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DIY Walk of Hope Q&A with Cindy Hollister, RESOLVE’s Development Director 

Meet Cindy Hollister, RESOLVE’s Development Director – leader of RESOLVE’s Peer-to-Peer fundraisers such as the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Walk of Hope– which are integral to RESOLVE’s mission.

In this Q&A, Cindy shares why these DIY Walk of Hope fundraisers are so important, while offering tips for organizing successful events and exploring the evolving landscape of peer-to-peer fundraising. Nothing says a grassroots movement quite like a “boots on the ground” approach – which is what Cindy does best to support individuals and families affected by infertility.

Can you tell us about the concept of DIY Walk of Hope fundraisers and their significance within the infertility community?

First and foremost, the main goals of the DIY Walks of Hope are to raise awareness and foster a sense of community – but these Walks didn’t use to be DIY-driven. RESOLVE used to operate a staff-driven Walk of Hope program. However, with numerous communities expressing interest in hosting walks, RESOLVE didn’t have the resources to do more than about 10 per year. As a result, DIY walks emerged, which were, according to Cindy, “propelled by passionate individuals within the family building community.”

Through these inaugural events, volunteers connect with like-minded individuals, experiencing a profound sense of achievement and channeling their passion into peer-to-peer fundraising efforts for RESOLVE’s mission. Many participants join these Walks seeking community, and they often become a beloved tradition in local communities, eagerly anticipated and embraced year after year.

What are some examples of successful DIY Walk of Hope fundraisers that you have encountered?

Cindy emphasized that she always tries to make it a point that DIY walks come in a wide range of sizes – think something small like an intimate gathering of friends and family at a picnic pavilion all the way up to something much larger, like an event featuring hundreds of participants, complete with stages, DJs, sponsors, banners, and more. Cindy advises all DIY Walk volunteers to set clear goals for their events, whether that includes fostering community engagement or raising funds.

Ultimately, DIY Walks of Hope serve as peer-to-peer fundraisers that directly support RESOLVE’s mission and programs.

What tips or strategies would you offer to individuals or groups planning to organize their own DIY Walk of Hope fundraiser?

It can feel overwhelming to try and plan any kind of event, even a DIY Walk of Hope fundraiser, which we’ve scaled to make simple to put together for even the least-experienced person or organization. What Cindy recommends that individuals do first is assemble a team of volunteers, friends, and family. It’s best to delegate tasks and form a committee to share the workload.

Cindy emphasized, “Asking for help is crucial; no one with infertility should walk alone, and that includes our volunteer leaders.” At RESOLVE, we offer toolkits and a supportive community of experienced walk planners. ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP!

How can supporters maximize their fundraising efforts and engage their community effectively?

According to Cindy, successful fundraising begins with individuals sharing their personal stories with those who care about them. She explained, “utilizing traditional methods like sending a link to a personalized fundraising page via email to friends and family, accompanied by a heartfelt explanation of why RESOLVE’s mission is meaningful, can yield positive results.

She went on to explain that text messaging can also be extremely useful. Specifically, Cindy went into further detail, stating, “Leveraging texting can also be highly effective. While social media is valuable for raising awareness, it tends to be less personal and targeted compared to direct communication methods.”

Are there any upcoming initiatives or developments related to DIY Walk of Hope fundraisers that our audience should be aware of?

Cindy explained that, while RESOLVE currently does not have any specific initiatives, “I am seeing a clear shift in who is approaching RESOLVE to start new DIY Walks.” In essence, new inquiries are now acutely focused on fundraising, and less of a focus is on event planning.

There is a need to make sure that RESOLVE has the resources to keep IVF legal and available, while continuing to provide the programs and services that we are known and valued for. They want to help in a bigger way than what they personally can donate.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Before closing, Cindy had a few final words to share:

I’m continually impressed by the knowledge and savvy within our community. Our Walk chairs excel at crafting engaging content and promotions on social media, not only spotlighting RESOLVE’s programs but also extending awareness to initiatives like Coverage at Work, Federal Advocacy Day, and Support Groups, both before and during their events. Many of them demonstrate exceptional public speaking skills and serve as outstanding ambassadors for our cause. The level of dedication exhibited by our volunteers, many of whom are actively involved in multiple RESOLVE programs, is truly remarkable.

We greatly appreciate Cindy for sharing her insights and guidance on DIY Walk of Hope fundraisers! These grassroots efforts play a crucial role in supporting individuals and families affected by infertility while advancing RESOLVE’s mission.

Learn more about how you can start A RESOLVE Walk or fundraiser in your area.