Local nonprofits struggling due to drop in donations this holiday season

The Fresno Mission is asking for new warm clothing and blankets this time of year.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nonprofits nationwide and here at home are being forced to do more with less after seeing donations dry up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decrease in contributions is painting a grim outlook as many organizations head into a time of year when they rely heavily on the public's generosity.

The Fresno Mission which, prior to the global pandemic, already operated on razor-thin margins, is getting stretched to its limits as we head into the holiday season.

"Most non-profits actually operate at a net loss throughout the year and really depend on what happens this holiday season when people tend to be more generous and write those year-end checks," said Fresno Mission CEO Matt Dildine.

But officials say many families have cut back on those big donations just as the need to help remains the same.

Because most fundraising events were forced to cancel this year, organizations like the Fresno Mission are having to rethink their strategy to raise more with less.

"Our annual fundraising banquet that had sold out had 1,100 people attend and fill the convention center. Well, this year we couldn't do that and we had to switch everything to virtual. And you just can't simply switch to virtual and see quite the same impact," said Dildine.
Despite the lack of funds, non-profits are needed more than ever as families struggle to make ends meet.

"We're not really sure how this holiday giving season is going to turn out, which makes managing a business and making sure we meet the needs a challenge at times," said Central California Food Bank CEO Kim Dildine.

The Central California Food Bank says they're having to spend significantly more money to get the same amount of food as before after seeing their supply of donated produce dry up.

"Our very generous farmer donors donated a lot at the beginning of COVID when their food service contracts were canceled but many of them didn't plant their summer season and they didn't have any left to donate," said Kim Dildine.

The Fresno Mission is asking for new warm clothing and blankets this time of year.

If you can help, you can find information on donating to the Fresno Mission here and to the Central California Food Bank here.

Meanwhile, the City of Fresno launched the Save our Nonprofits Grant Program on Monday.

It's designed to help nonprofit organizations which have been unable to raise enough money to support their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations can receive amounts of $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the annual operating budget of the non-profit.

The money can be used to cover things such as payroll and benefit costs and equipment or property modifications to adapt to longer-term changes in customer behavior.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 20.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements - including the types of non-profits that are eligible - or to apply, please visit here.
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