Did you know that IRC has a volunteer organization called Another Way? Another Way is made up of IRC staff and other volunteers who raise funds to help assist our Consumers in times of need. IRC’s Community Relations Specialist Amelia Maldonado, had a quick Q&A with Another Way Coordinator Andrea Gonzalez to learn more about this awesome organization and two recent fundraising events.
For our readers who aren’t familiar with Another Way can you explain the organization and its mission?
Another Way is a volunteer-driven project of Inland Regional Center and is accountable to its Board of Directors. It operates with one paid full-time staff member, 30 advisory members, and more than 100 volunteers. It was founded in 1986 by case managers to help IRC’s most vulnerable consumers during times of financial hardship. Another Way assists with food, clothing, rent, utilities, burials, dental work, medications, mobility equipment, and when appropriate household items such as beds and appliances.
Every Wednesday, members of Another Way’s Advisory Committee review requests from case managers on behalf of their clients. During the meetings, many items are discussed such as the consumer’s current financial situation, the ability to maintain payments after receiving assistance, and their understanding of other resources available. Another Way’s purpose is to help solve the problem not merely put a Band-Aid on it. For example, the goal is to stabilize a consumer’s living situation and help keep them from homelessness, hunger, or ill-health. Another Way gives out, on average, $8,000 – $10,000 a month and helps approximately 1,500 children and adults each year.
I understand that Another Way raises its own funds. That’s amazing! Can you tell us what your biggest funding sources are?
Another Way operates a comprehensive fundraising program that includes grants, events, individual and corporate gifts. The income we receive from our Annual Golf Tournament and various grants make up approximately 65% of our funding. The remaining revenue is divided between individual and corporate gifts.
Awesome! Tell us about the Golf Tournament and its history.
Another Way’s first tournament was a much smaller affair and raised about $10,000. The venue was local and lunch was Burger King chicken sandwiches. It was entirely volunteer driven, as was Another Way at that time. It wasn’t until the 90s that Another Way included a paid staff member. That first tournament laid the groundwork for what has become a much larger and more lavish affair. Now in its 20th year, the Annual Another Way Golf Tournament raises over $100,000 and nets on average $60,000. Greater Giving, a fundraising management firm, said, “Over 800,000 golf tournaments are held in the U.S. each year. While the average golf event only raises $5,000 with 72 players.”
I was lucky enough to play in the Tournament earlier this summer! I can totally vouch for it being super fun and very luxurious! Can you tell our readers some of the highlights from this Tournament?
Highlights this year included a pair of golf shoes for each golfer, sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher and Pathway, Inc. Golfers were also treated to two opportunities to win $25,000 and custom drivers by Krank-It Golf. Another Way is fortunate and thankful to its donors. This year the event raised $126,000 and had 172 golfers come out to play. Our donors are amazing and their congenial rivalry really ups the ante during the sponsorship process. Another Way is also grateful to have committed volunteers who are willing to sweat and dig deep to ensure our donors have an amazing time. Although the tournament has morphed and evolved into a two-day affair complete with mixer, banquet, and golf, we stay true to why we are there – to raise money for those in need. This will always motivate us.
You recently introduced a Bowling Tournament! How did it go? Do you think you’ll bring it back next year?
The Bowling Tournament was the result of a strategic planning session that took place between the Board, Another Way’s Advisory Committee, and myself back in March. We planned Another Way’s trajectory through 2019. From this planning session came the idea that we needed to add revenue and diversify our funding streams if we are going to sustain Another Way for future generations. The Bowling Tournament is a step towards reaching our goal of one million dollars raised over the next three years. It turned out wonderful and many staff members supported us and played in the Tournament. The energy was palpable! We raised more than $12,000 and were able to reach out to many new supporters. The Bowling Tournament will return in March of 2018!
Awesome! Let’s get more people on board. How can people outside of IRC get involved? How can staff get involved?
There are many ways to get involved. Volunteer! We always need help at the Food and Toy Drives. Donate! Any size donation is welcome and appreciated. Let us know of any fundraising opportunities you might be aware of. Oh, and like us on Facebook, to keep up with Another Way online.
There are some unique ways IRC staff can help. Staff can donate via payroll deduction. More than 150 employees donate this way and it totals $16,000 a year! Staff can also share consumer stories with us after we’ve assisted them. Lastly, we are looking for 2 IRC staff to join our Advisory Committee.
Andrea, thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or learning more about Another Way please contact Andrea Gonzalez.
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