COVID-19: Affiliate Spotlight – Family Promise of Lawrence, KS

September 8, 2020

Dana Ortiz

At Family Promise, desperate times call for creative measures.

The COVID-19 crisis has been a proving ground for Family Promise Affiliates, volunteers, and partners across the country as service providers resort to unique and creative measures that ensure vulnerable families to continue to receive the support they need while working to regain independence.

During this crisis, we’re highlighting the unique ways Affiliates are serving families battling homelessness during this challenging time.

Taking It to the Streets…Virtually

The COVID-19 crisis has given new significance to the concept of “going virtual.” For Family Promise Affiliates across the country, the remote lifestyle caused by the pandemic has not only changed the way they serve families, it has also impacted their fundraising efforts. Like many Affiliates who had events scheduled this spring and summer, when Family Promise of Lawrence, KS, had to cancel its annual 5k race, one of their biggest fundraisers, they decided to take it virtual.

Executive Director Dana Ortiz says Family Promise of Lawrence had such success participating in Family Promise’s peer-to-peer fundraising for the national COVID-19 emergency relief campaign in the spring that it decided to use it for their newly styled online 5k.

The Virtual 5k Home Run 2020 Benefiting Family Promise

The logo for Dana’s campaign

With peer-to-peer fundraising, individuals and teams host mini-campaigns and enlist supporters to make donations. Ortiz vowed to run a 5k for every $100 donated to her campaign, “Help Keep Dana Tired.”

“I ended up running 25 of them!” she exclaims.

Ortiz dedicated each run to a donor and used personal stories and unique hashtags to create social media posts that tracked her runs and raised awareness of the campaign. She found the peer-to-peer process a fun way to make fundraising more personal and tells the story of how she was out walking after the campaign had ended when a neighbor called to her, “Are you running another 5k for Family Promise?!”

“It just shows the power of personalizing fundraising,” she says.

Ortiz estimates 20 percent of Family Promise of Lawrence’s funding this year has come through peer-to-peer fundraising so far and says the Affiliate has added about 130 new donors.

“It would have taken us two years to do that before!” she remarks. “Using this [platform] for COVID relief taught us that we can take these tools post-COVID and reach a larger community.”

Ortiz also touts the ease of peer-to-peer fundraising.

“Once you set up the main page, she explains, your fundraisers do all the work,” she says, describing it as “another layer of support” in the fundraising process.

“If I can figure it out, it’s got to be pretty simple,” she jokes.

For more information on how peer-to-peer fundraising can benefit you, go to click here or contact Melissa Biggar.

Dial 211 to find more resources near you.