Rising Gas Prices & Cost for Charities

We have posted recently about some of the costs related our operations and providing high quality services to our reservation communities. Many years ago National Relief Charities made the decision to provide on-target, responsive service for our Program Partners. We knew this would require a good deal of infrastructure, but we also knew it was important not to be an organization with a “ride in and ride out” approach to programs and partnerships. Our intention was, both then and now, to be a consistent and reliable resource for our reservation communities and to be involved in true partnership. 

The infrastructure I am referring to took time and money to build. It required distribution warehouses, semis and long box trucks, field staff with cultural competency, a strong network and distribution system, and collaborative partnerships on and off the reservations. It takes resources to maintain this infrastructure so that we can continue being both responsive and appropriate to the needs of our Program Partners and the communities they serve. That’s OK. We knew it would cost to do it right and to provide humanitarian services with true impact.

All CEOs, whether they lead for-profit or nonprofit companies, need to be concerned about the cost of doing business. Helen mentioned rising fuel costs. As I write this the average cost of diesel fuel, the main type of fuel used in distributions by National Relief Charities, is $3.91 cents per gallon. Rising gas prices worry charitiesWe are also concerned with other costs that are ever increasing, such as postage rates, rapidly changing regulations, and personnel requirements. It’s a challenge for nonprofits to raise enough funds to keep up with the increasing cost of doing business, while still keeping their program impact high. I’d love to hear what other nonprofits have to say about this.

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