Remaining Financially Sound During the Pandemic

Recently The Ladies of Charity – Diocese of Buffalo NY published the following update in their newsletter that may provide some useful tips for other associations:

Dear Ladies of Charity,

One thing everyone agrees on, is that 2020 was a very tough year for many people, in many different ways. Our organization is no different. Some experts project that one-third of non-profits may fail as a result of Covid-19. We feel that Ladies of Charity is sound financially, and able to fulfill the mission we are committed to– now and in the future.

Our relationship with Catholic Charities (CCWNY) has proven to be a valuable one during the pandemic. Our Fresh Start Program benefited from grants they received, providing new utensils, cleaning and personal care items for these clients. Of note, all Fresh Start and clothing referral clients received the assistance they needed, as CCWNY staff stepped in and filled those requests while LOC volunteers were unable to– either out of an abundance of caution and/or because they were quarantined due to government restrictions. We were able to provide homebound bags to 578 people this Christmas, with minimal cost to LOC. The products for the bags were also made available to these clients through grant money. CCWNY staff filled those bags, and also filled 988 Christmas toy referrals.

In March 2020, the thrift store was closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, in order to protect our volunteers, the CCWNY staff and the public. Based on historical data, we may have suffered an estimated $25,000 in lost income during this time.

So, we have some challenges ahead, but we are cautiously optimistic that with the following actions and more, we will remain financially sound:

* Through our “Special Campaign” last April, our members generously donated more than $5,000.
* Our quilt and Basket of Cheer raffles were successful fund raisers, raising in excess of $1,000.
* We reopened our thrift store to the public in October. While traffic and sales are below pre-Covid numbers, we are taking actions to increase our numbers safely.
* We recently increased the number of days we are open to four (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).
* We have suspended offering new LOC scholarships for students entering high school in September of 2021.
* We will hold a virtual gift card raffle this spring to replace Party Saturday, an event that has been one of our major fundraising events.

The Ladies of Charity are more than 400 years old internationally, and Buffalo will celebrate 80 years in December of this year. We have a dedicated, supportive, kind and generous membership and we will endeavor to continue in our service to the poor in a productive, responsible and caring manner.

Please keep our members and organization in your prayers – and thank you for all you do!

God Bless,

Kathy Roseti
President, Ladies of Charity – Diocese of Buffalo

Source: The Charity Link, Spring 2021

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