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Springfield non-profits finding new ways to fundraise during pandemic

Published: Aug. 29, 2020 at 9:03 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Local non-profits are seeing the pandemic’s effects on their fundraising efforts.

“Non-profits are in a really bad spot,” said Ashley French, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Springfield.

French said donations keep the organization going.

“We provide kind, caring adults for kids in our community that need someone,” she said. “Fundraising is incredible for us. It maintains all of our operations.”

Same goes for Harmony House.

“We can all be here ready to help but some of those things cost money to operate what we’re doing here,” said Jared Alexander.

Alexander, the Director of Development, said the services and shelter Harmony House offers might be more important than ever.

“The situation of domestic violence didn’t go away because COVID arrived. In fact, we believe, in many situations, it’s making it worse,” he said.

Stay-at-home orders this spring created challenges for both non-profits. Both had to postponed major fundraising efforts. For Harmony House, it was the Purple Party, which was postponed to August.

“We decided to try something new. We essentially picked up the party and moved it to people’s homes,” Alexander said.

The virtual party raised even more money than expected.

“$73,000 dollars equates to just over 2,000 nights of safe shelter,” he said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters spring event, Taste of the Ozarks, was moved to November.

“We have to have about three plans per event. Maybe we can do it, maybe we can do it hybrid where it’s a little in-person and virtual, and then full virtual,” French said.

She said that creativity will be necessary until fundraising events are normal again.

“We’ve got to get back to that safely,” French said.

French said Big Brothers Big Sisters has also started corporate partnerships as a new fundraising method.

Harmony House’s iCare campaign is still on for this fall, and the organization is considering some virtual elements. Big Brothers Big Sisters is planning to have Beer Fest in the spring.

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