Like so many nonprofits and small businesses, the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on The Exodus Road financially. Fundraising events have been postponed, donations have slowed, grants have been paused. In all transparency, our giving from last year was down 50% in the month of March alone.And while our revenue has been hit, the need has only increased.
In India, for example, where one of our teams works, a country-wide lockdown has left the poor out of work and in desperate need of food, while price gouging makes it even more impossible to afford the basics. Some experts say that many people may starve before the virus sweeps through their communities. Those caught in human trafficking are increasingly more desperate as well; these children, men, and women typically live in poverty and have no safe place to quarantine.
And despite these overwhelming times, we are more committed than ever to keep our teams on the front lines employed, safe, and with the resources they need to help their communities. We are especially determined to keep rising up on behalf of the most vulnerable -- the survivors of trafficking we serve.
1. We'll sacrifice first. Our entire U.S. office has taken salary cuts. We know that during this lean time, we have to protect our front line operatives and their work first, and we all stepped up. We’ve also worked hard to reduce our monthly operating budget by 30%.
2. The most vulnerable are now even more vulnerable. During this time of global crisis, those in impoverished countries where we work like India are becoming increasingly desperate. The poor are hungry, families have little access to healthcare, and those that are victims of human trafficking are suffering even greater desperation than they were before.
3. We're not stopping. We are committed to continuing this work of rescue and right now that looks like keeping our national Search + Rescue teams employed and offering special funding to partners and the communities where we work to help those most in need.
Will you consider a special one-time gift during this difficult season? A donation of any amount would help. Here are some examples of what your giving will make possible:
This is a challenging time for all of us, but times of struggle typically reveal what matters most. If you’re here because you care about fighting human trafficking and protecting the exploited, know that we do, too. And a pandemic -- even one of global proportions -- won’t ever stop that mission.