ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — December is National Giving Month, and local nonprofits are wrapping up their final push for as many donations as possible before the end of the year.

Most charitable organizations across the Stateline receive funding from churches, grants and other sources, but those usually only comprise a portion of what it takes for them to continue providing their services.

“The lion’s share of the dollars come in during the months of November and December,” said Michael O’Connor, executive director of The Carpenter’s Place, a Rockford nonprofit that provides a day center, meals, and other services for the city’s homeless population. “That’s when we’re out there probably speaking the loudest, telling folks we need their support, why need their support, and what their support means to us.”

Typically, the year’s final fundraising effort begins on Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving dedicated to connecting donors with charities across the county.

While 2022 marks the first year for O’Connor leading The Carpenter’s Place, he’s no stranger to the nonprofit world. The attorney spent 16 years as the executive director of Prairie State Legal Services and knows the importance of donated dollars. So far, he said those who have given to his new organization have been more than generous.

“I am new here, so I am seeing all of this with fresh eyes, for the first time as the executive director this year,” he said. “But the amount of support we receive, it’s heartwarming.”

The Carpenter’s place operates on a roughly $2 million budget. O’Connor said about half of that comes in by way of in-kind donations collected during the last quarter of the year. He says charitable giving is starting to pick up but has seen an overall decline since changes in the federal tax code have made giving to nonprofits less enticing for most Americans.

“It essentially made itemized deductions impractical for middle-income families,” he said. “One of the consequences of that is that it removed an inducement for giving.”

Donations to Carpenter’s Place can be made by visiting their website or calling 815-964-4105.

Here are some other Stateline nonprofits seeking donations.

Rockford Symphony Orchestra
711 N. Main St.
Rockford, IL 61103

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
2715 S. Main St.
Rockford, IL 6102

The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties 
2820 McFarland Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI), Gary Wilmer Scholarship
P.O. Box 4128
Rockford, IL 61110

Gigi’s Playhouse
8801 N. Second St., Suite 2
Machesney Park, IL 61115
815-654-PLAY (7529)

P.O. Box 342
Rockford, IL  61105

Let us know your favorite local charitable organization and we’ll add it to the list.