Created: 12/31/2012 10:32 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz
Volunteers put in hundreds of hours this holiday season hoping to raise $9.8 million dollars for the Twin Cities Salvation Army. By New Years Eve, with just a few hours to go in their campaign, the charity was still several hundred thousand dollars short.
Donors can still make donations online and over the phone until midnight to help.
"Consequences of not reaching the goal include pulling back on outreach and help at a time when the charity is seeing increases in requests across the board," wrote Annette Bauer, spokesperson for The Salvation Army Northern Division.
"While numbers for need increase, budget dollars remain relatively the same causing The Salvation Army to reallocate spending rather than increasing spending for services. As an example rather than providing a family with four bags of groceries there would be three bags or offering $300 maximum for rent assistance rather than $450," Bauer wrote.
This year, the Salvation Army helped Bernard Slater of Brooklyn Park. The single father of three works as a security guard at Regency Hospital in Golden Valley. When his car broke down earlier this year, he walked seven miles to work each day until the Salvation Army replaced his engine.
"If I have to stand out there with the kettle with them, or do some type of work to help raise money, I'm all theirs. I'm going to be out there for them because they were in turn there for me," Slater said.
Now the Salvation Army needs help reaching their goals and they are not alone.
"The Nonprofit Finance Fund did a survey earlier this year and it indicates that 60 percent of human service organizations aren't able to meet the need that they are being asked for in their communities," said Kris Kewitsch, Executive Director of the Charities Review Council.
The Charities Review Council reviews charities according to accountability standards to ensure they are trustworthy for donors. The Council works closely with Minnesota's nonprofits.
"The challenge has been that with the change in the economy, that nonprofits, the pressures that they are receiving to meet those needs has increased significantly and there hasn't been a significant increase in funding for those organizations both from individuals and as well from government funding," Kewitsch said.
Nonprofits depend on end of year giving, when donors are generous and tax incentives are top of mind.
"Lots of folks are working really hard to receive donations so that they can meet their fundraising goals and then their service goals for that year," Kewitsch said.
For more information on donating to the Salvation Army, click here.
You can also:
Mail a check to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Ave N, Roseville MN 55113
Call 800-SAL-ARMY to make a credit card donation
Test Blessing to 80888 to make a $10 donation, which will be added to cell phone bill, data rates may apply.
Go to Smartgivers.org for a list of trustworthy charities.