The bell ringers and their red kettles have disappeared for another year, but Salvation Army of Indiana still is nearly $500,000 short of its holiday fundraising goal—putting programs in jeopardy.
Set to end Jan. 31, the annual Tree of Lights campaign generates about a third of the revenue needed to support central Indiana programs—including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, shelters for women and children, and neighborhood community centers.
As of Jan. 4, the organization was $468,925 shy of its $2.93 million goal. And the Salvation Army doesn’t have much wiggle room.
The organization missed its revenue budget by almost $300,000 in the last fiscal year—largely because Tree of Lights missed its goal by $186,000—and used cash reserves to avoid program cuts given an increase in demand for services.
“That was our rainy-day fund, and it rained like crazy last year,” Development Director Jeff Stanger told IBJ in November. “We just don’t have that option this year.”
Officials aren’t sure yet what programs would be affected by a fundraising shortfall, and they’re still hoping to close the gap. Mail and online donations are being accepted through the end of the month.