It doesn't surprise me
The Palm Beach Post has an article today about whether local charities and non-profits will feel the crunch of tight money because of Hurricane Katrina. So far donations for victims of Katrina have totaled 1.06.
I do think these groups are going to be effected. The arts in particular. Who wants to give money for a philharmonic when people need food and shelter?
There is also my short experience as a telemarketer. The company I worked for called people asking donations for charities. I don't know how many times I was told someone was all tapped out because of Katrina. Let's just say it happened so much I couldn't keep track. I'll share my experiences at that job for another post.
Some organizations are just going to have to tighten their belts. It's unfortunate but had to be expected.
Lunch/Traffic Jam- Basil's blog and Outside the Beltway
By Tania Valemoro
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
As people donate money to hurricane relief efforts for the battered Gulf Coast and thousands of its displaced people, nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach County are keeping a close eye on whether the shift in charitable giving will shortchange their efforts to meet the area's cultural and social service needs.
Many organizations' annual fund-raising campaigns have recently begun and are expected to heat up toward the end of the year.
As of Saturday, charities nationally have raised $1.06 billion to help hurricane victims, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Balancing the competing interests of financing hurricane relief and local needs is not new, many people in the nonprofit industry said during interviews last week.
Area nonprofits have been conditioned by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, which presented similar fund-raising dilemmas last year. In the best cases, fund-raising goals set before the hurricanes were met. In the worst cases, the drop in donations cramped the reach of nonprofits' operations.
Despite the mixed results, nonprofit officials said they expect people to donate both locally and nationally this year.
"The (hurricane) story is so compelling. It's on television twenty-four/seven and there's such a local sensitivity toward hurricanes. Ultimately, there is a chance that donating to hurricane relief will affect local giving on a case-by-case basis, but people will rise to the occasion," said Jason Shames, vice president of campaign and community development at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
The federation raised $20.5 million in its annual campaign last year and hopes to raise $22 million this year.
The United Way of Palm Beach County met its fund-raising target when it raised $14 million last year despite the two hurricanes. It also was able to maintain its fund-raising goals after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"Last year, we didn't have to change our tactics at all. People got it. They knew they had to give," said Wayne Cunningham, the chapter's vice president. "The tactics don't need to change a great deal as long as you can explain what the need is."
Still, Cunningham recognizes smaller nonprofits face a different challenge. "The smaller agencies just don't get the visibility we do. They don't have the power to say, 'We're struggling.' We're telling people, 'Please don't forget your local community.' "