Each year, around 1,000 men, women and children are diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening condition that has no cure…yet. One organization hopes to change all that–as well as to improve the quality of life for those living with CF today. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit that supports the development of new drugs and provides pharmaceuticals and care centers for those affected by CF. Their ultimate goal? To find a cure.
“We are here to advocate for people affected by Cystic Fibrosis. We are here to support them,” says Mitch Allen, the Logistics Specialist for the Iowa Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Originally from California, Mitch moved to Iowa to champion the cause of CF families and friends through the Iowa Chapter. “Our organization as a whole believes in hope,” says Mitch. “Our chapter is only one of over 70 chapters nationally, but we are all part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Therefore, we all follow the same guidelines, and we are not the only chapter focused on attacking the issues of CF.”
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, please go to www.cff.org.
Currently, there are around 30,000 people nationally and 70,000 worldwide who are living with Cystic Fibrosis. “Relatively speaking, not that many people have it,” says Mitch. Because of this, the CFF doesn’t receive any federal funding. “We are truly successful because of our donors and their families.” Some of the organization’s big fundraisers include the Great Strides state-wide awareness walks, wine and cuisine galas, and the Aptalis Cycle for Life event. The CFF is grass-roots driven; they’ve garnered support by weaving their cause into the fabric of many Iowa communities.
“We want to be the best steward we can be with the money that’s donated,” says Mitch. “We brag about how efficient we are.” He laughs, but they certainly do have something to brag about. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has some of the lowest overhead costs in the nation, and they consistently reach back to their donors to update them with recent pharmaceutical breakthroughs.
Before they began using VolunteerLocal, these crucial fundraising events (which require at least 750 volunteers annually) were managed with Word documents, email chains and–you guessed it–excel spreadsheets. “It was haphazard at best,” says Mitch. “VolunteerLocal has worked very well for us. Our good friends at the Iowa Craft Brew Tent said ‘you have to try this software!’ and we’re glad we did. We rely heavily on our volunteers. I would absolutely recommend VolunteerLocal to other organizations.”
Everyday, thousands of Americans face this disease with bravery, hope and optimism. We’re proud to stand alongside the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to improve the quality of their lives until a cure is found.