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    Posted January 26, 2009

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The Actors Fund Seeks to Overcome Recession, Drop in Donations

The Actors Fund is facing difficult times and also difficult decisions given the recession. “We anticipated a drop in donations and an increase in demand for services,” says Actors Fund President Brian Stokes Mitchell, “but we did not think it would be so challenging so quickly.” A year ago, in anticipation of tough financial times to come, The Fund reduced expenses; in January, it cut an additional $2 million from a budget of over $26 million.

"...we’ll need everyone’s support as we meet current needs and advance The Fund.”
- Brian Stokes Mitchel

Facing the downturn in donations, and in addition to a variety of initiatives, The Fund enlisted Loews Hotels Chairman & CEO Jonathan Tisch to plan a special fundraising campaign aimed at securing new leaders and resources. It is also moving forward on programs to create more affordable housing opportunities for seniors and others in the community. “These steps should help The Fund maintain critical program services,” noted Executive Director Joseph Benincasa, “and we are working hard and creatively to raise more funds so that we can help where and when help is needed.”

The Actors Fund recently completed a major expansion of its New Jersey nursing home and assisted living care facility and is about to open its newest affordable housing residence in Brooklyn. These facilities – together with those developed a decade ago in West Hollywood, California and in Manhattan – complement the three additional core service areas for The Fund – employment and training, health care and health insurance counseling, and emergency financial assistance and social services.

Last year, The Fund helped more than 10,000 people in 46 states. It is among the most highly rated human service organizations, receiving Four Stars from Charity Navigator, the premiere rating service. “In 2007, 83 cents on every dollar was spent helping people,” said Benincasa, “ and that ratio has increased to 87 cents as The Fund reduces operating costs and provides more assistance.”

“We are proud of how we help and confident in the future,” says President Mitchell, “but we’ll need everyone’s support as we meet current needs and advance The Fund.”

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