In the middle of a very difficult year, during which demand for its services has skyrocketed, nabs has been additionally challenged by an inability to raise money in its usual ways.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our ability to raise funds through our traditional events and corporate donations,” said Jay Bertram, executive director of not-for-profit, which raises money to support people working in advertising, marketing and media in times of need. “We anticipate that this trend will continue well into 2021 with all the uncertainty related to the pandemic.”
Because of those challenges, nabs is launching a new fundraising effort this week, declaring October, November and December nabs Months and seeking to raise $200,000 to support programs and services that have already seen record usage this year.
For example, nabs’ LifeSpeak, a health and wellness online video library, has already seen usage increase from about 1,627 interactions last year to nearly 6,300 this year, with three months still to go. Nabs expects final usage to surpass 9,200, more than 5.5 times the usage in 2019.
The new fundraising goal was announced this week, along with a series of new virtual initiatives planned for the rest of the year to help reach that goal. In previous years, nabs Month saw agencies hold fundraising events of their own to support the charity. Last year, for example, McCann held a trivia night; DDB hosted a “Guac Off;” Cossette held a grilled cheese lunch, and Fuse had a “Pastapalooza.” Last year, nabs Month raised about $65,000.
This year during nabs Months, a series of virtual efforts will run nationally as well as in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. For example, the nabs Marketplace will run from Oct. 15-31 and again from Nov. 15-30. The online auction will include items donated by industry professionals, with a particular focus on artwork.
Vancouver is holding a virtual speed mentoring event on Oct. 22, and a virtual Oktoberfest on Oct. 8 that will include a live auction and a trivia game show. Attendees also get an Oktoberfest tasting kit with ticket purchase.
In Montreal in November, industry creatives will submit graphic designs, with the winners printed on mugs, shirts and bags, and all proceeds going to nabs.
There will also be social media initiatives and text-to-give efforts, and for those organizations that can’t provide financial support, “non-cost” options include participating in the nabs media program and promoting the nabs Marketplace through their networks.
“For 37 years, nabs has been there to provide unwavering and generous support to people and families in our industry,” said nabs chair Denise Rossetto in a release announcing the new fundraising goal. “In times of illness, strife, economic downturns and consolidation, nabs has rallied to ensure free access to programs, mental health professionals and financial support in times of crisis.”
“For a long time, nabs has been there for the people of our industry when they need it most,” said Tyler Turnbull of FCB. “They have an unbelievable support system that is designed to do one thing—help. We need to support one another in any way we can and nabs has proven day in and day out that they are the top organization in the country to do just that.”