August 17th is National Nonprofit day, where we recognize and reflect on all the positive impacts they have had on the world. The history of nonprofit organizations in our country goes back centuries. When visiting America in the 1830s to study our prisons, French sociologist and political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville had an extensive view of America and was impressed by our overall way of life. Author of, Democracy in America, Tocqueville, wrote of one of the things that stood out to him the most during his visit;
“I must say that I have seen Americans make a great deal of sacrifices to the public welfare and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend a faithful support to one another.”
The History of Nonprofit Organizations Started from A Need
Many consider the Peabody Education Fund, established in 1867, the first nonprofit organization in America. Its main goal was to help integrate poor white and formerly enslaved people in the south and assist in the rebuilding of the educational system after the devastation of the Civil War.
George Peabody’s donation of $2 million went to the construction of schools, endowments, scholarships, teachers, and industrial education. Peabody’s fund was placed into the hands of trustees from the North and South to oversee and use towards educational systems in the southern states and was in place until 1898.
Nonprofits impact the lives of virtually everyone. They provide critical services that contribute to a particular group or community when in need. It’s more than just giving back. It’s about improving the lives of others. We all face many challenges, and when these unforeseen or unavoidable moments occur, the kindness and assistance we get from others provide the strength to persevere.
A community that not only shares the same geographical area but also in the betterment of everyone living in it is the key to living a more fulfilling life. Financial contributions are essential to the sustainability of nonprofits. However, donations of your time, effort, skills, passions, and overall abilities are equally as crucial and impactful in helping to make a difference.
Nonprofits Benefit the Overall Economy
Funds a nonprofit organization raises go directly to the needs of the cause they support and the organization’s operations costs. Rent, utilities, food, and office supplies are unavoidable expenses necessary to achieve a nonprofit’s mission. As a result, these needs alone contribute almost $1 Trillion to the economy annually.
Most charitable organizations have employees to help carry out and maintain the day-to-day business side of the operation. As a result, nonprofits have become the nation’s third largest workforce and employ 10% of the country’s workforce.
EAC has been serving communities and people in need for over 50 years. With dedicated leadership and passionate staff, we have made countless impacts on the lives of individuals in need. We lift those who need it most by providing the tools to overcome challenges and gain a feeling of dignity again. With over 100 vital and innovative programs, EAC Network has the capabilities to help and empower, assist and care for individuals.
Just as in all of the histories of nonprofit organizations, there will always be more to do. Please consider donating to EAC and any of its programs to help us continue to fulfill our mission!