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British Columbians urged not to lose the giving spirit as holiday season winds down

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130, Photo)

Union Gospel Mission receives 30 per cent of its donations in December, and is encouraging year-round giving

The concentration of donations in the last half of the year leaves charities vulnerable to unexpected economic changes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Christmas has come and gone, and as the holiday season winds down, your sense of giving might be as well. But a local organization wants you to know charities need your help for the rest of the year as well.

According to Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission, that group sees a drop in donations the last few days of the year, into January.

“Up to 60 per cent of our donations come within the last few months of the year, and up to 30 per cent of our donations come during the month of December alone.”

“Those are huge surges and there’s nothing bad about that, it’s great that people want to give around the holidays. There is a bit of a risk that comes with that kind of concentration though.”

Hunka says because most charities rely so heavily on donations throughout the Christmas period, if something unexpected happens at that time of year, like a shift in the economic environment, it has a huge impact on charities’ year-round operations.

“Things dry up in January really rapidly, and then in the summer months, things also get quite dry.”

Hunka says one of the best ways to help year-round is to sign up and donate monthly so organizations know they have funds coming in regularly.