Year end donations could put money back in your pocket

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Christmas has passed, but basic needs are still great across the river region. Days before the new year, many local nonprofit agencies need support.

"The River Region United Way has not yet met its goal for the campaign in total," says board President, Roger Spain.

He's optimistic year-end giving will pick up since he says that's usually the organization's busiest season.

However, donations aren't what they used to be.

"The worries that people have about the economy are still running deep."

Spain says the United Way and the nearly 50 agencies it disperses money to are feeling the crunch.

The Family Sunshine Center is one of them.

"Which makes it very difficult to plan how to run your organization and to be able to provide the same level of services," says Executive Director, Karen Sellers.

The agency lends a helping hand to domestic violence victims.  Sellers admits, she has made some difficult decisions over the past year.

"Cut back on things like training, transportation, direct services to victims."

But it doesn't have to be that way. She and Spain are asking people to dig a little deeper before 2012 rolls around.

"I guess it's an opportunity to feel good," she says.

"The need is great," adds Spain.

And it could wind up benefiting your bottom line, too.

"Giving right before the end of the year makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. Most charitable gifts--certainly if it's to a 501(c) 3 is very likely to be a tax deductible gift," says Spain.

United Way directors say you can donate money to a designated organization or to their general gift campaign.

They say general donations end up going to the agencies with the greatest need.

If you'd like to donate to the United Way or any of their partnering agencies, visit their website at

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.