By Donna Cleary, Director of Annual Giving

Donna (center) with Fern Kaufman and her wife Cheryl at the Hot Chocolate event

I’ve been involved in non-profit fundraising for over twenty years and have worked with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter for nearly six years. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about how people give of themselves to help a worthy cause. I also have learned why they give. People do not just give from the heart or the mind. It’s a combination of both.

Our goal at The ALS Association is to not just explain why fighting ALS is a good thing. We work tirelessly all year round to be good stewards of our donors’ money and time. Here is how we are focused on this mission and how you can give. You may be surprised at the many ways that you can be an effective fundraiser and how every drop adds up as we work to take on this challenging disease.

Charitable giving has changed tremendously since I first got involved in the business, and those changes are almost all positive. There are more ways to give and get involved than at any time before. Organizations no longer have to live by large donations alone and then scramble to find new revenue if those very big gifts do not come in as promised. Now smaller events, workplace giving, walks, and new efforts like Charity Miles give people of all backgrounds and abilities a chance to participate and take ownership of charity programs. It also allows organizations like The ALS Association to grow and stay stronger as things change among the donor base.

One thing that hasn’t changed though is the sincerity and drive of our ALS community. Each day that I come to work, I see how terrible this disease is as it affects people that I know. However, I also see the determination of Chapter staff, board members, healthcare professionals, volunteers, advocates, and donors to make a difference. Our local Greater Philadelphia Chapter is about to mark a 40 year anniversary and, as a result of our strong partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies and our diverse donation streams, we are stronger and more capable than ever to support those living with ALS as we continue to work towards a cure.

I’m always happy to see my friend Rhoda at ALS Advocacy

In the nearly six years that I have been with the Chapter, I have met so many families and made friendships that I will forever cherish. Unfortunately, I have lost ALS friends, too. That is why I am honored to not only be part of a dedicated team that works with the ALS community of supporters to raise important funds to provide the services that families need, but I am also happy to donate personally to the organization. I hope you will consider one of the many ways listed above to help too.

Covering all the bases in the fight to defeat Lou Gehrig's Disease. Serving eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and all of Delaware.

Covering all the bases in the fight to defeat Lou Gehrig's Disease. Serving eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and all of Delaware.