"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
This week, you may be getting bombarded with messages from non-profits asking you to "Give to the Max" on November 19. It's overwhelming! I know, because I generally give to 5-6 organizations each year, and I hear from all of them, and many more. I don't make a lot of money because I run a tiny non-profit. But, I still choose to make donations because I believe whole-heartedly in the community benefit that the group is providing.
Do you know how important your donation is to the Southeast Community Organization?
This is why. . . About 8% of our funds are donated, and 92% come from the City of St. Paul and other funders. Most of our funds come with strings attached. These require hours of labor in research, writing, editing, proofing, budgeting, organizing, interviewing (sometimes) and submitting. Our annual City of St. Paul proposal alone can take 20-25 hours of work. All funding sources require detailed goal setting and reporting. In addition, there are often mid-term and end of grant reports that include data tallying and qualitative data. There are few grants that are "general operating" meaning they allow groups to do impactful work without requiring exhaustive, line-item reporting.
Your donation is even more important that these funders. Why?
When you donate, we know that you have seen our work in community and know that we are making a difference.
You help us be fiscally responsible. Currently, our savings account can allow us to operate for up to 10 months if all other funds were to cease for some reason.The Council of Nonprofitsrecommends a minimum of 6 months of a cash reserve.
Donated funds allow us flexibility for much needed, or emergency purposes. It's been a challenging year for all of us, and even more so for some of our residents. We came close to tapping our savings account to rent a vehicle for food distribution and supplies this fall and winter.
Your support shows that you trust us to be good stewards of your money.
Donations help us keep our heads above water with a solid cash flow. Did you know that the majority of funds we receive are through government entities? This means that we are required to spend the money first, and get reimbursed later. Our ability to receive and spend government grants is completely dependent on our ability to pay for products/services in advance and wait for reimbursement - which can take a month or longer.
Funds from community demonstrate to larger funders that the people we are trying to serve believe in our work.
When you donate, you are supporting racial equity and justice in our community. All of our work happens through a racial equity lens, from housing justice to transportation. You help make that possible.
Betsy Mowry Voss, Executive Director
The CARES Act Encourages Donations
Did you know? To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the government COVID-19 relief bill (the “CARES Act”) provides some tax relief for individual donors. If you take the standard deduction on your taxes, you may be able to claim a new ‘above-the-line’ deduction of up to $300 for cash donations to charitable nonprofits in 2020. There are also benefits to donors who itemize their taxes. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.
>> The first 10 donors will also receive a custom printed 3"x3.6" Southeast CommunityOrganization sticker.
>> Donate $200 or more, receive a card and sticker, and be entered into a drawing to have one custom painted pet portrait done by local youth artist, Joie Voss. Painting will be done in acrylic on a 10"x10" canvas. *Note: portrait will not be done by Christmas. Details provided upon winning. Give to the Max day is on Thursday, November 19, and you can donate at any time until then. Our participation makes us eligible for prizes awarded through Give MN.
However much you give, we appreciate you. Thank you!
Upcoming Zoom Meetings
We invite community members may attend or join our committees to have a voice in the thingshappening in our community. To participate online - contact us for the Zoom login.
Land Use Committee: December 7, 6:00-7:30 pm Guest: Michael Wade, discussion on the City's definition of "family"
Communications Committee: TBD
Board Meeting: November 23, 6:00-8:00 pm >> Presentation by Tram Hoang, The Alliance on proposed actions regarding rent stabilization in St. Paul.
We will also review our workplan for 2021, and our proposed 2021 budget.