Creative Fundraising Strategy for Recovery: Lynchburg’s Downtown-A-Thon

DLA (logo)Over the past few months, Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) has worked tirelessly to support small businesses as they recover from the harsh economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, launching their Downtown Recovery Initiative to help merchants persevere through continued challenges and varied stages of reopening. Through their proactive efforts, DLA established a new Downtown Gift Card Program, created outdoor dining options, strengthened “support local” marketing and promotional campaigns, provided low-cost PPE to downtown service workers and more. But, the Main Street organization requires the public’s support to keep recovery efforts strong, and DLA has showcased its ingenuity through the creation of a new and unique fundraising event!

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Scheduled for July 30, DLA’s Downtown-A-Thon will be a 12-hour (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) virtual event designed to raise funds for the organization’s Downtown Recovery Initiative, and every $1 donated will be matched up to $25,000 due to the generosity of DLA’s event sponsors. Featured segments will include interviews with downtown business owners and local leaders, musical performances, live cooking demonstrations, follow-along tastings and more fantastic content, including exciting gift card giveaways!

The telethon-style program will be broadcast live from the Academy Center of the Arts, and it can be viewed on DLA’s website and on Youtube Live. The Main Street organization seeks to raise $50,000 during the event ($21,000 of which has already been raised through corporate sponsorships.) The general public can donate today or pledge to donate on July 30! Depending on one’s payment, donors can receive a custom Downtown Lynchburg enamel pin, t-shirt and/or pennant.

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All businesses and organizations have encountered challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it’s certainly not the 2020 that we had envisioned back in January. Nonetheless, we are taking this as an opportunity to produce creative virtual content in an effort to connect the community with our downtown businesses. There will be a little something for everyone, and we encourage those who love downtown and are looking for ways to support the community to tune in throughout the day. – Susan Brown, Program Director, Downtown Lynchburg Association