Posted by: chlost | January 16, 2010

How to Help?

Lately, I  have become involved with a nonprofit which is struggling.  This nonprofit provides very unique and valuable services to special needs children.  I have been involved with nonprofits in the past, but this is the first that I have involved as it seems to be dying.

This is a one-woman operation.  It seems that she has run it in the past on her personal funds and the meager funds that the services brought in as fees.  In the winter, however, she has no fees and she has run out of money.  I know how hard this is for her.  I have had to give up on a business as well.  Maybe that is why it is so hard for me to watch.

I have provided her with some emergency money.  Now, however she is within a week of having to close.  So, how do I help?  Is it better to just let her close it down and provide moral support?  Or, should I try to help her come up with some emergency funds?

I put out a plea through my facebook, and have emailed the few people whom I know might be interested in her business.  But I have severe doubts that there will be any funds coming from that.  If there are some emergency funds, she may just end up at the same point a few weeks from now-will it just be harder to close down then?  Maybe the emergency funds could hold her over until she can get more permanent funding in place.  I am not sure of the likelihood of that happening.  It doesn’t seem as though there is much waiting in the wings, although she seems to think that there are a few things which may fall into place within a few months.

Things are tight for us financially, too.  I have a little extra only because of a rather large payment received a few weeks ago.  I don’t know if there will be more.  When this runs out, I may be back to the point of desperation as well.  Just before the holidays, we were behind on our bills and struggling to figure out how we would give gifts to the family.  I really don’t want to go back to being in that position. 

My soul wants to help.  My head says I would be throwing good money after bad.  How do I help?


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