COLORADO SPRINGS — As we work to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, nonprofits are having to make big changes to the way they raise money.
So many large events in our communities had to be canceled this spring and summer. Now that it’s fall, groups are just doing what they can to make adjustments and fundraise for their cause.
“It helps with stability, connections, enrichment. It helps kids to heal after they’ve been through abuse or neglect,” said Brian Newsome, director of Fostering Hope.
The nonprofit Fostering Hope has been around for 15 years, providing volunteer support to foster families and kids aging out of the system.
“Almost all the kids who have been part of our community of support have graduated. That’s compared to probably less than a third nationally,” Newsome said.
Fostering Hope is a $600,000 a year operation. 93% of its funding comes from gifts about $100,000 from their yearly luncheon which this year will have to go virtual.
The group is working on a powerful 30-minute online program. They hope people will tune in to hear stories from foster families and the kids directly impacted.
Newsome believes there may be a silver lining in going virtual.
“When you have a virtual event, people may just check us out. Maybe they’re not comfortable going to the hotel or the big environment, but with this, they can check-in and see if they want to be a part of it,” he said.
An independent group found for every dollar spent by Fostering Hope, the social return on investment is nearly $3.
Mt. Carmel Veteran’s Service Center is in the same boat with their yearly fundraiser. They continue their mission to get any and all help to our well-deserving veterans, everything from food to rent assistance, counseling, and getting them back to work.
“Talk about a social return on investment. We produce close to $7 million dollars worth of service,” COO Robert McLaughlin said.
They have a $2 million budget and have received a lot of grants this year to keep them going but they also rely on fundraisers.
“To keep the lights on, to keep people serving our veterans, we try to balance grants with individual giving and events. It’s a mix of everything,” McLaughlin said.
Last year’s inaugural Hoedown for Heroes brought in $45,000 when they filled Boot Barn Hall with 400 people.
This year they have to scale back due to restrictions, with about 175 people in the hall and they plan to have a satellite gathering at Mt. Carmel and will online stream too.
“What we’re banking on literally is that people will want to support us even if virtually at home,” McLaughlin said.
From ticket sales to silent auctions and donations, they’re relying on our community to show up however they can and continue to help veterans in our community.
Fostering Hope’s event is Thursday, Oct. 8, at noon and 4:30 p.m. To attend or learn more click here.
The Hoedown for Heroes for Mt. Carmel is Friday, Nov. 6. To find out more click here.