By Jenn Watt
Published March 21 2017
The YWCA’s matching donations program has been embraced so whole-heartedly that by the end of March the organization will likely be unable to find matching funds for new donations. But that doesn’t mean there’s not more to do.
“We were at $17877 [donated] earlier this week” said Jen Cureton director of philanthropy and communications for YWCA Peterborough Haliburton. “That’s $35754 when matched by other donors.”
In total some $19000 of matching funds were made available from two couples and one individual in the community. Once donations have caught up to those funds the YWCA will no longer be able to guarantee matching funds for new donations though Cureton is still pursuing leads.
The original idea came from Keith and Susan Hay who offered the original $10000 of matching funds which spurred the campaign.
“They read about and heard about the fact that we had closed the shelter for a period of time and thought we just can’t have that. How do we help?” Cureton said.
The YWCA is creating a sustainability study for the shelter in the Haliburton Highlands and while it is being conducted needs to bring in about $200000 to keep the current services going.
Last year the shelter was closed for five months after demand outpaced available funds.
“Over the last three years we’ve used over $280000 of fundraising dollars to support the Haliburton operation” Cureton said. “Really our goal was $120000 to $200000 in this campaign to be able to support the work over the next two years while we do the sustainability study.”
If the study finds ways for the shelter to be more efficient the extra dollars will be set aside for Haliburton services in the future.
Cureton said one of the most common questions she’s received when fundraising for Haliburton is whether the money raised here will stay here. The answer is yes.
This recent fundraising push – which has included several independently organized events including two local concerts – has also opened up opportunity to talk more about domestic violence and the services offered by the YWCA.
The response from the community has been inspiring Cureton said particularly in hearing the stories from local survivors who have come forward to talk about how the YWCA helped.
“I know that this outpouring [of support] … is not something we would expect all the time but to know that there’s people there who care about our work is great” she said.
Although the matching portion of the fundraiser is nearly done the YWCA still needs funds to continue operations. Find out more by going to their website ywcapeterborough.org or call 705-743-3526.