Cherryland Humane Society Continues to Struggle Financially

The following information is from the CHS June/July 2014 newsletter

The CHS is experiencing significant financial difficulties. In May, the CHS launched a plea for funds. Most of you received this plea. Please contact us if you need another copy. We are grateful to all who participated in that effort. The result of the plea, however, has left a shortfall in funds needed to reach our goal, bring resolution to our short and long-term financial situation and to be able to continue operations.

The Cherryland Humane Society is celebrating its 58th year of service. The work of the CHS has involved literally thousands of people and benefitted animals for over 1/2 century. Unfortunately, a few years ago the economy took a downturn, which affected the CHS in a number of ways. Specific pledged giving for things such as benevolence, debt reduction, animal comfort, and the like were curtailed. Some of the large pledged funds were stock based. Some of the stocks involved became significantly devalued and the donors were unable to give at the levels at which they gave before. That fact, along with the downward turn in the the economy, placed an increasingly greater burden upon CHS finances and affected the ongoing progress that the CHS was making on behalf of pets. We understood our needs and what to do, especially as set forth by our long-range plan, but the funds were not available. Animal causes often operate at the low end of the giving scale. Humane societies are many times encumbered by limited funds, manpower, material resources and capacity.

In 2011, the financial situation became critical and we launched a financial plea. We began a process that continues to this day, involved with reducing costs and increasing income. We have, for example, begun a Day Sponsorship program, promoted recognition opportunities, and have employed some other creative ways to raise funds. We have also shopped for more cost effective services, refinanced the CHS loan, ended employee health insurance, and taken more conservation steps. In seeking to reduce costs, we, of course, have to be careful not to compromise the standards of animal care.

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We now have launched a program designed to provide financial stability for the future, in order to avoid the critical financial situation that we are experiencing. We will be seeking grants to help us procure professional consulting regarding long-term financial sustainability and capacity building. We plan a capital fundraising campaign to help achieve debt reduction. We are seeking ways to turn some assets into cash. We are looking at more cost effective operations, staffing, and services. We are seeking more donated services. The CHS is seeking to upgrade its technology leading to increased income. We are also seeking various other ways to increase funds.

The key to the future for the CHS is to attain the goals set forth in our current plea for funds. If we are able to do that, then the above-mentioned plan can be carried out, resulting in financial resolution for the future. We ask your consideration for donating generously at this time. The future of so many pets is at stake. Thank you in advance for your much needed help.

UPDATE FROM THE TICKER, AUGUST 2014:

The Cherryland Humane Society has raised approximately $50,000 since announcing a financial crisis in May, when Board President David Burke said the organization had enough money to operate “another three or four months.”

Executive Director Mike Cherry says recent donations from individuals and fundraising events will carry the organization at least into October. Cherry adds that details about a major fundraiser planned for September are forthcoming.

The animal shelter’s $500,000 fundraising goal includes “a couple hundred thousand” to sustain operations and assist with restructuring for long-term sustainability, as well as to build up its cash reserves. Cherry says getting to December and end-of-year-giving – a time when donations have historically been “heavy” – is critical for the nonprofit.

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