Hand-to-mouth operation suffers the consequences of bouncing a rent check because a donation hadn't cleared the bank.
The Palm Springs Desert Sun (Katie Ruark) reminds us how bad it can be for the horde of marginal charity organizations in the US. The local community crisis line (Jeffrey Sandholm Memorial Community Crisis Line EIN 91-2070528 Form 990) is having a confrontation with its landlord, who has increased the rent from $550 to $650 per month. After bouncing a rent check and asking for leniency on two month's back rent pending a donation, the landlord changed the locks.
Volunteers continue to take calls at home, but they need a place for the phone equipment that facilitates call distribution, which has to have a business location, according to the report by a local television station (Ria Taormina). The center has thirty volunteers who cover the phone from morning until 10 at night, some from home and some from the office.
The operation raised $38,000 in 2005, which mostly went to the $29,300 salary of the executive director Jim Dillion. Rent for 2005 was $6,820. Overall expenses in 2005 were $50,000, and the $12,000 deficit basically wiped out the organization's cash reserves. How they got through 2006 is anyone's guess.
I'm not sure how much sympathy this organization deserves. Palm Springs alone is a community with over 45,000 people, many of them affluent celebrities, and Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage are other well-off communities in the Coachella Valley, Rancho Mirage being home to the Betty Ford Center (EIN 95-3863994 Form 990). It seem to me that the director and thirty volunteers should be able to put their heads together and come up with a way to bring in $50,000 a year without precipitating a crisis. An organization like this one could also share some space with another organization or a church.
But when all else fails, a panic story in the local press is a proven and effective way to raise a bit of quick cash.