By Sandi Gohn

When you make a charitable donation to a nonprofit like the USO, it can be easy to wonder if your token of generosity really matters in the grand scheme of things.

“I only gave $15, $50 or $75,” you might be thinking. “My one charitable donation really doesn’t mean that much.”

Well, we’re here to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. Every donation to the USO, no matter how big or small, really, truly helps and research backs us up!

Research Shows Individual Donors Fuel Charitable Giving

According to a 2019 report by Giving USA, individual donors like you account for well over half of all charitable donations in the country.

A young citizen donates money. | Photo credit Adobe Stock

In 2018 alone, generous citizens gave $292.09 billion to thousands of charity organizations across the country, including the USO. To put the impact of these donations into perspective: corporations, foundations and bequest giving, all combined, only accounted for $135.62 billion of donations in 2018 – less than half of what individual donors contributed.

This isn’t just a one-year trend.

According to an article on Charity Navigator:

“Historically, donations from individuals account for over two-thirds of all donations. If you add in gifts from bequests, then the category accounts for nearly 80% of all giving. In other words, the donating public, not big foundations or corporations, is responsible for the vast majority of annual donations.”

In other words, you can make a difference. Make a tax-deductible donation today to thank service members and honor their sacrifices.

Why All Charitable Donations, Big or Small, Matter

Now, imagine a world where generous donors like you decide to stop giving toward the charity of their choice – all because they think their one $20 or $45 charitable donation doesn’t make a real impact. Multiply that by a few thousand people and it’s not a pretty picture.

As Sarah Ford wrote in a story:

“This belief of not having enough to give to make a difference is similar to the argument some people make when it comes to voting. But try telling a senator who wins by 18 votes that your vote doesn’t matter and I promise they’ll give you an earful.”

A service member reads a story to his child. | Photo credit USO photo

Simply put, without charitable gifts from individual donors like you, the USO and other nonprofits would not have the financial support to do what they do best, which, for us, is to provide a connection to family, home and country to our men and women in uniform.

The good news is, to make a real difference, you don’t have to give an arm and a leg, especially if you give to the USO.

For only $13, you can help fund a classic USO game night for our service men and women and know that by providing them with a chance to relax and take a break from the daily stress of their duties, you are providing them with much more than a just few hours of fun and games. For $15, you can help purchase a new book to add to a library shelf at a USO center around the world, where books and entertainment are not readily available.

It’s doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives of our service men and women. It just takes whatever you have to give.

The USO is a not-for-profit organization and not part of the Department of Defense. The appearance of DoD visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Gifts in the USO Wishbook are symbolic representations of the USO’s programs, services, and activities to support U.S. service members and their families. Your contribution will be joined with the contributions of others and used where it is needed most to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by federal law.