Charities finding holiday fundraising difficult
Thunder Bay non-profit organizations competing for the same dollars
Posted: Nov 26, 2012 8:58 AM ET
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2012 8:49 AM ET
Thunder Bay's disaster relief committee is hoping the Christmas season brings more donations for flood victims. But it’s a hope that may be hard to make a reality as other charitable organizations struggle to raise money.
Efforts by groups like Lakeview Presbyterian Church — which will donate the proceeds from its annual Christmas concert to flood relief — will help.Concert organizer Diane Laaksonen said Lakeview Presbyterian Church will forward profits from its Christmas concert to Thunder Bay's Disaster Relief Fund. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)
“My heart went out to them,” said Diane Laaksonen, music director at Lakeview Presbyterian Church.
“So I suggested [donating to the flood victims fund] and everybody said 'yes, that's the one this year’.”
The chair of the disaster relief committee said several groups are donating to the fund, which is why he's hoping for more donations over the holidays.
“If you can ... give to your normal charity, and then give above and beyond to us,” Wayne Fletcher said.
‘Have to be much more assertive’
Other charities say it's getting harder to raise money because so many organizations are asking for help at the same time.Linda Gambee says Thunder Bay's Christmas Cheer Fund fell thousands of dollars short of its fundraising goal last year. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)
Linda Gambee, chair of Thunder Bay's Christmas Cheer fund, said her group fell $27,000 short of what they needed last year.
She said that led to a change in fundraising this year.
“[We’re] going out and working with new partners, bringing in new business [and] new sponsors to help us out,” Gambee explained.
“We've never had to be assertive before, and we're finding that we have to be much more assertive.”
The Salvation Army's kettle campaign isn't doing as well as in past years, according to Merv Halvorsen, the executive director for the Salvation Army Social Services in Thunder Bay.Major Mervyn Halvorsen, executive director of the Salvation Army in Thunder Bay. (CBC)
“There's always a question of ‘who should I give to?’ And that is a question that's answered in many different ways,” Halvorsen said.
“We ask people to let their heart be their guide.”
He noted the kettle campaign is about $4,000 behind where it was at the same time last year. The charity aims to raise $160,000.
‘Do the best job we can’
Gambee said she recognizes competition for fundraising dollars is stiff.
“There's so many of our charities out there — very worthwhile charities — and we're all looking for the same thing at the same time,” she said.
“A dollar can only go so far, so it's a bit difficult."
That outlook is also part of the Disaster Relief Committee’s view.
“I think we're at the point where we realize ... we just do the best job we can,” Fletcher said.
“We ask the people and what we get is what we get. I mean there's not much more that you can do."
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