Groups forced to get creative
Many nonprofits have suffered huge losses during the past few years.
Across the state, bingo-funded nonprofits are feeling the pinch, as the weakened economy affects what is in many cases their main funding source.
“Right now nobody is generating a lot of income for anything,” said Bob Funk, quartermaster for Ohio’s Veterans of Foreign Wars. “People don’t have a lot of money to spend.”
Locally, many charities and nonprofits have suffered huge losses during the past few years.
For Sightless Children Club, a support group for parents of visually impaired children, bingo profits plummeted from $134,000 in 2006 to just under $12,000 in 2009, according to records from the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
The group also provides computers and software for visually impaired children.
“It doesn’t stop us from doing what we have to do,” said President Lisa Buckingham. “We just can’t do as much.”
Box 21 Rescue Service provides a number of services, but is often most visible providing refreshments and shelter to police and fire agencies at difficult scenes.
Bingo profits dropped 36 percent for Box 21 from 2006 to 2009. Officials for Box 21 could not be reached for comment, but the group’s website states that it has “no future plans for any bingo fundraiser” and thanks supporters for attending bingo during the past 15 years.
David Fuchsman, president of Beth Abraham Synagogue in Oakwood, said that nonprofits are being hit particularly hard during the downturn in the economy, which is impacting donations as well.
“It’s more than just bingo,” Fuchsman said. “It’s a double hit.”
Synagogue bingo profits dropped 32 percent, from $634,000 to $430,000, from 2006 to 2009. However, synagogue officials asked for donations and “a few people really stepped up and gave significant amounts,” Fuchsman said.
The synagogue’s fundraising committee had been inactive for years, but has started up again, Fuchsman said. They still do bingo, but are being forced to rethink and be creative.
“What it has forced us to do is to get back to what we used to do,” Fuchsman said. “I think it’s a mixed blessing.” Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2057 or lgrieco@Dayton DailyNews.com.