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Nonprofits Get Creative With Fundraising, As They Reach More People During The Pandemic

Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio
The Advocates, a Hailey-based nonprofit helping those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault, set up a ribbon installation as a fundraising in place of its yearly gala.

Nonprofit organizations are serving more clients during the pandemic, which requires more money. Many of these groups host big events in the spring and summer to raise funds for the year. To maintain social distancing, organizations have had to think of new ways to make sure their doors stay open.

In a downtown Ketchum park, rainbow streamers dangle from a circle of tree branches. 

It’s part of a fundraiser for The Advocates, which helps people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in central Idaho.

“A donation of $100 allows you to have a purple ribbon displayed in the park with your name on it; $250 is a yellow ribbon,” said Shannon Nichols, the director of development and engagement at the nonprofit.

The Advocates helped five times more people in the past two months with financial services compared to that time last year, “primarily for rent subsidies and keeping people safely in their home," Nichols said. Calls to their hotline shot up, as well.

The Advocates usually has a big June fundraiser that brings in more than $200,000. But that wasn’t possible this year. Instead, it went with a raffle and the ribbon installation, for a visual reminder of the work it does.

“So much of our work is done in private that we really wanted to do something publicly to show survivors and anyone that’s been impacted in their life that they don’t have to suffer in silence," Nichols said.

 Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.