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Nonprofit View: Time and again during difficult 2020, community responded to help nonprofits | COMMENTARY

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

This will be a year none of us will soon forget.  I can’t wait until this year is behind and we can start telling our COVID 19 survival experiences.  When sharing our stories, I doubt any of us will refer to this time as “the good ole days”. 

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One group of organizations that have been hit especially hard is the nonprofit community. Most nonprofits in Carroll County operate on a tight budget as there is a collective value and belief that every possible dollar should be used for recipients of our services. Most local nonprofit organizations engage in fundraising to help further their mission and vision and help sustain the organizations so they can continue to operate.  

Oftentimes public funding either doesn’t provide or provides very little of the actual cost of running an organization. And  for some nonprofits, they need to fundraise in order to survive. Almost everyone has some kind of event to help raise funds and friends.  This year, many in person events had to be cancelled. Some organizations were able to pivot and have virtual events and many simply sent out emails or letters to their donors asking for support.  

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With this anticipated loss of critical revenue, I thought we would see some organizations close their doors. In some of the conversations I’ve had with nonprofit leaders, donations are holding steady and some actually report an increase. Time and time again our community responds with this amazing spirit that transforms into action and is led by generous donors, businesses and government agencies that come together to make sure the nonprofit community stays strong and doesn’t break. 

There is much that I want to forget about this past year, but it wasn’t all bad. There were bright spots. 

When the pandemic began, many of us didn’t have masks and hand sanitizer. Several individuals and  groups starting making and gave away masks and face shields to organizations in need and local breweries began manufacturing and distributing hand sanitizer.  I can speak firsthand that this was a lifesaver for The Arc Carroll County.  We have lots of emergency and contingency plans, but we were ill-prepared for this event in terms of PPE. 

One business that deserves our sincere thanks is the Carroll County Times, which has generously donated their editorial space every Monday to the nonprofit community for the past several years. They do an amazing job of highlighting events and do whatever they can to recognize fundraising efforts. We are continuing to search for nonprofit organizations that would like to share their story.  If you would like the opportunity, please email either Don Rowe, drowe@arccarroll.com or Bob Blubaugh, at bob.blubaugh@carrollcountytimes.com.

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While we all want to get through this as soon as possible, it is important to pause and thank the generosity of those in our community that truly embody the Carroll County spirit of collaboration, giving and gratitude. Hopefully everyone stays healthy, safe and engaged during the holidays.

Don Rowe is the executive director of The Arc Carroll County.

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