New Pathways launches new fundraising opportunity

fr_PathwaysNew Pathways, a local nonprofit organization that serves homeless families with children from Central Minnesota, has recently launched a new fundraising opportunity through the Click for Your Cause website.

Mary Westlund, program manager-family educator with New Pathways, explained the organization has partnered with Click for Your Cause as a way to foster a continuous fundraising opportunity to support New Pathways programs. Westlund said New Pathways was one of the first nonprofit organizations listed on the Click for Your Cause website when launched in June 2014 and has raised nearly $800 for New Pathways.

Since 2002, New Pathways has served local families with children from Chisago, Kanabec, Isanti, Pine and Mille Lacs counties. The organization provides comprehensive case management and skill-building opportunities that allow the families to be successful once they find housing of their own.

New Pathways also has a Path to Home program, which is an interfaith partnership with 23 area churches, comprising more than 600 volunteers, that provides evening meals and sleeping accommodations for the homeless families.

Westlund explained the Click for Your Cause website is similar to other buyer-seller websites. Once an item is listed by an individual for sale and is purchased, a majority of the sale proceeds goes toward the seller’s listed benefiting cause or organization. If a person wants to donate an item with the proceeds benefiting New Pathways, then they would pick the Minneapolis/St. Paul market on the site and also choose New Pathways from the drop down list of organizations when donating.

Westlund said currently New Pathways is looking to raise funds for new child-infant car seats, school supplies, tune-up for lawn mower, personal care items, summer camp supplies and for special family activities.

Stuart Dankers, CEO of Alliance Partnerships and Click For Your Cause, said nonprofits are excited about the new fundraising opportunity. fr_Pathways1

“While owning and managing a consultant company, I have worked with clients that used cause-related marketing and gave a percentage of their product sales to a nonprofit and I have also worked with a client that did a variety of fundraising programs,” Dankers said. “There was an identifiable need to provide a fundraising program and platform that could naturally raise funds on a 24/7 basis and pay the nonprofit on an average 80-90 percent of the money. I was approached by a proven technology company in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the Click For Your program secured the private label rights to utilize their technology and have technology and operational support for our Click For Your team. Nonprofits see our Click For Your Cause program as a breath of fresh air, since many nonprofits have been looking for new sources of income since 2008.”

Westlund explained since 2000, New Pathways has served 483 families, consisting of 626

parents and 894 children, and has turned away 645 families due to being at capacity.

This past fiscal year, New Pathways has served 36 families, comprising of 42 parents and 80 children, and has turned away 88 families due to being at capacity.

“When we’re turning away close to 100 families per year because we’re at capacity, it shows the need for New Pathways in the community,” Westlund said. “We have a lot of families who are suffering and we try to give these families a hand-up and the tools and resources to pull out of this situation. There are a lot of folks who felt homelessness wasn’t a problem in Central Minnesota, and I was one of them before I started with New Pathways. But that is a big misconception, and since our program’s inception, we have turned away close to 1,000 families due to being at capacity.”

Westlund said state and federal funding provides a segment of funding for New Pathways; however, this funding provides less than 50 percent of the budget.

“We really rely upon the remainder of our funding from local foundations, contracts and fundraising opportunities,” Westlund said. “The Click for Your Cause website is an easy way to support our program while giving you a chance to clean out your garage or attic and get rid of some items you don’t need anymore. When you sell an item on Click for Your Cause, you know your item is going to a good owner who feels supporting those in need is important.”

When browsing the Click for Your Cause website, buyers and sellers will find a wide variety of categories to choose from such as vehicles, services, household goods, electronics and several miscellaneous categories. The suggested low value for donated items is $20. The Click for Your Cause website handles the financial transaction, and then the buyer and seller make appropriate arrangements for delivery of the purchased item.

Dankers feels it’s important to give back to those in need.

“During my college experience at Crown College, I decided to not take my gifts and abilities for granted and to focus on making a difference on a personal and professional level,” Dankers said. “I have reached a point in my career where I can focus more time on giving back. My main goals and objectives are to focus on recruiting and developing the leadership team and our ambassador teams. The key to our growth and helping more nonprofits is centered on our ambassador teams. Our ambassadors are from all walks of lives but they have a common goal of helping local, regional and national nonprofits with the Click For Your Cause platform and each ambassador helps their nonprofit relationships with steps of success as they work together to reach the goals and objectives of that particular nonprofit. We know that people in general have big hearts and the challenge is that their big hearts cannot always be supported by monthly cash flow so Click For Your allows people to follow their big hearts and convert their ‘stuff’ into cash for the benefit of their favorite nonprofits.”

Dankers is excited for the new partnership between Click for Your Cause and New Pathways.

“The Click For Your Cause website is national, and our ambassadors give us the ability to focus on local and regional nonprofits where there is often the greatest financial needs,” Dankers said. “We are so glad to be working with New Pathways knowing that the dollars are stretched in amazing ways as they partner to reach out to local homeless families. New Pathways Executive Director Cheryl Gray and Mary Westlund provide common sense leadership and are a great example of the type of local and regional Click For Your partner. New Pathways can increase their fundraising through Click For Your, since the local community wants to rally around them.”

Even though its still a few months away, Westlund invites the community to save-the-date for the annual Box City fundraising event to be held Oct. 25 at the Isanti County Fairgrounds in Cambridge. Registration materials for Box City can be found on the New Pathways Facebook page or by contacting New Pathways at 763-691-0121.

For more detailed information on the Click for Your Cause website, visit or contact Mary Westlund at 763-691-0121.