Editorial: Closing the Giving Gap

Last Thursday, the county’s Board of Supervisors again wrestled with its evolving effort to take politics and personal preferences out of the annual exercise of diverting a small amount of tax revenue to shore up the community safety net created by area nonprofits.

It’s proven to be a frustrating exercise that always leaves a few important support organizations without the funding they expected or needed to continue their mission. It also drums up questions about the government’s role in aiding charities and about who is best qualified to make the funding judgments. None of those concerns will go away.

Next Tuesday, county residents have an opportunity to make their own choices and help ensure that the organizations they believe contribute the most value to the community have the resources they need to succeed.

The 2018 Give Choose campaign organized by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties allows residents to support 65 nonprofits that touch every corner of the county.

These organizations step in to provide services the government can’t, or shouldn’t. At the same time, they depend on community donations in a county where, studies show, residents contribute far less of their incomes to charities than those in neighboring jurisdictions. The latest version of the How America Gives report, which gleans information from tax returns, found that Loudoun residents give 1.9 percent of their income to charity, below even the statewide average of 2.9 percent.

The one-day Give Choose campaign can help close that gap.

Since the program was launched in 2014, it has distributed more than $600,000. Last year alone, some 1,600 individuals contributed nearly a quarter million dollars, many with donations of as little as $10.

Ten dollars and a click of your computer keyboard can make a difference. It starts at givechoose.org.

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