It took me months to figure out what was going on. At first I thought that maybe people were changing and now they just didn’t care as much about orphans any more, or perhaps it was our fault, maybe we just aren’t good at telling the story of why it matters that we take care of these kids… For the life of me I could not understand why our donations were going down, yet it was (is) undeniable that they were (are).
Remember how last year Target got hacked and all of us who had been there in the past 6 months (Which is pretty much everyone) had to go back and look through our bank statements just to make sure that our card numbers were not included in those stolen? Then remember how the government made a big announcement that America was finally going to catch up with the rest of the modern world and start requiring that we use chip cards? This meant that every credit card and ATM card number in the country would have to change in the span of 6 months.
Figured it out yet?
For organizations like ours who rely on donors to give us their credit card information, this means that we also rely on that same donor to log back in and tell us when their card number changes or else we are not able to get the support from that person.
What’s the damage? Well, it’s not good, the great chip card change over has resulted in a 20% drop in monthly donations.
Let that settle in for a bit..
Givers who had been giving are gone.
Money that we rely on to feed our kids, keep roofs over their heads, and pay the salaries of our staff, it all dropped by 20% over the course of 6 months.
It does not take a math professor to tell you that this is not good, sweet amazing kids like these are not the kind of kids you can just look at and say “Sorry guys, things aren’t going to work out”
I spoke with two other folks here in Ethiopia who run organizations and they both have seen the same drop in donations as well.. Like I said, chip cards are not good for orphans!
What are we going to do about it?
We are starting by looking for ways to cut back on costs, which isn’t an easy task because from day one our focus has been on keeping costs as low as possible. So while there are a few things that we can do, we have simply not been able to find enough areas to cut back on without tearing apart the organization that exists to create and support families. At the same time the cost of rent, food, and just about everything else that we pay for in our budget is going up in Ethiopia.
Yeah, both sides at the same time. Its like getting a call from work telling you that your salary is getting cut, and then another call a minute later from your landlord telling you that your rent is going up… Somethings gotta give right!?
The next thing we are doing is reaching out once again to everyone who was giving but has since stopped and we are asking them to update their credit cards. The problem is that while this sounds easy, we find that many of our emails get stuck in junk mail folders. Grr… It is likely that many of these people who were giving still think that they are giving!
The other thing that we can do, and we need your help on this one, is sharing this post all around the world with hopes that more of our donors will see it, and that we will attract new donors who will come in and step up financially to help! Can you do that for us!? We need you!
Last, or rather firstly, we pray! And we ask that you do the same with us! This is now of those things that while frustrating, and complicated to solve, it is simply not something that we are willing to relent on. We must find a solution! And we know that God knows already about this need, and that he has a plan.
Lets do this guys! Lets spread the word and pray and get some more monthly donations in so that we can keep giving these 57 kids in our forever families the future they deserve. Because hope in every future sometimes requires doing what is hard for that future to be possible.
If you were giving before, or want to start a new monthly gift to help Bring Love In do what we do here in Ethiopia, please click here and setup a donation. (You can just create a new account if you don’t remember your password from before, we merge them at the end of the year for tax deduction receipts)