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Despite Economic Recovery, Charities Still Struggling For Dollars

CHICAGO (CBS) -- At a time when many people give to charity groups, the economy has improved, but there are still challenges in raising money.

Mary Lynn Everson, director of the Marjorie Kovler Center, which works with immigrants who were torture victims, said they receive federal grants, but the funding can't always keep up with demand.

"We have had challenges with that, as well, because it's been flat-funded for, I believe, four years," she said. "Of course, with increasing requests for services, that presents obvious challenges," she said.

Karen Daiter, director of The Holding Circle, a small agency that provides psychological help and conflict resolution for poor minority students, said raising money is a challenge.

"We're funded currently through private donations. We're looking at some grants, but principally it's through private donations," she said.


Things have been looking up since the economy improved, but with the state's budget still a mess, many charities have seen less state funding, or delays in payments.

"The big issue that the not-for-profit sector is dealing with in our state is the looming challenges; the challenges we've been dealing with, and the looming challenges given the state budget," said Wendy DuBoe, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Chicago, an umbrella organization that funds many health and human services agencies.

Denia Barrett, who heads the Center for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy – which oversees a program to counsel poor minority school children – said if she's not seeing a big rise in money donated to the charity, she is seeing a big rise in deeds.

"We get an enormous amount of in-kind donation from our therapists, who work at maybe a third of the rate that they would otherwise earn in their private practices," she said.

The challenges facing charities is the focus of this week's edition of At Issue, airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

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