As two grateful families recently discovered, you don’t need to be a professional fundraiser to raise money for McLean.
With support from the hospital’s online DonorDrive platform, the Smith and Merhige families turned their passion for helping those with mental illness into dollars supporting McLean’s mission.
In positive and meaningful ways, these two families, and many more, are embracing the idea of community fundraising and creating impact in the process.
Organic Fundraising Keeps a Memory Alive
For George Smith and his family, raising money for McLean was a way to honor his brother Andrew, who died in 2011 after struggling for years with schizophrenia. In 2016, the Smiths provided initial funding for McLean’s WellSpace program, which offers support and education to young adults who have experienced episodes of psychosis.
“One of the things we realized about Andrew was how desperately lonely he was during his illness. WellSpace fosters a sense of community in a welcoming and organic way,” George said.
The Smiths have continued to support WellSpace since its founding, both with individual donations and by raising money among friends and family. The occasional group walks and email fundraising campaigns they fostered “have brought people who cared about Andrew together around a common cause,” said George. “Raising money for WellSpace has been a way for our family to keep Andrew’s memory alive.”
With the rollout last year of McLean’s DonorDrive platform, the Smiths found that raising money for the hospital was “much easier than doing it on our own,” George said. So easy, in fact, that the family was able to raise more than $15,000 for WellSpace in a few months.
The new platform simplifies the entire fundraising process—from helping fundraisers create a personal campaign page to tracking those who have donated. “DonorDrive is a great thing for McLean,” George said. “It was easy to set up, easy to use, and easy for those who donated.”