Focus on Funding: The Critical Importance of General Fund Gifts

Nov 15, 2012

There is no question that Our Hope would not have been able to fulfill its mission over the last 40 years, but especially since the "Great Recession" of 2008, without the very generous donations directed to our General Fund.  While the purpose of this, our most flexible fund, is summarized here, we wanted to shed a bit more light on how critical donations to the General Fund are. 

Proven Cost Management and Financial Stewardship

Our Hope's expenses for this year are projected to be $484,200, down slightly from last year, but down dramatically from a five-year high of $548,785 during the first year of the 2008 recession.  This reflects the fact that we took a deep dive into our costs and have been able to find ways to "do more with less."  In no small way, we owe a debt of gratitude to our very dedicated Staff, among whom the bulk of the cost savings were achieved.  We have asked some to take on much greater responsibility without commensurate salary increases, some to pare back hours and some to work on a contractual basis, all resulting in an -11% cut in staff-related costs since 2008/09.  When staff-related costs are combined with other Program-Related expenses, total Program-Related Costs ( the portion of total costs which directly impact the women we serve) for this year are projected to account for 85% of total expenses, comparing very favorably to other non-profit organizations.  Bottom line, the fact that we have been excellent stewards of our funds should give reassurance to our donors.

Increasing the Number of Women Served

On the revenue side, we are very optimistic about our prospects for serving more women this year, both those receiving public funding and those able to pay privately.  We continue to aggressively pursue new contracts with public funders like Network 180 in Kent County, RiverHaven in East Michigan and Venture Behavioral Health and Lakeshore in West Michigan.  We are also very pleased that we've been able to welcome several women who have been able to pay privately, some with help from their insurance companies--for the first time in Our Hope's history, in 2012, we established partnerships with insurance providers, including Cigna and Priority Health.  While Our Hope does maintain a Financial Assistance Fund to help bridge the gap between public assistance, private pay and insurance reimbursements for women with demonstrated financial need, this is funded separately from our annual budget.  It is donations to our General Fund that make the critical difference between revenues from our clients and total expenses. 

2012/13 General Fund Goal

Assuming Our Hope is able to serve the number of women projected in this year's forecast, our goal is to achieve $50,000 in General Fund donations to cover all projected expenses.  This represents more than doubling the gifts received in the General Fund last year (excluding the last installment of the generous 3-Year Grant from Steelcase Foundation received in July 2012).  If you've donated to Our Hope in the past, we sincerely thank you and urge you to consider increasing your gift this year.  If you've never given to Our Hope before and choose to do so this year, we are so very grateful.  You may donate securely online here or by mail by clicking here to get a printable donation form.  Of course, we would be more than happy to discuss any of this with you...just call either our Director of Advancement, Rae Green, or our Executive Director, Carolyn Avery, at 616-451-2039 or contact us online by clicking here.

We wish you a joyful holiday season and are so very grateful for your gifts!


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