About one-third of our nation’s 501(c)(3) public-charities that report to the IRS are focused on human service. These agencies respond to a vast array of missions, and provide a remarkable network of valuable programs and services. Some programs are innovative and others are entrepreneurial, such as the job training and placement of Goodwill Industries’ clients. Other agencies fulfill a simple but vital mission, such as the food, clothing and shelter provided by The Salvation Army, The Red Cross and others.
Most human service organizations have a unique fund-raising challenge in the fact that a vast number of constituents they serve do not have the financial capacity to give back. These organizations must therefore develop a second constituency of strong community support that is outside of their primary mission-based services, and must often do so with very limited resources.