How Homes For Our Troops Builds Homes & Rebuilds Lives
Homes For Our Troops works to build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives.
“Veterans come into our program, and they get to pick where they want to live. We buy the land and hire the general contractor, and when the build is complete, we donate the home to the Veteran. Once we hand over the keys, the Veteran is now in a mortgage-free home, and he/she can focus on rebuilding his/her life without the worry of a mortgage or rent payments.” explains Victoria Weston, Fundraising Coordinator at Homes For Our Troops.
Since 2014, Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) has built 315 specially adapted homes nationwide, and that number continues to grow. These homes provide Veterans with sustained injuries the opportunity to live independently because of the variety of home adaptations and the post-home delivery support that HFOT provides.
The support does not end when the keys are handed over to the Veteran. HFOT is there for all the things that happen afterward to help integrate them back into the community.
“We’re most proud of helping Veterans rebuild their lives and integrate back into the community.” Victoria Weston expresses.
Many of their home recipients are able to embark on new careers, complete college degrees, start families, and return to doing what they love, thanks to the support of HFOT.
How Does Homes For Our Troops Fundraise?
Homes For Our Troops is a publicly funded nonprofit, and approximately 65% of their operational budget is generated by individual donors, private and family foundations, and community fundraisers. That means fundraising is one of the centerpieces of their organization.
Many nonprofits have one huge signature event. At HFOT, there are many events big and small across the country run and supported by third-party fundraisers. The only expectation of this is their annual golf tournament.
We talked to Victoria Weston, the Fundraising Coordinator at HFOT, about how she incorporates third-party fundraisers or peer-to-peer fundraisers into their fundraising strategy.
Victoria position’s main job function is to go out and recruit and support third-party fundraisers. Victoria works hard to push fundraisers to think outside of the box of what you would normally think of for fundraising events and campaigns.
Her advice to third-party and peer-to-peer fundraising is, if you wouldn’t want to attend a gala, don’t make your fundraising event a gala! The best events are the ones that you would like to attend yourself.
Some examples of third-party campaigns they have had in the past include a Readathon, a Wine & Dine event, a Hockey Tournament, a Game of Thrones Themed Party, Wine Tasting, Fishing Tournament, a French Fries Fundraiser, and so much more!
Their Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Solution
When Victoria first started her position at HFOT, her organization was already using Neon Fundraise. But it wasn’t until she started helping fundraisers create fundraising pages that she realized the real power of Neon Fundraise.
Now, Victoria talks about Neon Fundraise any chance she gets with her third-party fundraisers, and not just for in-person events.
When each partner or fundraiser creates their own page with Neon Fundraise, it’s much easier for Victoria to attribute proceeds to their efforts, and it makes a much more personalized experience.
“Many people have amazing hearts, and they don’t want the credit for what they have done or how much they have raised. You will never know how much of an impact you have had unless you track the donations with something like Neon Fundraise.”
Instead of going to the HFOT website to donate, the soon-to-be donor can see why someone they know created the page and what the HFOT mission means to them. It also saves their gift processing manager a ton of time!
HFOT also uses Neon Fundraise for their “Run with Team HFOT” program that raises funds and awareness for their mission at races throughout the country on HFOT Teams or as a DIY Runner.
“If I had my way, we would have everybody use Neon Fundraise,” Victoria Weston.
Victoria’s Favorite Neon Fundraise Features
Victoria is the Fundraising Coordinator at Homes For Our Troops, and her primary role is to recruit third-party fundraisers and support third-party fundraiser’s events.
Some of her favorite features to support her work in Neon Fundraise include:
- Customized Tickets & Receipts: Tickets & receipts can be customized to include different information based on the event.
- Flexible Fields: There is no issue putting in the fields you need, to get the information you want.
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Pages: Victoria’s third-party fundraisers can easily create and share their peer-to-peer pages.
- Ticketing Pages: The ticketing pages are easy to use and create.
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"If I had my way, we would have everybody use Neon Fundraise."