Throughout this blog, you have probably noticed that Welcome is doing more to directly support those living in poverty and to educate communities about homelessness and poverty than we have ever done before.
We not only have more programs, but we are also serving more people than ever before due to the economic downturn and closure of many other local organizations. At the same time, foundations that we were once able to count on for regular operational support have shifted their focus or stopped giving out money all together. While giving from individuals exceeded our budget in every area, we still had to tap into our rainy day fund in order to make it through 2009.
Thankfully, frugal spending and smart saving in past years was able to help us weather this difficult new economy. This year, Welcome faces the unique challenge of not only raising our general operating expenses, but also replenishing our rainy day funds.
Other organizations like to show that only a small percentage of their budget goes to staff salaries, Welcome works so closely with the community that we are able to get in-kind donations for nearly all of the food, toiletries, garden supplies and other material items that we share with those living in poverty. As a result, almost our entire budget is the salaries of our Executive Director, Director of Independent Living, Intern and Volunteer Corp member.
While the overwhelming majority of our donations come in during November and December (around Thanksgiving and Christmas), the salaries of the Welcome staff are paid evenly throughout the whole year. This year, because we do not have a surplus from 2009, we are currently forced to do more with less than ever before.
Today I ask you not to wait until November or December, and if you can to give your full annual donation now. Your gift today will support the staff of Welcome and help us spend less time fundraising and more time directly work with our guests.
Rev. Megan Rohrer