Organizations Successful in Fundraising Transition During COVID-19 | Estate planning

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It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged businesses and institutions across the country. While many people worry about both the virus and the economy, some organizations have struggled to collect donations. But others were able to meet the challenges and end with a good year.

Kate Brown, president of the MetroHealth Foundation in Cleveland, and Brian Sokol, development director of the Menorah Park Foundation in Beachwood, said their organizations have had a successful year despite the challenges.

Sokol said Menorah Park has come together in force as a community because donors understood the growing needs during this unprecedented period of the pandemic.

“They’ve supported everything from COVID-related emergency supplies and shared their appreciation for the heroic teams of staff to increased technology and innovations to support community connectivity, life enrichment, telehealth and more. therapy, ”Sokol said. “As we embarked on our annual 2020 campaign last fall, the influx of giveaways was inspiring and incredible. For the first time in our history, we have exceeded one million dollars in donations. We are encouraged that support is with us again this fall as we begin to engage in our second annual campaign that takes place during the pandemic. “

Brown said the pandemic has brought out loyalty in the MetroHealth community.

“What we saw was truly an extraordinary and generous spirit among the people who have supported MetroHealth and new MetroHealth donors,” said Brown. “It remains a very different time for all of us, and I think we were really moved and deeply grateful for the way the community has come together and supported us.”

Sokol said Menorah Park’s associate board of directors, made up of young community leaders, had led him through a successful virtual fundraising race called “Home Run,” exceeding the goal of $ 100,000. The community also re-joined their high school singing contest, “Shining Star CLE,” which raised nearly $ 430,000 to support memory care programs.

The Cleveland Jewish News was a media sponsor of the Menorah Park and Shining Star CLE Home Run virtual walk / walk.

Sokol added that the pandemic called into question their resolve.

“Yet in some of our darkest hours we have felt the kindness, care and support found in Northeast Ohio and through our Jewish community in particular,” he said. . “We appreciate being able to count on this caring community to give additional strength to our critical mission. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support for our beloved seniors and their loved ones, as well as our caregiving teams who are dedicated every day to care with heart and excellence. “

In addition to loyalty, Brown said it was essential to adapt to different means of community outreach. One of the biggest challenges, she said, was adapting to remote working and engaging with donors virtually, instead of giving them the opportunity to experience campus and the work they do. they do it firsthand.

“We got really good at Zoom,” said Brown. “This is really, in part, reality. We quickly adapted to the use of technology. And in some cases, there was an ease that came with it. People could engage with us without actually having to leave their homes. We were able to share things via virtual briefings and updates. It was just a matter of thinking outside the box and continuing, more importantly, to stay in touch with the people who supported MetroHealth, make sure they were okay, and provide whatever information they could be looking for. .

Even today, Brown said MetroHealth works in a hybrid system.

“We are able to do certain things in an appropriate manner and at a social distance with donors and prospects,” explained Brown. “We certainly still use the technology. So we take it day by day. The most important thing is to determine where people are comfortable, personally, and how they handle their interactions. And then always making sure that we are safe and careful with these. “

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