Executive Director’s Report
This year has been turbulent to say the least. We had high hopes beginning in July 2019 with our plan to continue the strong number of individuals impacted by our agencies and community events. But sometimes the best laid plans are for naught. During my six years here I have seen the steady demise of many businesses that promoted employee giving programs and matched their employee donations, which have been the backbone of our fundraising efforts. These include MSE, PPL/Talon, JCPenny and Herbergers. In FY16 we raised $188,550. To date, June 30, 2020 we have seen a 25.2% decline in campaign finances. Businesses with employee giving programs, those that still exist, company champions have fallen silent. Many of our long time donors are deceased. We are competing for dollars with other agencies/programs that never before entered into the non-profit arena and started raising private dollars.
Under these community situations, this year’s 20-21 campaign has started. I do believe that our programs and events can help us fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our communities. Our Strategic Plan can lead the way. By following the strategies laid out in the document I believe we can continue to promote our mission of mobilizing the caring power of our communities.
Last fall, through the generous funds provided by the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Butte, Bank of Butte, the Butte Exchange Club, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and the support of Walmart, we had another successful Dress a Child event. In August 77 volunteer “Shopping Buddies” assisted 152 children and youth purchase new clothing to begin their new school year.
On February 8th we had our first Stone Soup event. Ten volunteers made 152 servings of “Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs that were delivered to the Butte Emergency Food Bank. Participants include our Board President Ed & his wife Rachel, two members of the Ladies Prayer Group of Abundant Life, two from St James Health Care, three from Opportunity Bank and the Butte-Silver Bow County Extension Agent. A gathering of FCR employees prepared 77 sacks of Bean Soup that was also given to the Butte food bank. The Anaconda food bank was the recipient of 105 sacks of soup that were assembled in Anaconda by nine community members.
Last year we supported 11 agencies providing thirteen programs, four in Anaconda and seven in Butte. In February, 13 agencies submitted applications for 20-21 United Way funding, five from Anaconda and eight from Butte. We planned on having our allocation presentations in April.
THEN THE CURTAIN DROPPED
While we were able to honor our commitment to the 2019-2020 funded agencies; we were not able to allocate any support to the thirteen that requested support for 2020-2021 due to the unknown prospects in the future.
Two of our annual events had to be cancelled. Other community events that this office participates in were also cancelled. Person-to-person fundraising came to a halt. ZOOM became a new word for the dictionary. Grant writing filled some of the void. Personal donations dribbled in.
To assist in the community efforts to help those most affected by the COVID 19 pandemic, we were able to assist the Butte Emergency Food Bank and the Anaconda Schools with their Backpack program. Support was also sent to Action Inc., Belmont Senior Center and The Butte Pantry Pop-up to support their food delivery programs. The Salvation Army received support for work with our community’s homeless. Our ability to help these programs was made possible through the generosity of the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Water & Environmental Technologies and concerned individuals both here and out of state.
The office has and will remain open during this time. We received help to do this through the Paycheck Protection Program and support through the Cares Act. Fundraising plans are in place. Brochures will once again be distributed. If donors respond to our fundraising efforts, allocations could be made at the end of the year. Community Events are in the planning stages.
No matter what the future brings
I truly believe that…
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Father Tom Haffey
Southwest Community Health Center
Community Event Volunteers