The wheels are turning at JFS now that we are hosting our fundraiser On the Road with JFS: A Night at America on Wheels on March 12 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
Now that we are in the midst of planning this event, I am frequently asked the question “Where does the money go when JFS runs a fundraiser?
In the social service sector, the word overhead is viewed in a very negative light. When social service agencies are seen as spending money on marketing, fundraising, the office surroundings and even staff, it’s often construed as not being too mindful. According to Dan Palotta, humanitarian activist, entrepreneur and the original organizer of the Breast Cancer Awareness Three Day Walk, nonprofits must make an investment if you expect to have a greater impact on more people.
JFS is a small non-profit agency but I like to think that we have big dreams. Our agency depends on dedicated staff that cares about the people they are working with and are professional, maintain confidential and provide quality services. Funds help us do this, and more funds help us to provide more services that are desperately needed but often not available.
Let me give you some examples of where we could enhance our services through increased fundraising.
For those who cannot drive any more, transportation are extremely important. While JFS currently offers some transportation services through The GO Program, it is not enough. With more funding, we could expand our transportation program to include contracting with cab companies and offering cab rides at reduced fares.
When individuals aging in place have hospitalizations or serious illnesses and they return home, they may require some home health assistance. They may need help paying for this care. If our JFS had more funding, we could help offset the costs by paying part of the cost of the care. This would help the person be able to remain in their home.
While it may appear that volunteers are a great no-cost option for providing services, supporting a volunteer program is an investment. In order to be a volunteer, the appropriate background information must be sought and volunteers need training and support. All of this support also has a price tag, and with more funding, we could expand our volunteer base.
Lastly, JFS sees many persons who need financial assistance in order to survive and maintain their standard of living. These individuals or families need money for necessities such as dental care, electricity, heat, and food. Your support of JFS enables us to provide more assistance to individuals in need.
Can you imagine a world where individuals did not need social services? I don’t see this vision appearing in the near future. In the meantime, we have to keep the wheels turning and continue to raise funds that will help improve the lives the people who need our help.