“We’re focusing on being more transparent with people. The money is actually going where we say it’s going,” said Executive Director Evan Sherwood.
The organization raised $551,595.87 in 2014. Approximately $440,000 was disbursed to N.C. Children’s Hospital.
“It has had a huge impact on the lives of children and families that are being taken care of,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, chairman and chief physician of the N.C. Children’s Hospital.
“There’s not a lot of paying for the extraneous administrative costs. They’re better than the national guidelines from what I’ve seen,” he said.
About $73,000 of the $111,000 difference between the amount raised and amount distributed was accounted for by in-kind donations or services rendered for free to the organization which cannot then be passed on to grantees.
The organization minimizes overhead costs by soliciting donations of goods and services. Food, entertainment, costumes and facility usage for the Dance Marathon event are donated and counted in the $551,595.87 total.
They paid Carolina Union Production Services around $21,000 for lighting, stage setup and other services associated with the dance marathon.
Carolina For the Kids raises money through a number of events during the course of the year, including a 5-kilometer road race, a benefit reception, merchandise sales and their largest-grossing event — the Dance Marathon. The money benefits patients of N.C. Children’s Hospital and their families.
“Through their funding, we were able to see several hundred kids and their families for palliative care,” said Elisabeth Dellon, medical director of the Children’s Supportive Care Team at N.C. Children’s Hospital. Her team provides care to very ill children with the goal of improving their quality of life.
“For kids that are dying, we provide education for the family on what to expect,” she said.
Jacob Lohr, professor of pediatrics and adviser to Carolina For the Kids, credits student leadership for the growth of the organization.
“There were times where groceries were paid for. I know of at least one circumstance where a family’s mortgage was paid for so they wouldn’t lose their home,” he said.
Carolina For the Kids meets regularly with the fundraising arm of N.C. Children’s Hospital to determine where need exists. It decides which grants it wishes to fund that year, and the hospital disburses money accordingly, Lohr said.
“We’re always looking for new ways to really support these patients and these families who come to the hospital at the hardest times in their lives,” Sherwood said.