As we all know, the norm is anything but normal in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is adversely affecting Rotary fundraising efforts that usually entail in-person interaction.
Thus, we have ascertained, by a recent consensus of your SRC Board of Directors and a followup discussion among other club members, that we will continue to underwrite at least three (3) areas of our usual financial largesse — Circle of Mercy family and school projects, our youth educational scholarships, and assistance to local food pantries.
While we also may consider resuming financial support of other endeavors as the 2020-21 Rotary Year progresses, that will depend on the creation and undertaking of fundraising efforts that conform with projects that adhere to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions — social distancing, masking, sanitation methods, etc. — as well as Rotary’s Avenues of Service.
To accomplish this, rather than ask for member support on a month-by-month, project-by-project basis as we habitually have done, we are asking for a one-time, or by installment, financial donation to support the important work of the club to underwrite local and international humanitarian projects.
The level will depend on your personal financial status and your interest in supporting SRC and allied Rotary projects. The timeline: “contributions ASAP” so we can firm up our budget as quickly as we can.
In judging that level of support, you may wish to bear in mind that we usually have 38 dinner meetings a year, and that would mean a projected saving of $18 every week, or $684 if we do not hold any dinner meetings in 2020-21. In addition, we are not asking for the usual weekly contributions to our “Spare Change” jug; the usual “Summer Casual” events (Mac-Haydn Theatre, ValleyCats pavilion picnic and baseball game, various field trips, etc.) were not held this summer, so no member money was spent; no sponsorships were solicited for various efforts such as the annual SRC Bowl-a-Thon, etc. Thus, members have not been asked to be forthcoming with donations and fees this year, so much money has been saved.
Here is how the new financing system will work:
• We are asking one-time or periodic donations. To create your level of support, we acknowledge that different members are financially able or financially willing to donate at different levels. Several members already have submitted their checks. The amount(s) is strictly up to you.
• We are providing suggested ways to donate per a spreadsheet, created by Roberto Martinez, that has been emailed to all members as a guideline.
• You may designate which local, regional, or international efforts you wish your donations to support: i.e., when you submit your checks you may attach a note indicating how the money is to be divided. If you do not, we will assume you wish your entire contribution to go to the club’s general treasury.
• The level of donations will be confidential. This is not a competition. The only person who will be aware of the individual donations will, by necessity, be Murray Forth, our club treasurer. He will direct funds to the various efforts in conjunction with your specific instructions and will report to the membership only aggregate, rather than individual, amounts.
A huge caveat: If you wish to donate to non-local or non-club efforts and make your donations tax deductible, you need to take certain steps to qualify. Please submit checks designated for SRC club activities separately from checks meant to support other efforts. (If you need guidance, please contact Bill Dowd.)
For example, to assure tax deductibility:
• Donations to ShelterBox: Checks must be made payable to “ShelterBox,” with “SRC Rotary” entered in the memo line. Please submit all such checks to Bill Dowd, our club’s ShelterBox liaison officer who regularly collects donations and delivers them to District coordinators so our club and the individual receive credit for donations.
• Donations to Gift of Life: Checks must be made payable to “District 7190 Gift of Life,” with “SRC Rotary “entered in the memo line. Please submit all such checks to Dean or Doris Calamaras, our club’s GOL liaisons who will deliver them to District coordinators so our club and the individual receive credit for total donations.
We hope this methodology will alleviate the periodic stress on members of helping pay for our community service efforts until we achieve some form of normalcy as the pandemic dissipates.
Thank you, as always, for your compassionate efforts. While no one can do everything, everyone can do something. We ask only that each SRC member does that something in a timely manner.
Mailing Addresses for check submissions:
• SRC Rotary, Box 71, East Greenbush, NY 12061
• Bill Dowd, 7 Hyland Circle, Troy, NY 12182
• Dean & Doris Calamaras, 106 Birchwood Drive, Castleton, NY 12033