The government’s recent decision to increase fuel and electricity prices has had a knock-on effect on the fund-raising efforts of charities, with many businesses disinclined to donate money as their operational costs soar.
The Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, a charity that provides special care to the poverty-stricken, seniors and patients in a persistent vegetative state, has encountered increasing difficulties over the past month as it has sought to raise funds for supplies and promote coupons priced at NT$100 for a charity carnival on May 20.
The carnival, which is to be held at the Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts in Greater Kao-hsiung, is a fundraiser for a renovation project to partition a 460 ping (1,518m2) space at the foundation’s Fengshan branch hospital into 12 wards for comatose patients.
According to social workers at the foundation, fundraising for three charities events staged last year went smoothly, with one in 10 local businesses making a contribution.
However, following the government’s recent decision to increase fuel and electricity prices, which has sparked widespread public discontent and greatly increased businesses’ costs, only one in 30 companies have made donations, the fund said.
One lunchbox supplier was so incensed at the increased prices that he flatly turned the charity down when asked for a donation, saying: “Go ask [President] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) or Taipower for the money.”
The gloomy economic outlook and the recent price increases, had clearly undermined the public’s capacity and willingness to help with charity work, the foundation said, adding that even medium and large-sized enterprises that regularly make financial donations had chosen to donate supplies instead this year.
The fundraising effort remains a long way from its target of more than NT$1 million, the foundation said, urging the public to help the disadvantaged in society.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer