October 29, 2010
Happy Fiscal New Year!
One of the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s important, if usually unheralded, annual benchmarks is completion of its Fiscal Year each September 30th and receiving our final reconciled financial statements a few weeks later. Managing the Foundation’s resources is quiet, unglamorous work, but it is a responsibility we take even more seriously than ever, given the nation’s current economic climate.
So it’s a great pleasure to report that the Foundation, thanks to the continued generosity of our donors, and careful scrutiny of our every expense, has completed another year in the black, debt-free and poised for continued success.
Between Oct. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010, the Foundation raised just under $950,000, largely from personal and corporate contributions, and spent about $893,000, the majority of which went to education and advocacy activity. After administrative and fundraising costs, we carefully saved the remaining funds for the new fiscal year or to prepay upcoming expenses in order to lock in better prices and conserve donations.
We’re now just about a month into the new fiscal year and are on track to meet our new budget, which we believe we can actually bring in under $900,000 without sacrificing any of our programmatic impact. In fact, we think we’ll be able to improve our effectiveness, because much of the savings comes from a complete restructuring of our Web site and MatthewsPlace.com which not only added exciting new interactive features and the ability to present our information better — but also did so at a lower cost through careful choices of new service providers.
Our 2010 “Bear to Make a Difference” Gala Dinner and Celebrity Teddy Bear Auction on Oct. 16th at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts contributed more than 20% of our annual bottom line and showcased our improved programming and widening reach as well. With next year’s gala being the 10th such event, plans are under way to make sure the next event honors Matthew’s legacy with even more focus on youth whom we have served.
Special thanks are also due this month to two special partners who have helped us keep our momentum going: The Elton John Charitable Fund, which generously donated $10,000 in October, and Google, which reached out to the Foundation with a $20,000 grant award to help us better serve at-risk LGBT youth and provide allies with support and encouragement in partnering with their LGBT peers to end bullying and discrimination.
We are very proud to have the support of donors like yourself who have made our work a continuing success even in the face of one of the nation’s most prolonged economic downturns in living memory, and we pledge to continue to use these resources wisely. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like more details on our work or the way we operate — and to offer advice on how we can do it better.
All the best,