U.S. charities feel chill from weak economy

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

KANSAS CITY/CHICAGO – The Newhouse shelter in Kansas City has helped thousands of abused women and their children over the past 37 years. But last month, the women were forced to move out and the staff started looking for new jobs.

The reason was simple. While the need was there, the money was not. Dwindling charitable contributions tied to a broad U.S. economic slowdown mean fewer resources and hard choices for charities across the country.

“People are holding tight to their money,” said Newhouse President Leslie Caplan, who estimated charitable contributions were down $200,000 this year compared to last year. That, combined with cuts in government grants, has severely squeezed the center’s $1.3 million budget.

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