You may have noticed over the past few years that Prescott Farmers Market is growing and expanding. We’re more than the market you see on Saturdays. For example, we launched and have sustained our most visible and impactful programs (Feed Your Neighbors, Prescott Community Compost and NoCo Community Kitchen) all since 2020! To administer these programs and serve our community through these programs, we’ve more than doubled our staff; we are lucky to have 11 passionate, dedicated team members who believe in our mission and have a “we’ll make it work” mentality.
It’s pretty eye-opening to realize that, prior to 2020, all staff payroll used to be covered by the 10% vendor sales fee that we charge. When I started working for PFM in 2014, 95% of the organization’s revenue came from the 10% sales fee that vendors pay at each market. Today, vendor fees account for only 32% of our annual revenue! Put another way, doing more to better serve our community, while staying in line with our mission, simply costs more.
In recent years, PFM has been fortunate to receive significant support through individual donations, sponsorships and grants. For many nonprofits, 2023 has had a different feel. It’s been a mix of “back to normal” and a funkiness that is hard to describe. For PFM, this has looked like a significant drop in sponsorships and grants awards which has led to some tough budgeting decisions. For example, we implemented a waitlist for our Feed Your Neighbors program in September because the need for food assistance has outpaced funding.
All of this being said, Prescott Farmers Market is here to stay and we are working diligently to find long-term funding for our valuable programs. As we head toward the end of the year, please consider including Prescott Farmers Market in your giving plans. We’re so grateful to everyone who gives tax-credit-eligible donations, Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRA accounts, or puts a few dollars in the tip jar at the compost booth. If each of our customers donated $10 right now, we would reach our $30,000 year-end fundraising goal!
If you love the market and the sense of community it provides, if you participate in any of our programs or feel passionate about their role in our community’s well-being, I humbly ask you to make a meaningful gift this season to help us continue to bring all of our programs to you and your neighbors.