Letter from the Treasurer

Fiscal Year 2008–09 was a challenging year. Donations decreased by eight percent. In large measure, this was the result of a reduction in bequests, included in donation income, after an historic high in FY 2007–08. Despite the downturn almost all of our donors honored their commitments to our FY 2008–09 programs. Donations from individuals actually rose, although multi-year pledges from some foundations and corporations declined.

Spending rose 2.5% in FY 2008–09. The need for foster care and adoption services grew, underlining the correlation between tough times and increased incidents of child abuse. Other core services such as domestic violence prevention, low-cost health and after-school services, and safe havens for teens remained in demand. Unfortunately, spending reductions of $2.2 million in FY 2008–09 were required to make up for some of the decline in donations. Administration bore most of the cuts, but some programs were reduced in size as well.

Our operating deficit was covered by withdrawals from our reserves. As absolute and relative measures of wealth decline, concern heightens that “life line” programs could disappear over the next few years. Donations enable Children’s Aid to remain adept and to deliver help when and where it is needed most. Our Board voted to provide an additional $1.1 million from reserves to insure that the most needed services remain in place. Nevertheless, significant challenges loom in the years ahead.

We extend our deepest thanks to those who made our work possible despite serious economic hardships. For over 150 years we have seen donors, large and small, rise above “trying times” to insure that children and families most in need are protected and empowered. With this continued support in FY 2009–10, Children’s Aid will reach 150,000 children and families in need.

Virginia M. Sermier