As the new year began, a last minute deal in Washington meant that our nation’s immediate economic fears had been temporarily allayed. Congressional action prevented the country from going over the fiscal cliff. However, even after the House recently approved a three month extension to the debt ceiling – and Senate will likely follow suit – we are still plagued by fiscal uncertainty. How will the outcomes of these decisions affect The New York Foundling, the vulnerable New Yorkers we serve and the generous individuals who support us?
Given the recent devastation in New York from Hurricane Sandy and the inevitable drain this disaster will have on City and State budgets, what happens in Washington in the coming months will be increasingly important. As the nation’s fiscal woes continue there is a risk that The Foundling’s funding from City and State sources will be cut. This means fewer services for children and families in need. Growing tax and other burdens on small businesses could result in significant job loss and unemployment in the vulnerable communities we serve, indirectly increasing the demand for our services.
Also, our generous supporters will inevitably feel the pinch of additional taxes and rising costs. While so many philanthropists give because they feel it is the right thing to do, if Washington eliminates the charitable tax deduction, the result could be devastating for The Foundling and other non-profit organizations.
The Foundling’s programs cannot be maintained solely on government funding. In order to properly care for the kids, teens, and families who have nowhere else to turn, we need to raise millions of dollars ourselves. The New York Foundling has made a solemn commitment to provide those we serve with the tools they need to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Without the help of government funding and public support, that promise becomes harder to keep.
We understand that your pockets are likely to be a little emptier these days. But, consider the consequences: If The Foundling’s coffers are emptied, the safety we provide to thousands of New Yorkers every year disappears. What happens when we can no longer afford to provide medical services for the children in our care; when we have to turn infants away from our crisis nursery; or when young mothers have nowhere to turn to learn parenting skills? For the thousands of kids and families we serve, there is no back-up plan – except, that is, for The Foundling.
The bottom line? Overall cuts to government spending, coupled with an unstable economy and uncertainty in Washington all mean that The Foundling has a bigger void to fill.