Mid-Missouri Charities Prepare for Giving Slowdown

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COLUMBIA - With the holidays wrapping up and tax deadlines almost here, some local charities are getting ready for the financial giving to come to a standstill. For Columbia's Rainbow House, a non-profit organization that provides services to children and families dealing with abuse and neglect, it could be as long as three months until the next check comes to their door.

"The end of the year is hectic and we do great with contributions," Rainbow House Executive Director Jan Stock said. "[After the holidays] for the most part our cash flow comes to a screeching halt."

In order to prepare for the slow months ahead, the organization relies on what acts like a reserve fund.

"I mean we kind of just put it in savings and dole it out only as we need it. We really cut expenses back so we can try and maintain a budget," Stock said.

The Salvation Army also sees financial donations drop off after its holiday red kettle fundraiser concludes. Major Kendall Mathews with the organization said monetary donations flat line for the most part until the next big fundraiser. But Mathews said the Salvation Army met it's goals for the year.

At the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, the months to come don't look as daunting thanks to growing regular monthly donations.

"We are very blessed this year in that donations exceeded any previous year all year long," Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick said. "It allows us to even our income stream. It's very difficult sometimes as a charity to operate with donations going up and down, it's almost like a roller coaster."

Despite their varying financial situations ahead, all groups advocate for giving throughout the entire year.

"Hunger never takes a vacation, people are in need all year long," Kirkpatrick said.

"The feeling that you get at the end of the year when you're giving can last all year long," Stock said. "It's just a dream come true for us when we get checks during those off-periods."