Wednesday, February 24, 2021

2 Inspiring WWP Fundraising Stories

 Fundraising is vital to organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which relies on community contributions to provide life-changing services to America’s veterans. Recently, the organization made headlines for a few fundraising efforts that saw dedicated supporters using some truly creative methods.  

Let’s look at two of the most inspiring WWP fundraising stories:

Stormtrooper 10k ruck

One Navy hospital corpsman put his own spin on WWP’s virtual Carry Forward event this past year by gearing up with a full set of Star Wars stormtrooper armor for his own 10-kilometer ruck (a fast march carrying weight). The man, Jeffrey Priela, walked along Highway 101 in Carlsbad, California, in late August 2020 to raise money for WWP in a year when veteran demand has risen sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Priela has been wearing stormtrooper armor during fundraisers since 2016 and says that the outfit always garners smiles and attention from passersby. Though the armor is unforgiving, he says it’s well worth it to raise money for the causes he supports.

A veteran’s walk across the country

In 2019, Air Force veteran and Minnesota resident Jerry Meadows set off on a cross-country journey to raise money for WWP. He selected the organization because of its focus on the needs of both veterans and their families. Meadows, who recently underwent triple bypass surgery and brought an oxygen tank along for the journey, aimed to walk more than 1,200 miles from Minnesota to WWP headquarters in Florida for the fundraiser. His wife, Virginia, followed behind him in the family van to make sure he was safe and keep him supplied with his medication. 

Meadows said the journey was challenging, both physically and mentally, but the enthusiasm of passersby kept him going—that, and the worthy cause he was raising money to support.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

3 Criteria for Selecting a Charity to Support

 As of 2018, there were nearly 1.6 million nonprofits registered in the United States. Wonderful though it may be for all the causes these organizations support, the sheer number of available charities can make it difficult for the average American to choose which to align with. If you’re looking for a nonprofit to support, the following tips can help you make a decision. 

1. Outline your philanthropic goals. 

The first and most important step in selecting a charity to support is to determine your goals for donating or volunteering. Start by looking at your values and interests. Are you passionate about animal welfare? The arts? Helping veterans? Write out a brief mission statement—this can help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to find an organization that not only aligns with your goals, but also has the biggest impact on your favorite cause.

2. Get to know its mission. 

Once you start to research potential charities, you should look closely at each of their missions. Pay close attention to the way they present their values and goals. You should be able to understand exactly what they are trying to accomplish and how their programming and policies are helping them achieve that end. 

3. Research potential choices.

At some point, you should narrow your choices down to a few nonprofits. Now is the time to conduct more in-depth research about each organization. Your due diligence will ensure that your money will make the greatest impact possible, and that there isn’t anything fishy going on with the organization you choose to support. To this end, look into the nonprofit’s finances, governance, and history. You can also use popular charity vetting sites like Charity Navigator and GuideStar to help with your research.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

3 Big BGCA News Stories from 2020

2020 was a momentous year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Despite the numerous changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, the organization strived to continue serving kids and teens across the country in any way that it could. From launching new virtual programs to engaging in fundraising efforts, BGCA found new ways to further its mission and build stronger community ties along the way.

Here are three of BGCA’s most significant news stories from 2020:

1. BGCA establishes a COVID-19 relief fund.

In early April, BGCA announced it would be launching a relief fund that would allow it to bolster its response to COVID-19 in the communities it serves. Proceeds from this fund have enabled the organization to transition much of its programming online to keep youth engaged in Club programming while ensuring their safety. BGCA has also used its COVID-19 Relief Fund to supply meals to Club kids and provide for those with front-line healthcare workers in their families. 

2. BGCA receives much-needed funding

As 2020 came to a close, the president of the Larson Family Foundation announced that the organization would be providing $30 million in funding to BGCA. On an immediate basis, this money will help BGCA broaden the scope of its COVID-19 response to communities it may not have otherwise been able to reach. This funding will also set the organization up for the future by allowing it to train employees, develop new programs, and provide more resources to its Club kids.

3. BGCA launched a partnership to provide online STEM learning.

BGCA recently joined forces with Thermo Fisher Scientific to expand its virtual programming. This partnership has allowed the organization to develop an interactive online STEM curriculum known as “DIY STEM,” which is available to youth across the globe.