Star News: Charities in Wilmington area see fundraising fatigue

Charities in Wilmington area see fundraising fatigue


Photo by Matt Miller
Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11:42 p.m.


If you are inclined both socially and altruistically, you could attend a fundraising event in Wilmington almost any weekend in the spring and fall. A good example was Saturday, March 21. On that night you had a choice of five charitable events, including ones sponsored by the Red Cross, Feast Down East and the Junior League.

“You can pick any weekend and find three (fundraising) events,” said Jane Birnbach, senior development director for Good Shepherd Center.

The Cape Fear region is home to at least 600 charitable organizations, estimates Kitty Yerkes, development director for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity., a guide to area nonprofits, lists nearly 400 nonprofits in its database.

“We’re a small community with little industry,” said Birnbach. As a result, “everybody is going after the same donors. You have to raise money from smaller organizations and individuals.”

Vann Pearsall, executive director of the N.C. Coastal Land Trust, concurs: “We’re all going after the same little pouch.”

“There’s a lot of competition among very good causes,” said Yasmin Tomkinson, interim director of the Cape Fear Literacy Council. “It can be very difficult to get your message out.”

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