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April 07, 2020

No Matter What

A message from our Board of Directors.

Dear friends and supporters of Friends–Austin,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe.

On behalf of the Friends–Austin Board of Directors, I wanted to share with you the work and actions our team has taken during these uncertain times. The children we serve, and their families, now have an even greater need for consistency, stability and assistance, which – because of your support – we have been able to respond to quickly.

Our theme of ‘No Matter What’ has guided us the past few weeks, as we have pivoted to support these families as they encounter food insecurity, job losses and homelessness. Here are a few examples of our work in the past three weeks:

Going forward, our goal is to ensure that our 14 salaried, full-time and trained Friends are able to continue to serve their 96 youth, as well as more than 500 additional family members, for the long-term 12+ year commitment, no matter what. This focus on sustainability is our top priority as a Board, and given the current uncertainty ahead, we have put the following actions into motion:

Each year, 100 percent of our Board contributes financially, at a level that covers all administrative costs on an annual basis. This is unique for a direct-service nonprofit, and a proof point that our Board has never been more committed to our mission than we are today.

I am also inspired by the commitment of our staff. We have heard from multiple staff members, in a variety of positions, who have offered to take significant salary cuts, if needed, as they see firsthand the impact this work has on our program youth and our community. As a Board, we are dedicated to maintaining the financial health and strength of our organization to ensure those sacrifices will not be necessary.

We run a streamlined, efficient and highly effective operation, and we are here for the long-haul. As you consider which local organizations you will support in the community during these trying times, we ask that you keep Friends–Austin on the top of your list, so that we can keep each of these children on the top of ours.

Rachel Arnold, Board Chair