Kindred is proud to work with the non-profit Pathways to Independence, creating the design and website for their annual fundraiser. We sat down with fund developer Erin Wilson to hear about their recent successes.
Pathways to Independence is a nonprofit, can you tell us about their mission?
The mission of Pathways to Independence is to transform the lives of disadvantaged single young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare, to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. Over 30 years we have helped nearly 400 women and 80% have graduated from college!
What's your role at Pathways? What do you love about your job?
As the new Director for the Friends of Pathways auxiliary fundraising group, I am in charge of managing a large team of dedicated and talented volunteers who compassionately and generously donate their time and talents to throwing one of the best fundraisers in our city! We spend about 8 months planning a huge party in the public streets of Long Beach, CA that sees 700 attendees and continues to surpass its goals. In the past 25 years I am pleased to say the Party in the Park event has raised nearly $8 million for Pathways to Independence!
This year Friends of Pathways celebrated 25 years of fundraising with your event Passport to Pathways. How did the event go? Was it a success? What challenges did you find?
This year saw several challenges; the most obvious being the pandemic. As Covid 19 cases in our area greatly fluctuated, we thought it best to err on the side of precaution. We replaced the usual huge party in the streets with a more intimate affair that kept people in smaller groups for the duration of the event. Three incredibly gracious homeowners hosted backyard parties for 100 guests in our theme of "Passport to Pathways: European Adventure". Each party had its own destination theme (Paris Sevilla, and Athens) including decor, costumes, food, live music and performances. Finding live acts to fit the theme and budget was a big challenge (unfortunately the pandemic forced many people to leave the entertainment industry) but I am happy to say we secured wonderful musicians and dancers. Though we couldn't all be together and the event was scaled way back from its usual scope, guests had a very fun evening and I am proud of the way my team of volunteers rallied and pivoted to provide a unique solution to this very important fundraiser. Best of all, we surpassed our goal and raised $760,000!
Kindred created the event collateral and microsite that allowed Pathways to raise funds and sell tickets for the event online. How did you find the process of working together?
It was a very positive and easy experience to work with Kindred! Not only was communication very clear and Zoom calls productive, but any request I had were immediately responded to and most design pieces were ready ahead of schedule. The website looked incredible and was very inviting and easy to navigate, including buying tickets. Many people told me how impressed they were with the event site.
What impact do you think design has on fundraising?
Pathways' annual event is known for its beautiful and professional design. We often receive comments about how impressive all our collateral is, and I believe the great design does make us stand out next to other non-profit fundraising events. People want to attend our fundraiser because they know they will receive a worthwhile experience for the ticket price.