The Phoenix Business Journal has named the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona one of the top 25 nonprofit organizations in the state. Despite its top ranking, the Foundation is feeling the strain of the economy as it battles for the same donation dollars that were easier to come by before the economy tanked.
For more than 30 years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona has been granting the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. However with the shift in the economy, the organization says donors are still giving, but not as much or as often.
In fiscal year 2011, the requests for wishes was 54 percent higher than budgeted. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation's goal to grant nearly 300 wishes is entirely dependent upon the generosity of private donors and corporations. By the end of 2012, the organization anticipates 377 children in Arizona may still be waiting for their wishes to be granted due to a spike in referrals and the continuing challenge for donation dollars.
The results of the latest Wish Impact Study showed 98 percent of parents felt the wish experience gave them the opportunity to be a "normal" family again and 92 percent of parents saw their children experience re-empowerment to take back the ability to make decisions in their lives. According to the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits, 45 percent of nonprofits experienced a drop in revenue in 2010 and 29 percent of nonprofits are expected to end their fiscal year 2011 with a deficit.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona is committed to granting the wish of every Arizona child who is medically eligible. Although the average wait time for a wish is 12 to 18 months, this can be reduced with increased financial support from the community.