New Jersey residents are in a giving mood
Charitable giving nationwide spiked for the fifth straight year, and Garden State organizations said New Jersey residents are a big part of the positive push.
According to the annual Giving USA report, charitable giving jumped 7.1 percent to $353.38 billion between 2013 and 2014, surpassing numbers last seen before the Great Recession.
Linda Keenan, director of development for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, said they're on pace for a donation increase of up to 14 percent this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
"As we see the need continuing to grow, the community responds," she said.
Keenan pointed to an influx of support immediately following Superstorm Sandy, noting many of those newer donors have continued their support in the years since.
Every dollar received by the food bank can provide three meals for those in need.
The Salvation Army New Jersey Division is on pace to raise enough for its $30 million operating budget. Major Edgar George, a divisional secretary, said the Army's 28 New Jersey locations are still benefiting from an uptick in giving during the holiday season, specifically through the group's well-known red kettle fundraiser.
"We were thrilled that people really dug deep and gave even more money than they had in previous years," George said.
The national report said individuals accounted for 72 percent of total giving in 2014. All four sources - individuals, corporations, foundations and bequests - upped their donations to America's charities.