During the next six weeks, we wanted to take some time each week to help visitors better understand how important charitable donations are to Our Hope. Our rich 40-year history is rooted in the gifts of time, talent and treasure that the people of West Michigan and beyond have consistently given to Our Hope. Simply said, the organization could not have survived to deliver our critical mission as an independent, non-profit dedicated to guiding women to lifelong recovery from alcoholism, addiction and the mental and emotional health conditions related to these diseases without the generosity of our donors and volunteers, not to mention our dedicated staff.
There is no question that Our Hope's finances suffered significantly over the last five years with the dramatic decline in public funding that came as a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis. However, there is also no question that the organization continued to deliver outstanding service to many women in need despite these declines, with sincere thanks to major grants from our founders and their families, Steelcase Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Non-Profit Technical Assistance Fund, the Dyer-Ives Foundation and many, many donations from friends new and old. In fact, after a low point in 2010/11, we significantly improved our financial position in 2011/12 and are now projected to break even in the current fiscal year ending September 30, 2013. This reflects real positive changes made organizationally:
- We are aggressively pursuing privately paying clients through:
- Creation of a Financial Assistance Fund that will cover up to 90% of the cost of treatment to women with demonstrated financial need
- Partnering with health insurance providers (including Cigna and Priority Health) for the first time in Our Hope's history
- Refining our Services offering to better meet the needs and financial realities of women today
- Fielding inexpensive marketing/awareness building public relations efforts (including creation of this beautiful website!)
- We are actively seeking new contracts with public funders like Network 180 in Kent County, and River Haven, Venture Behavioral Health, and Lakeshore throughout Michigan.
- We have carefully examined expenses and have made important progress in cutting/better managing costs.
The other key ingredient in achieving a breakeven financial position this year is to more than double the level of giving to Our Hope's General Fund, achieving $50,000 in this, our most flexible fund. Beyond this, our most pressing need is to continue to increase the Financial Assistance Fund so that we can serve women who don't qualify for public funding, but demonstrate financial need and a willingness to do the difficult work recovery requires. We are also seeking to raise $30,000 to pay for an electronic billing system, helping us to manage our entry into the world of health insurance coverage for the women we serve. Finally, the gracious 1880 Main Residence, Carriage House and grounds would benefit from significant contributions to our Tender Loving Care (TLC) Fund, we can help women develop healthier lifestyles with contributions to the Mueller Wellness Fund and we can help the women we serve become employable through gifts to the Nelson Fund.
Each of these funds' purposes will be covered in detail in the weeks to come. We welcome your thoughts, questions or gifts as we celebrate the holiday season with a Focus on Funding. Please browse the pages on this site, starting with the Give Page which has links to each of the Funds' pages, as well as links to donate online or by mail by clicking here, contact us by clicking here or call us at 616-451-2039.