Charity hopes for a good year this season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Charity hopes for a good year this season

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

November 12, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Economic struggles mean especially hard times for non-profit agencies.

Most of them, like the Salvation Army, depend on end-of-year giving. They'll soon kick off their kettle drive, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year.

Leaders are worried, though, that this year may not be as fruitful.

The Salvation Army Kettle bell is one of the calling cards of Christmas. "Christmas is our largest public fundraiser of the year, which makes that one so much more critical," says Salvation Army Captain Douglas McClure.

But Captain McClure, who heads up the Salvation Army In Albany is worried that this year, his organization won't bring in enough money.

"It's an issue. Depending on how well Christmas goes, I might be looking at some serious budget changes as the New Year rolls around."

What may seem ironic, is that as money continues to dwindle, more people seek help. "It's a catch 22 of this kind of situation. Less money Is coming in, because obviously people don't have as much disposable income to give to the non-profit organizations, but the need increases."

There are more mouths to feed. Last year, 40-50 people a day come to the shelter for a warm meal... now it's closer to 150.

"It's been incredible. We've seen double, almost triple those numbers from last year."

Giving is down 20%. So how will they continue to help others? "My bookkeeper tells me we have an income line called faith," said McClure.

Other fundraisers during Christmas and even during the year are being planned, and if that doesn't work, Capt. McClure may just end up doing fundraising the old fashioned way, by begging.

"I just need a dollar. I just need $1 from everybody and we would be good to go."

Go to do more good for those in need.

Thursday, the Albany Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a seminar to help non-profits do fundraising in tough economic times.

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