes in. Many are challenged with making up for cuts in federal or state funding, but when the money they need is coming from people who simply can't afford it, resources get stretched thin.

"So as their demand for services has gone up their donations may have gone down and it's created a real challenge for the local organizations," says Bilowith.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign was out Saturday, hoping busy holiday shoppers can part with some extra change.

"The salvation army depends on this and that's why we are so willing to do it every year because there are people in need," Barnoski says.

"We see a lot of local organizations doing their end of the year appeals, and using new strategies. So using more social media and online giving as an opportunity for donors," Bilowith adds.

If you would like to help a local non profit this holiday season but aren't sure which one to choose, then the Community Foundation is here to help you. You can find them online at: http://www.cfgcr.org/