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Your Two Cents: Is There Room in Your Holiday Budget For Charity?

The holiday season isn't just about gift-giving — even while the budget may be stretched, it's also the time of year to give to charity. It's no secret that things are tight this year. The recession is changing the way we holiday shop, but is it also changing our philanthropic spirit of giving for a good cause?

Apparently so. Charitable foundations and organizations throughout the country are suffering from a lack of funds — the size of charitable giving just isn't sizable enough. Nonprofits, especially on the local level, are dealing with some serious cutbacks in their budgets, thanks to an economic climate that makes giving to a cause more of a luxury than it used to be. Where organizations used to rely on the generosity of philanthropic donors, they are now turning to the government for aid.

It's unfortunate, but while philanthropy is still a valued cause for giving, there are many who just may not be able to offer support this year. Of course, there are other ways to help out — volunteering, for one — but I'm curious: Is writing a check for charity out of the question this holiday season? Or are you still making room in your budget for a charitable donation?

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