Events hosted by nonprofits can be a great way to increase fundraising and awareness.
Laura Gasbarro, development manager for the Parkinson’s Foundation in Northern Ohio; Liz Gage, development manager for the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Katie Mang, vice president of fund development for the Cleveland area chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association all said events can help increase both fundraising and awareness for a nonprofit organization and all three organizations have large events coming up this summer.
Gasbarro said the Parkinson’s Foundation in Northern Ohio has an event, called “Moving Day,’ coming up on June 22 at Wade Oval in Cleveland, that will help with the goals of fundraising and raising awareness.
“Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that affects movement,” she said. “Moving is really what helps Parkinson’s patients combat their systems. It helps them feel better because they’re using movement to help themselves feel better. They do boxing activities, they do biking activities, they do walking activities. So, Parkinson’s Foundation has a Moving Day so that people can come and move together. They bring their whole families. They raise awareness through bringing not only their families, but the caregivers, the doctors and nursing staff that helped them combat the disease and it really is a fun-filled family day. You kind of come together, forget about the disease somewhat and really focus on movement and how it can help you feel better as a Parkinson’s patient.”
Mang said the Alzheimer’s Association’s “The Longest Day” event, which will be June 21 and happens nationally, happens during Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month, which she said is a special time of the year for raising awareness for Alzheimer’s and dementia and showing support for those who are affected by them.
“The Longest Day engages companies, families and social groups to host all types of activities in honor of someone they love with a goal of raising funds and awareness,” Mang said. “Local family activities include hiking, playing cards, singing, baking and running. Individuals will ask for a donation while they host their activity; many (are) asking their networks to join them. Businesses in the Greater Cleveland area are hosting dine and donate days, going casual for the cause, raffle basket drawings, bowling competitions and much more. The unique and exciting opportunity with The Longest Day is when a company, family or organization engages their own network and community around their event. We are reaching new audiences to educate them about the disease and the Association, often mixed with a fun or inspiring activity.”
Gage said the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s upcoming “Cleveland Take Steps Walk” on June 23 at Edgewater Park in Cleveland is a free event, which gives more people the chance to participate and possibly raise more awareness.
“I think with a free event, it really gives all demographics an opportunity to support the mission, maybe not necessarily with their checkbook – although they do have the opportunity to fundraise – but it’s also just a time to go out and spread awareness,” she said. “We have these events at very local, public places. For example ... (Edgewater Park) is such a popular place for everyone that it’s a good spot to spread the news of what we’re doing and the mission of what we’re doing. The more people who are curious in what’s going on, the more likely they are to walk up and ask some questions. With inflammatory bowel disease, there’s just not a lot of information out there about it. A lot of people don’t go to seek it out and there’s a lot of misconceptions, plus many people who are diagnosed don’t want to talk about the disease. So the more ways we can spread awareness, the easier it is to reach out to people, normalize it and raise money for a cure.”