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Monday, June 21, 2010

DC SCORES turns to unconventional means to close revenue shortfall

Sometimes unconventionality just might work or at least should be attempted.

DC SCORES is in a bind. We are nearing the end of our fiscal year (August 31) and we are facing a $130,000 revenue shortfall. Here is the overwhelmingly disheartening part – in 2008/2009, when the economic downturn hit mid-fiscal year, we made a steadfast decision to not make any drastic mid-year changes to program, stipend pay for after-school staff, or major projects we had committed to (outcomes evaluation).

We decided that if we needed to utilize reserves for anything, these are the situations that warrant it. And we needed to use the reserves, because for the first time in a very long time, we didn’t meet revenue goals – individual, foundation, corporate, and event fundraising took a major hit that year.

Going into 2009/2010, we knew more what we were up against with the ongoing economic crisis. We slashed our expense budget by more than 10 percent, with major cuts in our coach bonuses, external projects or upgrades (technology and evaluation), office space, and staff salaries. We knew fundraising was going to be an uphill climb – we conservatively forecasted all sources of revenue as ‘bare bones’ as possible.

Well, here we are, a little over two months from the end of our year, and our ‘bare bones’ budget conservatism wasn’t enough. It mainly has to do with our foundation funding, which of the many sources, stayed stable when the recession hit in 2008/2009. While we knew many foundations were scaling back to build back up assets in subsequent years, our cuts were still fairly unforeseen from long-time funders. Also, at the beginning of the year, we took a major reduction in local government funding, and again, our overall event revenue continues to suffer.

So, here we are – June 21 and $130,000 short. In the short-term, this means we are looking at again going into a reserve account that truly cannot and should not take another depletion. Going into 2010/2011, it means making cuts to school programs where more than ever, students need a dynamic after-school program to keep them engaged and physically fit.

Last year, we could adjust down 10 percent of our budget without students losing their program or any staff changes. Next year, this is not the case. We need your help in raising $130,000 in a VERY short time period.

Here is where the unconventionality comes in and credit to Wings for Kids (an after-school program in Charleston, SC) for this modified idea. We have rolled out a short-term fundraising campaign to raise $130,000 called the Kick, Click, &, SCORE Campaign.

It all starts this Thursday and Friday where I, yes I (and a few others from our team), will juggle a soccer ball from 7 AM to 7 PM on the corner of 18th and M until we’ve received enough pledges to raise the $130,000. At the same time, our board and staff will be calling our existing donors, working on getting new donors, and challenging others to come down to juggle with us until we reach our goal.

In order for our supporters to get behind us with their ongoing donations, we need to show them that this revenue shortfall is serious enough for me to juggle a soccer ball as a sign of my commitment and seriousness to the cause until we raise the money. There is more to come this week on the blog, but PLEASE check out www.kickclickandscore.org to find out how you can be a part of the $130,000.

Remember, reaching our goal means providing a fun, enriching, and incredibly unique after-school program to a young person who needs it. Thank you.

For more information about the challenge, visit www.kickclickandscore.org

-- Written by Amy Nakamoto, Executive Director

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