WHILE its 2020 campaign is so far “exceeding expectations”, JCA has warned there will still be a shortfall and is encouraging every member of the community who is able to give to do so.
As of this week, the organisation has totalled over $8 million in pledges, mostly from major donors, as the campaign moves into the general community donations phase.
Labelling it “a very encouraging start”, president Stephen Chipkin said factors including a recognition of JCA’s work and the needs in the community arising from the COVID-19 pandemic meant “a very large number are rallying and supporting us at the same level as last year”.
“I said if we get $10 million – we were at $14 million last year – it would be an excellent result. I’m more hopeful now that we will get to that number,” he said.
But he said, “The needs of our community are significant and indeed even at $10 million we will be well short.
“While we understand things are tougher for everyone, people should not simply rely on others to fund this community so that our service needs are met.”
Those needs include emergency financial relief, funding meals on wheels, providing emotional support and continuing to care for the community’s elderly, he said.
“We’ve done a very good job so far to come out of this pandemic in a healthy state but we can’t let our guard down,” he said.
CEO Alain Hasson said that while “we’ve had most of our major donor conversations” the challenge would be canvassing the broader community where between 2500 and 3000 donors usually contribute anywhere from $18 to $5000 each.
He said, “The need is greater than any other year,” both in terms of “regular programming and services that our member organisations provide, plus all the extended needs because of COVID”, citing as an example the threefold increase in demand for COA meals on wheels, translating to an estimated $100,000 per quarter.
“While I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the community at this point, there is still a long way to go,” he said.
Pointing out that the $8 million raised so far had come from just over 900 donors versus a total of approximately 3600 donors last year, Hasson said even if half of the 2700 donors gave what they gave last year, “it starts to make a huge difference”.
He added, “The generosity of our community has far exceeded our earlier expectations and I’m immensely grateful to every donor that has responded so supportively to the increased need and stood by us in this very challenging environment.”