Server crash halts funds from being released to Centre Gives participants

The Food Bank of the State College Area raised nearly $15,000 from the Centre Gives donation drive through the Centre Foundation last month.

The organization hasn’t received its money yet, but it isn’t holding any grudges. That’s because a server crash has halted the foundation from writing checks to organizations that were part of the donation drive last month, said foundation Executive Director Al Jones.

“It was uncontrollable, really. An act of God that this happened,” said food bank Executive Director Carol Pioli. “They were completely upfront and alerted us about what had happened.”

Jones said earlier this month that the foundation would have disbursed money to the participating organizations within 30 days of the Centre Gives event that was held May 22-23, but couldn’t with the server crash.

“We’ve been in frantic communications with the company that provides the software for an emergency fix,” Jones said. “We’re in the works to make the best IT decision for us. It’s a significant financial cost and we need to make the best decision necessary.”

Jones said no organization has received any money that was raised.

“We didn’t single anyone out,” he said. “We were heading toward a date and as we approached that date, our server crashed. We’re not happy, and neither are they. This is not what we intended to do, but sometimes stuff happens.”

Jones said the foundation has been keeping in touch with organizations on a regular basis. The last email sent out was Monday, he said.

Pioli said the food bank works on an operating budget a year ahead of time, so the donated money that has yet to be received is not impacting the food bank negatively.

“This is just extra money that comes in at a great time of year for us, during the summer when donations are down,” she said. “But we budget appropriately beforehand.”

The same goes for Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania and the Schlow Centre Region Library, which worked with a separate fund raising group that raised $17,406 this year.

“This is not an issue,” said Wendy Klemick at the library.

Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania raised $28,455 from donors.

“We’re barely out of that 30-day time period where we were told we’d receive the funding,” added Joanne Steindorf, assistant director of development at Discovery Space. “We are not impacted as we budget ahead of time. The most important thing for us was to give thanks to our donors.”

The Centre Gives initiative raised nearly $552,000 for dozens of organizations around Centre County. The foundation additionally donated $120,000 to be divided among those eligible participating organizations.

Jones said there is no timeline yet when monies will be dispersed but said the foundation would continue to keep in touch with organizations.