Giving Back | Jacksonville.com

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Giving Their Best

First Coast residents respond for the sake of others

It was one of Charles Dickens' lesser-known — but exceedingly wise — characters, Doctor Marigold, who said that, "No one is useless inthis world who lightens the burdens of another."
And there are many burdens in need of lightening in Northeast Florida. There is the child who holds his empty stomach as he tries tosleep, the man on a park bench trying to avoid January's chill wind, a woman in pain and in fear of an abusive spouse, and all thoseinjured or displaced by Florida's hurricanes.
Through the years, the hearts of those who live in this area have overflowed with the wish to lighten another's burden. Jacksonville'speople are a generous group, who give not only of their purses, but also of themselves to change the quality of life in Northeast Florida.

The Community Foundation is one of the organizations in Jacksonville helping to facilitate the national initiative by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts called Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child. Jacksonville was selected as the 14th Any Given Child community and is now poised to use the arts to transform public education.Participation in the arts has been shown to act as a catalyst for change in children's lives, setting them up to succeed in school and in life.


According to the 2015 State of the Sector report,"the health of the nonprofit sector is as critical to our economic well-being and qualityof life as the health of other sectors of our economy — housing, transportation, manufacturing and so forth."
In 2013, there were approximately 1,500 nonprofit organizations serving the Northeast Florida region (made up of Duval, Clay, Baker,Nassau and St. Johns counties). During that year, these organizations generated $6.8 billion in revenue, employed more than 56,000people and depended on 114,000 volunteers.
By 2015, the volunteer figure had risen to more than 153,000. These compassionate, but unpaid, workers recorded 4.56 million hourswith a fiscal value just shy of $100 million. Independent Sector, a network of nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporations,estimates that an hour of volunteer time in Florida is valued at $21.61.
Donations in this region also were substantial. The same five-county area is ranked fourth in giving for the state of Florida, according tophilanthropy.com's 2015 figures. The median contribution in the Jacksonville Metro area is $3,970 vs. the state median contribution of$3,346. The percentage of income given in the Jacksonville area is 4.08 percent vs. the state percentage of 3.58 percent.

Four well-trained rescue dogs wait eagerly - and obediently - to meet their new companions at K9s For Warriors. The organization calls these dogs "prescirptions on four legs," because of the improvement in the lives of military veterans who receive the dogs. Of K9s For Warriors graduates, 92 percent report a reduction in medications, 82 percent report a decrease in suicidal thoughts, 73 percent report improvement in overall health and 93 percent benefit from the physical and mental bond shared with their dogs.


But, where do the donations go? And how are nonprofits in the five-county area supported monetarily?
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, the typical organization receives about half its income from fees for service, about athird from government sources and less than 15 percent from philanthropy.
However, nonprofits in Northeast Florida rely much more heavily on revenue from philanthropy than those in other parts of the country.
Northeast Florida's largest nonprofits (based on 2013 revenues) typically receive 27 percent of their revenue from philanthropy — morethan twice the national norm. They also receive slightly less than the norm in fees for service and government funds. But, withNortheast Florida's smallest nonprofits, philanthropy counts for nearly two-thirds of their revenue. That is not surprising since theseorganizations have budgets of less than $50,000 a year, which is not likely to attract government funding, and their fees for servicetend to be membership or admission fees. So, they are dependent on individual contributions and an occasional small grant.
Thus, the burden is still heavy, and your help is always needed. If you don't know where to begin, if you haven't found the "giving"place that is right for you, then read about the organizations in this section. Find the burden that you can lighten, and — in doing so —lighten your own spirit.

DID YOU KNOW ...

In 2015, there were 153,000 volunteers for nonprofit organizations in the Northeast Florida region? These compassion-ate, but unpaid, workers recorded 4.56 million hours with a fiscal value just shy of $100 million.
Northeast Florida also is a very generous region, ranked fourth in giving for the state of Florida? The median contribution in the Jacksonville Metro area is $3,970 vs. the state median contribution of $3,346. The percentage of income given in the Jacksonville area is 4.08 percent vs. the state percentage of 3.58 percent.
Northeast Florida's largest nonprofits (based on 2013 revenues) typically receive 27 percent of their revenue from philanthropy — more than twice the national norm? But, with Northeast Florida's small-est nonprofits, philan-thropy counts for nearly two-thirds of their revenue.