Mail Delays Affecting Critical Year-End Fundraising Members News December 28, 2020 One of the strategic pillars of The Scranton Area Community Foundation is the importance of serving as a partner to nonprofit and charitable organizations serving our local communities. To do that, we take seriously the connections we have with nonprofit organizations, and prioritize the importance of knowing the needs and challenges they are facing so that we can best serve them in our role as a steward of charitable funds, a grantmaker, a resource, and a catalyst for change and growth. In a critical time of the year during a particularly difficult year, where nonprofit organizations are often relying on community generosity to help fill the gaps in meeting their operational capabilities, many nonprofits in the NEPA region are facing a challenge: Mail Delays. Some organizations have mailed their annual appeal in early December and are aware that donors did not receive it yet. Others who have mailed it in November and early December say that they are experiencing significant delays in gifts being returned. Spiking coronavirus cases and unprecedented volumes of mail and e-commerce orders are to blame for the delays in the mail system. Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation has heard about challenges faced by multiple organizations. “Nonprofit organizations supporting human services, children and youth, the environment, animal welfare, and other focus areas have indicated that they are experiencing challenges in fundraising resulting from mail delays,” she added. “Interested donors shouldn’t assume that organizations aren’t in need just because they may not have received a request in the mail.” “December is typically a very strong month for us where we receive nearly a third of needed funds for the year. With mail delays, donations are simply not coming in. If we don’t have the funds, the animals are the ones who suffer most,” stated Indra Lahiri of Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. “Right now, animals and humans are suffering more than ever, and they rely on nonprofits to keep them going. I urge everyone in our community that can do so to donate to your favorite charities now. Don’t wait for their usual letter, it may not get to you anytime soon, Please donate online to help your favorite organizations continue their life saving work,” stated Lahiri. Craig Lukatch, President of Lacawac Sanctuary Environmental Education Center, has also seen delays with donations reaching the nonprofit in Lake Ariel. “This year has been very difficult on all nonprofit organizations, especially Lacawac Sanctuary. We have seen significant delays with donations reaching us and at this time of year every donation counts. Our fundraising annual appeal went out in November and we are just now starting to see donors sending in their gifts. I’m sure many other nonprofits are seeing the same return,” Lukatch stated. “Those who are looking to make a year-end gift should contact the nonprofit to let them know a contribution is on its way or go to their website to make a donation online.” More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at www.safdn.org.