United Way has seen an almost 50% drop in it’s fundraising over the last couple of years, and Executive Director Trista Spencer said that seems to be the norm across most non-profits.
Spencer said they’ve asked many other organizations where they sit.
“So we’ve interacted with over 200 agencies in the last 18 months, and I don’t think there’s one who that hasn’t said they’re either struggling to do something to maintain operations or struggling to keep up with demand.”
She said many companies have had to re-evaluate how they function, as there seems to be a drop in fundraising availability.
Companies may also not be bringing in the funds they normally do, which can affect operations and how they work philanthropically.
Spencer said they’ve really had to dig to find funds to help organizations, and that they’re a small team of eight people.
“Every single day, making phone calls, sending emails, brainstorming, looking outside the box, thinking of things we’ve never done before to try and diversify the way we not just fundraise, but find those resources.”
She gave an example of one of the partnerships that has kept them afloat, adding that Coastal Gaslink and they’re contractors helped build them a grant of $97,000 to help organizations in Northern BC.
Spencer noted that the beginning of the pandemic showed her what government support could really do.
“It was wonderful to have that government support through the pandemic. And it was something that really felt new and really helped lift up the non-profit sector so that there was some sustainability through that time.”
“These social services are really part of the fabric of our society. They’re linked to health, they’re linked to success and business and employment, they’re linked to education. Everything is linked to this.”
She said that support was essential, but added that it needed to continue.
“So, that’s I think what we’ve really experienced over this last little while, it’s great to have all this temporary support, but what happens next?”