Why are Fundraisers and Advocacy Efforts Important?


Submitted by: Megan Lanzel, BCBA

Thursday August 18th our Clinical Director, Megan Lanzel, will be locked up until her bail is posted. It’s not what you think! She hasn’t committed any crime; she is simply participating in a fundraising event called a Lock Up for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The Lock Up is one of many fundraising efforts made each year by the MDA. You may be wonder, what does this have to do with ABA or developmental disabilities? This blog will discuss the importance of fundraising and advocacy efforts for special needs families.

Reaching Milestones often participates in fundraising campaigns for organizations and community outreach efforts. We are selective in which organizations we support as we want to make sure donor’s contributions have the greatest impact possible. For example, two of our most frequent collaborators have been Autism Speaks and the Global Autism Project.

Autism Speaks utilizes funding for global biomedical research into causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. Additionally, they seek to raise public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society. Finally, they strive to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to concerns and take action to address them. Autism Speaks publishes an annual report that includes more specific information regarding how they accomplish each of the pieces of their mission through the generosity of donors throughout fundraising efforts.

The Global Autism Project is a non-profit organization that train staff at Autism Centers around the world to ensure high quality treatment is available to individuals with autism worldwide. They accomplish this by training staff in the local communities to provide the services and then support them in this venture so that they may be able to continue providing services independently. This international partnership is focused on a sustainable impact that lasts beyond the time their Skill Corps are present. Fundraising efforts have funded 30,000 international training trips and over 15,000 hours of direct on the ground training since 2013. Global Autism Project also publishes a report with up to date information regarding how donor’s contributions are utilized.

So why then is Megan getting locked up for the MDA as opposed to Autism Speaks or the Global Autism Project? Reaching Milestones is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with special needs through the science of ABA. In order to accomplish our mission we often participate in community outreach efforts regardless of their affiliation to autism spectrum disorders. We attend fundraising campaigns when invited; attend health fairs, school resource fairs, festivals, family fun days, etc. By participating in these events we can become more aware of other issues facing our communities, assist another noble cause in accomplishing their mission, and spark conversations that promote awareness of autism spectrum disorders and Applied Behavior Analysis.

If you would like to make a contribution to the MDA in order for Megan to post bail please do so by following this link: http://www2.mda.org/site/TR?px=4091171&fr_id=22972&pg=personal&s_src=boundlessfundraising&s_subsrc=bfDskFbPfMsg