Finances, Finances, Finances

Dear friends and supporters of Sanctuary London,

Many of you will already know that on Friday (Nov. 7, 2015) I received a phone call from Sanctuary’s banker. A cheque that we wrote was being cashed, for which we had insufficient funds to pay for. For the first time in five years, Sanctuary was out of money. I was supposed to have the afternoon off, but that just doesn’t happen very often. Something always comes up. So I immediately shared the news on Facebook, and asked for help. I then drove to the office to see if there were any financial donations that still needed to be taken to the bank.

I am so happy and thankful to say that help came. By the end of the day, enough donations came in that our bank account was back on the good side of zero. One gentleman, whom I didn’t even know, heard about our situation and drove in that evening from Ilderton to hand me an envelope of cash. Another friend email transferred money to my personal account, trusting that I would cash it and deposit it into the Sanctuary account. Today, just four days later, I made another bank deposit, and our balance is now just above five thousand dollars.

Perhaps most encouraging to me has been the number of our friends from our community who have somehow heard of our situation and have shared their desire to help. Some have written e-mails to friends that they have asking if there is any way they can help. Others are trying to come up with a project they can make and sell to donate the profit to Sanctuary. One friend wondered if he could build a small offering box to put in the atrium where we host drop-ins so that he and others could give anytime they had a little extra change. Another friend pulled me aside and asked, “Darryl, if I pay you back the loan you gave me a number of months ago, would that help to keep Sanctuary open?” And yet another friend asked if there was a way that she could automatically donate a small portion of her ODSP cheque to Sanctuary every month. These are the kinds of interactions, deep love, that help me to remember that what we do matters. And it keeps me going for another day.

But the reality is that even with the donations that have come in over the last few days, we still do not have enough to pay all of our expenses for the rest of this month. And if enough money does come in to cover the rest of November, what about December? what about January, and February and so on and so forth?

Many people have asked me, “have your donations decreased? What happened?” No, our donations have remained fairly consistent. In fact, every year, our giving has increased. But our expenses have increased at a higher rate. In some ways this is great news. We are growing as an organization and as a community. We are meeting with  more people. Last year we added Jeremy as our third staff member, and this year we got the office building which has substantially increased our ability to do ministry with an added art and music drop-in. But, as always, the increase in ministry results in an increase in costs.

We’ve tried to balance out these new costs with a number of new fundraisers. In September, Gil and I participated in a Triathlon event and tried to raise sponsors for Sanctuary. Then, my wife Sarah and I (mostly Sarah) worked very hard to put together the “A Taste of Home” fundraiser selling coffee, tea and gift baskets. And Jeremy has two concerts coming up with his old band the Ashgrove with all proceeds going towards the work of Sanctuary. But all of these have brought in significantly less money that we believed they would.

We know that what we really need to do is to come up with a strategic plan for how to make our work sustainable for the long haul. This isn’t new to us. It is something we have been thinking about for a long time. We are already involved in conversations about a few possible social enterprise projects that may generate some funds for us down the road. Of course this will take quite some time until we see any fruit from that labor. 

In the meantime, we’re having other conversations. Could I be laid off to save the cost of my salary? Sarah has a great job and could increase her hours back to full time, to provide for our family. I could then take care of our daughter Naomi and save a bit on childcare costs. Then I could volunteer as much of my time as possible to help Sanctuary in any way that I can. Realistically, however, our three staff are already stretched to the max as it is. In Gil’s words, “without any one of the three of us here full-time, the other two would be completely burned out within a few months and the whole organization would be over”. We just can’t do it with less staff. In fact, our hope and our goal for this year was to hire at least one more full-time, or two more part-time female staff.

 Therefore, what we really need is to increase our monthly dedicated support. Can you help? The following is a break down of what we need in order to make our work sustainable:

Sanctuary London Monthly Budget:
$22,320.40

Monthly Incoming Pledged Support:
$10,256.45

Shortfall: 
$12,053.96

New Support Needed:
120 new monthly pledges of $100 = $12,000.00
OR, perhaps more realistically,
10 x $250 and 70 x $100 and 40 x $50 and 15 x $25 and 20 x $10 = $12,075.00

Would you please carefully consider if you are able to be a part of our sustainability plan? Once we have enough monthly pledges in place to cover our monthly expenses, we can continue to do fundraisers and commit other one-time donations towards hiring new staff and to expand our work in reaching out and caring for the most vulnerable people in our city.

If you have already sent in a donation, thank you very much! You are part of the reason why we are still here today! If you think that you can be part of our sustainability plan, even committing to $10 a month really is a huge, huge help. If not, thank you for what you have already given. Please continue to pray for us, and if you know anyone who you think might possibly be interested in helping us, please pass this message on to them.

Sanctuary is able to debit your bank account automatically on either the 1st or the 15th day of every month. We simply need an Authorization Form filed out and mailed in to us. Ending your monthly charge is quick and easy. We simply need to hear from you a month before you would like the donations to end.

If you would like to talk to any one of us about this, please contact us as soon as possible. We really would love to hear from you.

Darryl Reckman 519-280-8895 or darryl@sanctuarylondon.ca
Gil Clelland 519-902-9774 or gil@sanctuarylondon.ca
Jeremy Jongejan 519-955-3937 or jeremy@sanctuarylondon.ca

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