Local Non-Profit Update: Church Street School

There is not an obvious silver lining in this post. Church Street School for Music and Art, which has been in the neighborhood teaching all kinds of arts to kids for the past 30 years, is looking to raise $30,000 in the next two weeks to keep it afloat and support its staff. They are also seeking monthly donors who can give them an assured funding stream for future months.

Donate here.

Programs are now running online, and the staff is still working — Lisa estimates that 75 percent of their community is taking classes as scheduled from a distance. But there is still a big gap to reach the bottom line. “Most of our income streams are paralyzed,” said founder Lisa Ecklund-Flores. “As a not-for profit, we simply do not have the reserves in our budget to weather a crisis like this without help.”

The school gets about 70 percent of its operating costs from tuition; the rest comes from grants, fundraisers and facility rentals. They also count on the cash flow coming in now for summer registration to keep things liquid. “People are even feeling ambivalent about fall, so no one is signing up for summer,” Lisa said.

They moved from Warren to White Street two years ago (that does not seem possible! Time!) and that set them back a little in registrations. (In this neighborhood, eight blocks is a long way.) But on March 11, the accountant had reported that they were up 20 percent in spring tuition from last year. By March 25, they were down 17 percent.

The outlook — as it has for so many — changed in two weeks’ time.

The goal now is to get to May 1, and see what the world looks like from there. And hope for the best.