631-582-FOOD

Author Archives: Paule Pachter

  1. Will Millennials Be The Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part Three

    Comments Off on Will Millennials Be The Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part Three

    Long Island Cares, Inc. recently contracted with The AIMsights Group to implement its own research project to gauge the interest of millennials specifically on Long Island in supporting the regional food bank, and to find out how the population feels about ending hunger and lifting people out of poverty in Nassau and Suffolk County. The research findings were quite revealing, and one fact became certain in that, millennials on Long Island are not typical of millennials across the country when it comes to philanthropy and donating to local charities.  The research took place online from June 7-13, 2019.  The survey captured the responses of 525 respondents including 309 millennials between the ages of 19-34; 110 members of Gen X between the ages of 39-54; and 106 Baby Boomers between the ages of 55-73.  Respondents had to earn an annual household income of least $30,000, which is just about $3,000 above the national poverty level for a family of four in the United States.

    I was not surprised with the responses we received from millennials when we asked about their relationship with money. Less than half of the millennials surveyed (48.8%) said that they are able to support themselves and have extra money to spend while, (37.1%) report that they budget to pay their bills and have limited extra cash. Finally, (15.2%) said that they have a hard time managing money and budgeting. When asked if they had $1,000 to spend, less than one-percent (0.95%) said that they would donate it to a charity. The vast majority of millennials (86.8%) would apply extra cash to pay bills including, loans or they would try to save some of it.

    When asked what’s important in life, the majority of millennials surveyed (90.1%) said that being financially secure is the most important goal in their life. Being able to balance responsibilities and a social life accounted for (52%) of our responses, and just (27.2%) felt that it was important to help others.  When it comes to charitable causes, (26.3%) identified Hunger and Poverty as an important cause for them.  While (80%) of our respondents between the ages of 19-34 said they would donate to a charity they supported their donations would be split between cash and non-cash donations such as clothing and furniture. Most of our respondents also said that they would donate to a charity and cause based upon the recommendations of family members or friends.  Millennials between the ages of 25-34 said they would donate monthly but the donation would average about $20.  Those respondents between the ages of 35-38 said that they would donate twice per year.

    Millennials are going to be difficult to cultivate as donors by Long Island nonprofits. The population on Long Island is struggling to pay their monthly bills, student loans and rent if they are fortunate enough to live independently.  It’s doubtful that millennials will support annual dinners or golf outings, however they are willing to make small monetary contributions to causes they can relate to, and they certainly will donate if requested to support a coat or food drive.  If the cost of living on Long Island continues to increase, there is the possibility that millennials will continue to leave our region, and we might be skipping a generation of potential donors. Although I’m not ready to give up on millennials as donors, it is going to be a challenge.

     

    October 10, 2019

     

  2. Will Millennials Be The Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part II

    Comments Off on Will Millennials Be The Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part II

    Long Island Cares, Inc. recently contracted with The AIMsights Group to implement its own research project to gauge the interest of millennials specifically on Long Island in supporting the regional food bank, and to find out how the population feels about ending hunger and lifting people out of poverty in Nassau and Suffolk County. The research findings were quite revealing, and one fact became certain in that, millennials on Long Island are not typical of millennials across the country when it comes to philanthropy and donating to local charities.  The research took place online from June 7-13, 2019.  The survey captured the responses of 525 respondents including 309 millennials between the ages of 19-34; 110 members of Gen X between the ages of 39-54; and 106 Baby Boomers between the ages of 55-73.  Respondents had to earn an annual household income of least $30,000, which is just about $3,000 above the national poverty level for a family of four in the United States.

    I was quite surprised with the responses we received from millennials when we asked them what causes they would support if they had the financial resources to donate to a local charity. Among the 19-34 age group, Mental Health was their number one choice followed by Education and the Environment.  Education was the top-ranked cause among people 35-38, and for respondents in the 39-73 age group, Chronic Illness was their number one concern.  The issue of Hunger and Poverty ranked 4.2 within the top five priorities.  Although food banks are going to have to work harder if we want to engage millennials to support our mission, my colleagues in the Mental Health field should be developing strategic plans that identify millennials as a potential donor base.  Given the social climate we live in and the stresses that millennials experience related to income, affordable housing, gun violence, substance abuse and other concerns, it makes sense to me that Mental Health is their top priority.  Millennials tend to donate to causes they have a connection to and there are more people coping with mental illness then experiencing food insecurity on Long Island.

    When asked how they would donate to a charity, millennials said they would donate cash and non-cash such as donating clothing, furniture or volunteering. They also view posting on social media as a way of supporting charities.  Between 2-20% of millennials would be willing to donate only once or once annually to local charities, while the majority said they would donate monthly or twice per year.  The challenge nonprofit organizations will face is that millennials have a cap of between $20-50 of how much they can afford and are willing to donate.  Realistically, millennials can’t be seen currently as potential major donors.

    When it came to what would inspire millennials to donate to a charity, 75% said that a personal experience is most important, 49% said they would be open to a recommendation from family or friends, while 26% said they’re inspired by online stories about charitable organizations. The majority of Long Island millennials also said that the ability to help people directly, along with proof that their $20-50 donation would make a difference in someone’s life would determine their donation.

    For Long Island nonprofits, the stage is set when it comes to cultivating millennial donors. If your organization focuses on Mental Health, Education, Environment, Hunger or Animal Welfare, you might have some opportunities to engage millennials. If you’re willing to do the outreach and marketing, or create special events to cultivate a $20-50 donation, move one step forward.  If you can prove that your programs help people directly and you can document a real successful outcome, take another step forward.  My next column will review millennials’ relationship with money and their decision-making about how they’re willing to support charitable organizations.

     

    September 11, 2019

  3. Will Millennials Be the Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part I

    Comments Off on Will Millennials Be the Future Donors Long Island Nonprofits Can Bank On? Part I

    There has been much documented about the millennial population on a national level, as a potentially untapped donor base for the nonprofit sector. The research conducted by various organizations such as the Blackboard Institute on a national level portray millennials as being interested in volunteering their time to support social causes and charities that have a specific meaning to certain segments of the population.  Other researchers have highlighted millennials’ focus on social responsibility, and the fact that many within the 19-38 age group will support businesses that have established a social responsibility footprint by championing certain charitable causes such as improving the environment or supporting common sense gun control policies and legislation.

    Recently, Long Island Cares contracted with The AIMsights Group to implement its own research project to gauge the interest of millennials specifically on Long Island in supporting the regional food bank, and to find out how the population feels about ending hunger and lifting people out of poverty in Nassau and Suffolk County. The research findings were quite revealing, and one fact became certain in that, millennials on Long Island are not typical of millennials across the country when it comes to philanthropy and donating to local charities.  One contributing factor to this discrepancy just might lie in the reality that most millennials in the United States leave their family home prior to age 24 while many on Long Island are lagging a decade behind in living independently due to the high cost of living and low wages that have come to define the Long Island Region.

    The research conducted by AIMsights on behalf of Long Island Cares, Inc. took place online from June 7-13, 2019. The survey captured the responses of 525 respondents including 309 millennials between the ages of 19-34; 110 members of Gen X between the ages of 39-54; and 106 Baby Boomers between the ages of 55-73.  Respondents had to earn an annual household income of least $30,000, which is just about $3,000 above the national poverty level for a family of four in the United States.  An online survey was significant in reaching out to all Long Islanders and especially to millennials.  One of the findings the research showed us is that, donating to a charity through its organization’s website is the top donation channel for all Long Island age groups. Therefore, if my colleagues in the nonprofit sector are not investing their funds to develop user-friendly websites that make it easy for people to donate to your cause, we are not going to increase our donors.  Websites that are compatible with a person’s smartphone and tablet are essential in reaching out to millennial and other tech-savvy donors.  The challenge some nonprofit organizations will have is being able to afford the $65-100,000 price tag that comes with developing a sophisticated website that provides the information people need to read and the opportunity to make a donation with a single click.

    The annual income of our respondents ran the gamut between $30,000-$100,000 or more with the 19-24 age group earning less than $50,000 and the 35-38 age group earning more than $100,000 leaving the 25-34 age group somewhere in the middle. When you consider that a family of four on Long Island needs to earn at least $95,000 annually to meet our high cost of living, it does not leave much income left to donate to a charity.  However, when we asked the question, “What would you do with $1,000 if you had extra cash,” the responses in order of priority were pay bills; save it; and spend it on something fun.  Unless nonprofit charities can offer something fun for millennials to donate to we might not be able to engage their interest.  The survey did not ask respondents what they define as fun but, we did ask them to identify the causes they would donate to, and I’ll share that with you in my next column.

     

     

    Originally published in the HIA-LI Reporter, September, 2019

  4. You Can Get Involved in Reducing Food Insecurity on Long Island by Getting Involved in the HIA-LI Summer Food Drive

    Comments Off on You Can Get Involved in Reducing Food Insecurity on Long Island by Getting Involved in the HIA-LI Summer Food Drive

    In a region often known for its wealth, picturesque beaches, gold coast mansions, and numerous golf courses one would have to wonder why 9.0% of its population is struggling with domestic hunger and food insecurity. But this is the reality on Long Island where approximately 259,000 people including 77,000 children face food insecurity on a daily or weekly basis, where nearly 65,000 people utilize the services of their local food pantries or soup kitchens each week to access emergency food provided by the regional food bank and other organizations whose mission is to feed the hungry.  Despite an economy improving, a reduction in the number of people unemployed, and an increase in New York State funding for hunger prevention, there are nearly 3 million New Yorkers that face food insecurity every day, and 9.0% live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

    The late Harry Chapin who founded Long Island Cares, Inc. as the regional food bank in 1980 spent his career advocating for solutions to the problem of hunger in America. Chapin dedicated the income from half of his concerts to two organizations that he founded, WHY Hunger and Long Island Cares.  Providing emergency food to people in need was secondary to Chapin’s vision for Long Island Cares.  He was more focused on understanding and educating the public and Congress about the root causes of hunger and in 1980 along with his wife Sandy, he founded Long Island Cares.  Thirty-nine years later, we’re still trying to educate people about the root causes of hunger, but we’ve come a long way towards ensuring that no Long Islander needs to go hungry in 2019.

    The root causes of food insecurity or hunger on Long Island are no different in our region than across the country, and focusing on income or government assistance often misses the mark. Hunger on Long Island is the result of underemployment where parents are working 2-3 different jobs to pay their bills, family instability, insufficient education, a history of racial or ethnic discrimination, disability status, aging and living alone, personal choice or a combination of these factors.  For families facing food insecurity it means having a lack of access to food when they do not have the resources to put a nutritious meal on their table, and relying upon a food pantry to help stretch your food budget, especially if there are children involved.

    Solving hunger on Long Island can’t be achieved by food or government entitlements alone. The solution requires community engagement, corporate partnerships, enhanced personal responsibility and stable government programs.  That’s where the HIA-LI and you can make a difference.  The HIA-LI and Long Island Cares annually partner to host The HIA-LI Summer Food Drive where all of the association’s members can donate non-perishable food or make a donation to Long Island Cares to provide nutritious food to our neighbors in need. Getting involved has never been easier, just log onto https://www.hia-li.org/hia-li-events/annual-food-drive/ and complete the registration form, or email Billy Gonyou at wgonyou@licares.org. Together we can solve hunger on Long Island.

     

     

    Originally published in the HIA-LI Reporter, August, 2019

  5. New Data Shows a Continued Decrease in the Number of Long Islanders Struggling with Hunger

    Comments Off on New Data Shows a Continued Decrease in the Number of Long Islanders Struggling with Hunger

    PAULE T. PACHTER
    Chief Executive Officer

    Recent data released by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, shows a 4.8 percent decrease in the number of Long Islanders struggling with food insecurity and hunger in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The February, 2019 “Map the Meal Gap” report, which provides an estimate of the number of people affected by food insecurity based upon the number of people living 200 percent below and above the national poverty level, describes a total of 155,150 Nassau and Suffolk residents as being food insecure. The totals include Long Island residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), temporary assistance and non-temporary assistance through the departments of Social Services. The regional figure of 155,150 people however, only represents one-third of the number of Long Islanders visiting the 525 community-based pantries, soup kitchens, and other emergency food provider programs that receive 50 percent of their food from Long Island Cares. Despite the encouraging decrease, Long Island Cares reports a 10 percent increase in the number of visits to its three satellite locations in Freeport, Lindenhurst, and Huntington Station, an increase also reported many of our larger member agencies.

    There are an additional 103,434 people living on Long Island who earn more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($25,100 for a family of four) who are utilizing their local pantry in an effort to manage their food budgets. These are individuals who are part of the working poor on Long Island, and are making choices based upon their expenses for other important essentials and food, and they represent two-thirds of the people we see within our network of member agencies.

    Feeding America’s 2017 “Map the Meal Gap” report found that there are 272,000 people on Long Island who struggled with food insecurity and hunger. When combining both the recent Feeding America and Long Island Cares’ data we determined that there is a total of 259,000 Long Islanders that are impacted by food insecurity, which represents a 4.8 percent decrease from the 272,000 people described in 2017. The 259,000 people also includes79,000 children which, represents a decrease of 9.2% when compared to 88,000 children identified in 2017. The current data describes 9.0 percent of the regional population that is struggling with food insecurity. The current data is consistent within a regional climate of lower unemployment and when a growing number of families are continuing to leave Long Island for more affordable locations across the country.  When people on Long Island realize that their school taxes and monthly rent will continue to increase, when healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and local government continues to increase fees for services they begin to think about the value of staying in the region or finding a more affordable way of life.

    The Map the Meal Gap data is the most current and reliable data we have to measure food insecurity, coupled with what we’re seeing at our own food pantries and within our network of member agencies. Clearly, people are continuing to rejoin the workforce but not earning enough to afford the high cost of living on Long Island, along with the price of the average supermarket basket, gasoline, and health care.

    It’s troubling to see an increase in the number of people utilizing our network of pantries at a time when overall numbers of food insecurity in the region are decreasing. It illustrates that families in need are experiencing greater need and visiting pantries more often just to get by.  There’s still good reasons why you should support hunger relief organizations and participate in local food drives, or volunteer your time.  The American economy is doing better today than last year but, that could change next year given the political uncertainties of some of our government officials, the ongoing tariff wars that could possibly lead to another recession, and the 2020 Presidential elections.  I believe that the reduction in food insecurity on Long Island continues to have less to do with an improved economy, and more to do with a continued increase in the exodus from our region.

     

    June 12, 2019

×