January 17, 2020
The Dover Neighbors Fund had an extraordinary 2019. During those twelve months, we saw the number of donors increase 55%. And thankfully our annual donations increased from $12,825 in 2018 to $37,675 in 2019 due, in large part, to the largesse of a family who offered us a match challenge which we were able to achieve. The sponsors of the match have asked to remain anonymous, but we are enormously grateful to them for their leadership in supporting us. Additionally, it was with great appreciation that we received a nice note and donations from a group of Dover families who have been friends in town for over 50 years. And we wish to thank donors who supported us anonymously.
Our expenses in 2019 remain minimal consisting of payment for a new banner to display outside of Town Hall, in addition to payment for our annual solicitation mailing. In spite of the encouraging year we have had, the Fund’s trustees believe that we can and must do more as the need exceeds our limited resources. We believe that there is potential for significantly more participation in town to support the Fund. The challenge is of course being able to get the attention of prospective donors and convincing them that what we are building is worthy of their financial support.
Looking ahead to 2020, it will be my first year in semi-retirement, as I have left Needham Bank which should afford me more time to devote to the Fund. The Trustees are discussing some type of social event in 2020 which we would position as our annual fundraiser. More information on that is forthcoming. We wish to do a better job reaching out to the businesses in town which do not currently support us, as well as encouraging matching corporate gifts from employers offering that to their employees. Lastly, we are also exploring charitable foundations which do not support us yet, but which do support other Town activities.
In closing, thanks to those of you who lobby for our support with your friends and neighbors and thank you to the Town for allowing us to appear on Dover’s website and displaying our banner each year. Thanks as well to the leadership of the churches in town who have offered us their support. There are many impressive not-for-profits in our wonderful town. We admire each of them and aspire to continue their good work in our mission. As always, on behalf of the Trustees, sincere thanks to everyone who helped us in 2019. Please contact us with your questions or suggestions. And please accept our best wishes for an inspiring new year.
Eric R. Morse