Friday, October 23, 2009
Austin News: Hard Times in the Land of Plenty: Service nonprofits and their funders face the economic gale - AustinChronicle.com
Austin News: Hard Times in the Land of Plenty: Service nonprofits and their funders face the economic gale - AustinChronicle.com: "When it comes to fundraising, Davenport told his board at a recent presentation, 'Flat is the new up.' About 80 percent of the bank's revenue comes from private contributions, and while the number of small donors is up, the average donation size is down or has changed from cash to food. While food drives are a major part of the supply equation, most of what goes through the warehouse is either bought from or donated by wholesalers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Almost half is fresh food from the Central Texas Food Rescue program, through which firms such as H-E-B, Whole Foods, Central Market, and Wal-Mart donate short-dated perishables like vegetables and dairy, so the most needy get the nutrition they really need. Qunell said, 'When you think about it, the people who are in line at the food pantry are already buying the cheap food, so we have to get them something that's nutritious and healthy.' The rescue program alone has increased 600 percent over the last year, but Qunell fears for its sustainability, especially if donors have to improve their stock management during the recession. She said, 'For now, we're very fortunate for what we get, but we can't expect to rely on thi"