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Local charities suffer from cancelled fundraisers

It's gala season, with no galas. What's a charity to do?

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — It's gala season. The time when many local charities hold fundraising events. For many, this is a significant portion of their yearly budget, and for nearly all, those galas have been cancelled.

These unique times call for creative measures. On Saturday night, Minnesota Independence College and Community took their annual fundraising gala to the internet. And the community part of their name, showed up in spades.

“They raised $300,000 dollars in their fund-a-need giving moment, it was absolutely remarkable,” says Glen Fladeboe with Fladeboe Advancement.

While MICC's ability to turn a negative into a positive is great, many organizations are simply having to cancel their benefits, and with that, comes a mounting economic effect.

“We would have likely raised someplace between 12 to 15 million dollars for clients from March 15th to May 30th,” says Fladeboe.

Millions of dollars for organizations like Children's Minnesota, or Literacy Minnesota, who have also cancelled their events. For smaller groups, these fundraisers represent a significant portion of their yearly budget.

“Just as an example, last year this event was attended by about 350 people, and raised over 126,000 dollars,” says Alison Boerner with Camp Odayin.

Camp Odayin helps kids with heart disease and their families connect in meaningful ways.

"We do a week-long residential camp, we do a day-camp program we a winter-camp, a moms retreat, two family-camps and we need to raise a lot of funds in order to provide those opportunities,” says Boerner.

Camp Odayin's 'Have Heart' benefit was scheduled for April 4th. They're hoping they can reschedule and not lose that revenue stream.

“For the time being we're okay, but I guess no one really knows, um, kind of what the long-term situation looks like here,” she says.

No one has a crystal ball, so all we can do is plan with the information we have now. Fladeboe says that means doing what we do best here in Minnesota... step up.

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"I think a lot of these organizations are going to have to reschedule their event, try to supplement their revenue this summer and this fall, but right now, as a community, our essential message is we need to rally behind these non-profits," he says.

"We're going to roll up our sleeves, we're going to put our best foot forward and we're going to get through this."

One thing you can do is think about the charities you normally support and go online to donate. And charities on the front lines of this pandemic like food shelves and domestic abuse organizations are in even greater need right now.

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