August 17, 2021
Celebrating positive impacts on National Nonprofit Day
SEATTLE, Washington – National Nonprofit Day is recognized today, August 17, as an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact nonprofit organizations have across the country. It is an honor for me to serve as the CEO of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children, a nonprofit committed to serving children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Throughout our history, CASA and GAL programs across the country have trained committed and dedicated volunteers to serve as court-appointed advocates for children and youth. Today, I am humbled to work alongside the staff of 950 CASA/GAL state organizations and local programs, and more than 93,000 CASA and GAL volunteers nationwide. Together we served 242,236 children and youth last year— more young people in the child welfare system than any other national organization.
Our Association is one of nearly two million non-profits in this country. According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, the nonprofit sector is the third largest in the U.S. and employs more than 12 million people. These organizations are embedded in every community and address nearly all issues facing society. Nonprofits are embedded in every community and address nearly all issues facing society. Whether it be school supplies for children in need, shelters or food for the homeless, training and assistance for those seeking employment, or aid after a natural disaster, nonprofits are there to provide support for those who need it. Every day, someone benefits from the mission of a nonprofit and the commitment of volunteers.
At National CASA/GAL, I see this impact every day. Our volunteers, staff, board members and supporters are making a real difference by advancing our mission to give all children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect the opportunity to thrive.
It will come as no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the nonprofit industry, as it has so many other industries and business sectors. Nationwide, the industry saw a reduction in workforce, and in 2020, many charities reported a decline in contributions. But the news is improving. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that donations have hit a new high in the first quarter of 2021, and that hiring is accelerating. I am hopeful that as we begin to return to some sense of normalcy, these statistics will continue to trend positively for nonprofit organizations.
I have seen the resilience demonstrated by CASA/GAL staff and volunteers, and especially by the children and families we serve. This determination is what fuels us. The passion for serving others and for improving our society drives me to work hard for the children and families who need us and inspires me to continue advancing the mission of the National CASA/GAL Association.
Today and every day, please join us in celebrating the phenomenal work of nonprofits– staff members, volunteers and those who support us – who are impacting lives every day.
Here are a few simple ways you can make a lasting difference through nonprofits in your communities:
- Say thank you. Thank those who volunteer or work for a nonprofit.
- Volunteer. Share your talents and skills while benefiting your community.
- Lend support. Making a gift to a nonprofit is a meaningful way to improve our communities.
- Spread the word. Share the good news about your favorite nonprofit with your family, friends and co-workers.
For more information about National CASA/GAL, or to learn more about becoming a CASA/GAL volunteer, visit nationalcasagal.org.
Tara Lisa Perry
CEO, National CASA/GAL Association for Children