Local nonprofits turn to virtual fundraisers to connect with donors following the spread of COVID-19


The COVID-19 crisis has left several things up in the air for non-profits that depend on donations.

Coming off a record high campaign year, the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley says they’ve had to get creative when it comes to fundraising. Several of their upcoming events have been converted into virtual ones.  

Every fall, the nonprofit kicks off their campaign with a luncheon for around 1,000 people. Last year’s campaign raised around seven million dollars. 

Ben Moser with United Way says he understands the tough spot COVID-19 has put donors in and he can only hope for the best this time around. 

“We’re not going to put stress on our companies to try and reach unattainable United Way goals this year given the challenges that we’re all facing. So, it will be a conversation with our companies to see what they feel good about, what they feel comfortable asking their employees to do this year,” Moser said.

To decrease social interactions, the nonprofit will also make changes to their annual summer school supply drive, Stuff the Bus, geared towards helping students in need.

Instead of volunteers packing backpacks full of supplies to give to students, they will be collecting items from donors and giving them directly to the schools, so teachers can pack them.

The nonprofit organization, International Friendship Ministries says they’ve spent the past few months adjusting to the new normal as well. The nonprofit provides a home away from home for international soldiers and their families during their time at Fort Benning.

Ron Collins with the organization says unfortunately they’ve had to cancel their summer camp program, but they’re getting creative when it comes to raising funds to support their staff and other programs. 

“We’ve done an annual fundraiser and we’ve usually done it at St. Luke, a noon lunch. We invite some of the internationals to participate and share in their cultural dances and so forth. A great meal, but an opportunity for people to give to support or work with the internationals. So, this year with all that’s going on we haven’t been able to do that and we’re trying to learn how to do it virtually,” Collins said.

Collins says their fundraiser was originally scheduled for April, but due to the spread of coronavirus they had to postpone it.

To join in on the virtual fundraiser at 7p.m. you can register at ifmga.org or call (706) 653-0097.

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