My Experience With Fundraising During a Pandemic

I don’t know about you all, but by this time in the year I’m usually halfway or more to my fundraising goal for the Philadelphia Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Some of my biggest fundraisers include: asking for spare change donations outside of a local business, dine and donates at local restaurants, and raffling off donated goods from small businesses. As you may have guessed by reading that list, these fundraisers are a bit irresponsible if not impossible during a pandemic in my area.

It can be a struggle to ask people who may have lost their jobs and businesses that are struggling to support a cause like Alzheimer’s disease. I understand that, which just means that, like many other areas of our lives now, we need to become more creative in how we ask for help. In that vein, I’ve brainstormed some virtual fundraisers.

Artisans: Donating a portion of their proceeds

Lately, I’ve reached out to small artisans, many of whom have found purpose and joy in the crafting that they are taking on at this time, and asked if they would like to partner on a fundraiser.

My offer is to get their names in front of a base of thousands of active participants in a community brought together by a cause. In return, they provide a monetary donation per product and the satisfaction of donating to a good cause.

I have a cousin who began making her own earrings. One woman I’ve recently befriended in book club is making soaps and donating the proceeds to a cause. A lifelong friend of mine does screen printing and we are brainstorming t-shirt ideas for later in the year. All of these things can be done through social media and shipped to the buyer.

Fitness: Offering virtual classes

Many of the local fitness instructors I know have offered virtual classes during the pandemic. I hope to reach out to a few of them and ask if they would be willing to host a virtual fitness class benefiting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I’ve done this in previous years at studios and have had a fairly good turnout and donation price point.

One may either ask to split the cost of the class with the instructor, to accommodate for their time, or perhaps you reach an agreement that the entire cost will go to the cause. Negotiate, see how it will work.

Music: Hosting a virtual concert

A friend of mine, Michael Borowski, has hosted virtual music fundraisers, in which he will go live (on Facebook, but Instagram also has that capability) and play music. Sometimes there is a theme, and sometimes he takes requests. He places information on how to donate in the caption. People who enjoy his music are welcome to donate.

Michael also recently composed a song with a few members of his family about his mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s. It is available on YouTube and is promoted on Facebook with a link to donate.

We will get through this

These are just a few of the options. I’m sure there are many others and hope to brainstorm more in the future. The point is that, we can still beat Alzheimer’s, we can still come together and raise funds for our collective cause despite any roadblocks erected in our path. Good luck!

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