Facing Dwindling Funds, Nonprofits Look to Annual Giving Event for Needed Support

May 4, 2020

According to a recent survey by the South Carolina Community Loan fund, many nonprofits say they will run out of funding by June; 80 percent indicated they will be out money by September.

Elizabeth Houck works with Midlands Gives, an 18-hour online giving event powered by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. For the past six years, the event has raised almost 10 million dollars for local nonprofits. Houck said this year’s event, in the midst of a pandemic, the need to give organizations is even greater.

“They kind of go on the back burner, in terms of where we give our support,” she said. “When we think of arts nonprofits, there’s a lot of cancelled events where those are usually great sources of income for those organizations.”

This year, more than 400 organizations from 11 Midland-counties will participate in the annual giving event on Tuesday, May 5th. Key Changes Therapy Services uses music and art therapy to help children and adults with disabilities.

"If were not in a pandemic, I would have a lot of really awesome pictures and video to share from last weekend, which would have been our Spring recital, " said Natalie Rousseau, Executive Director. "We have everything from original song-writing and performance to [clients being able to] playing the shaker or bell on que , along with their therapist.

Rousseau founded the organization, 10 years ago. Today, it serves over 100 people. She said their day-to-day operation is like a typical therapy clinic, with clients coming in for hour-long appointments. Like many other industries, many of those sessions now take place online, which often presents a new set of challenges.

We're having to work with what is at home for the kids that we are seeing.

"We have gotten really creative, especially with regards to music therapy, with what we're using as instruments," Rousseau said. Teletherapy session may now be completed with the aide of spoons and buckets. "We're having to work with what is at home for the kids that we are seeing."

This year, Key Changes is looking for funds donated through Midlands Gives to help them put together what she calls home instrument bundles for families to use at home.

The Midlands Gives platform works like online shopping- people can filter through categories, search by keyword, see recommendations and give to as many nonprofits as you'd like. There is a Champion, similar to Facebook giving pages, that allows donors to create a personal campaign to raise money and awareness for their favorite nonprofits. It also helps nonprofits earn more money by making them eligible for prizes.

This year, in response to financial impacts of COVID-19, the minimum donation amount required has been lowered to $10. Learn more at MidlandsGive.org