According to Chicago based ShopperTrak (www.shoppertrak.com), Black Friday in-store foot traffic decreased 5.4%, and in-store sales decreased 2.9% for the Midwest. This could prove to be detrimental to retail stores whose quarterly statements are dependent on increased Black Friday sales.
Nonetheless, national sales figures are proving to be positive with preliminary estimates coming in at a 1% increase in total sales during the “Black Weekend” (Nov. 28 – Dec. 1) when compared to 2012. With the holiday shopping season just beginning, it will be interesting to see how retailers fared come January.
On the other hand, charitable giving continues to grow at a significant pace. Charitable giving has seen a 12% increase year-over-year, through October (www.wsj.com). Furthermore, in 2012, charitable giving rose by 3.5% over 2011, and 7.5% over 2010. According to Giving USA (www.givingusa.org) Americans are giving at nearly 92% of what they gave during the peak charitable giving year of 2007 ($344.48 billion).
Locally, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley has been blessed with a dedicated group of constituents who generously give of their time, talents, and treasures. The Community Foundation has received more than $2.5 million in new gifts, and more than $12 million since 2011. This growth has allowed us to significantly increase our grantmaking capacity and, earlier this year, the Community Foundation surpassed $50 million in cumulative grants since its inception!
There are still 15 shopping days left until Christmas, and 22 days left to make your charitable contribution for 2013. The Community Foundation will be here throughout the month and would be happy to meet with you (or your clients) regarding charitable giving opportunities before year end. By making a gift to (or establishing a fund at) the Community Foundation, you’ll not only receive the intrinsic satisfaction of doing good, you’ll help make the Fox River Valley a better place to live and work!
Vice President of Development