Elder Network Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Elder Network get its funding?
Elder Network’s operating funds come from a variety of sources. We are supported by local contributions, fee
for service donations, fundraising events, the United Ways of Olmsted and Wabasha Counties, and grants. Government grants cover approximately 30% of our costs but are not guaranteed from year to year.
It would not be possible for us to provide the kind of help that we do without the financial support of those who
benefit from our services.
How much does it cost to use Elder Network services?
Elder Network asks people who benefit from our services to make regular contributions, as they are able, to
assure that Elder Network has the resources it needs to help the community. Although there is suggested
donation fee for our volunteer based services, we do inform care receivers and their families of our costs so
that you can make an informed decision about your contribution level. It is important to us that anyone who
really needs our help receives it, regardless of ability to contribute.
With that said, we need to make it clear that it does cost money to operate Elder Network. Our yearly budget is about $200,000 (for Olmsted, Winona and Wabasha counties), including staff salaries, volunteer training and background checks, insurance, computers, telephone, materials and supplies, postage and other basic costs associated with running the organization.
So how much should I be donating if I get help from Elder Network?
There are no easy answers to this question. How much you can contribute depends on a number of
factors. When considering how much you can afford, you might ask yourself questions like:
1. Are my adult children able to stay at work because an Elder Network volunteer provides rides or
assistance to me? Would they have to use vacation or sick time to take me to my medical
appointments? If this is the case, could your son or daughter help cover some of the costs of the help you
receive from Elder Network?
2. Are Elder Network services helping me to remain living in my own home? If so, consider the $35,000 - $60,000 each year that you’d have to pay if you moved into a catered or assisted living facility (rent plus additional services) or a nursing home. Base your contributions on how Elder Network’s services extend the length of your independence.
Could I make a planned gift of money I have invested in property, IRAs, stocks
Yes, we would be happy to talk to you about planned giving. Also remember to include Elder Network in your
will or memorials.
Should I pay the Elder Network volunteer?
No. People choose to volunteer at Elder Network because they want to help people with the things they can no longer do themselves. Feel free to “treat” a favorite volunteer to pie and coffee, a box of candy or a can of pop if you’d like. All volunteers are instructed that they may only accept personal gifts that they can eat. All cash gifts are given to Elder Network.
How old do you have to be to get help from Elder Network?
Serving seniors is a priority to us. We also help caregivers of any age who are caring for someone over 55 years of age. At Elder Network, most of our funding sources contract us to help those 55 and older.