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Jumping Ahead In 2020 – An Announcement From F.E.A.S.T.

Jumping Ahead In 2020

Since 2007, F.E.A.S.T. has been connecting and supporting families facing an eating disorder diagnosis.

Now, F.E.A.S.T. is at an exciting crossroads.

In short, we have “outgrown our shell.” We can no longer keep up with the demand for our services. In response, we’ve made the decision to be BOLD and strive to meet the growing need.

Today, we are reaching out to the F.E.A.S.T. community for your help. We need to find the people and the expertise to move us to sustainability, and our response needs to bring about change as soon as possible or we can’t continue to provide invaluable services to YOU, our global community.

Why Now? What Has Changed?

For many years, F.E.A.S.T. was an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. We managed to get by on scattered yearly donations of around $25,000 USD from members of the community all over the world. Volunteers did all of the office work, outreach, and peer support. Volunteers also fulfilled the reporting and fiduciary management of F.E.A.S.T. as a global nonprofit entity.

However, in the past 18 months, not only have parents and carers reached out to us with unprecedented requests for support, education, and advocacy but so have siblings, extended family, partners, and friends. And still, every day there are others who do not find us. We could be helping more families in distress. We could be saving more lives through our shared knowledge and experience.

Our 2019 one-time grants allowed us to hire two employees. With staff we have accomplished:

  • putting on two large educational events
  • instituting live online events
  • creating an online community for volunteers
  • publishing on a robust new website platform
  • becoming part of international advocacy projects with organizations in several countries
  • enabling an international Task Force to do on-the-ground advocacy 
  • staying active on social media, where we supply our Family Guides and new content for families every month; our phones, emails, and even a chat line are answered in real-time to support families seeking help.

Passion and Purpose

The truth is, none of us at F.E.A.S.T. got into it to raise funds. Our board, staff, and volunteers are all passionate advocates–not fundraisers and business managers. But supporting families, helping to change policies, and educating those in need doesn’t happen without coordination and people. And our mission is held back without funding to support this. 

We are PROUD of who we are, and what we’ve done. We’ve remained independent of treatment clinic funding sources in order to protect the parent community. Doing so allows us to remain free of their marketing influences and lets us speak up without fear of losing financial support.

To continue, we need professional staff and multiple sources of income to pay them in order to create the resources families are requesting.

How Can You Help? 

Individual donations are amazing but we need your reach as well!

We must become self-sustaining and we need to create and convert existing resources to revenue-producing products and services. We also need to expand our donor pool. To achieve these goals, we are asking our community to help us to identify the following:

  • Professionals and services which help nonprofits move from grassroots to self-sustaining
  • Large donors to underwrite the expansion of operations as we convert to revenue-producing services and products
  • Pro-bono association management services
  • Corporate and philanthropic donors for one-time and ongoing funding

There is a short runway to make progress on these goals. We want to continue our forward momentum and we need your help to make it happen. 

We’re Here To Connect!

We welcome your input, ideas, and questions. Nicki Wilson, Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh and I are all happy to connect via email or Zoom if you’d like any further information about F.E.A.S.T. goals for 2020. We are happy to discuss ways in which you can make a real impact in the lives of families around the world who are struggling to help their loved one with an eating disorder.

And as always, donations of all sizes are welcome and help us toward sustainability.

Warmly,

Daryl Madill, F.E.A.S.T. Secretary (incoming Board Chair 2020)

Nicki Wilson, F.E.A.S.T. Board Chair (incoming Vice Chair 2020)

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director

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3 Comments

  1. Jennifer Aviles

    How about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its purpose is education and health care. I know it is a stretch but the worst you can get is a “no.”

  2. Anne Alftine

    Sometimes small local philanthropic organizations will offer grants AND expertise fundraising support, restructure support, facilitation support,etc. In Oregon there is also The Oregon Foundation who’s purpose is to consolidate all giving into one general fund and/or multiple small funding sources. I think each state has one. They many times provide grants for expansion Of small non profits
    Possibly it’s time to apply for a 1-2 year grant to fund an Executive Director that will then bring the expertise to do the fundraising and grant writing. And create Structures for ongoing sustainability through grants and fundraising. Note of caution: hiring one person does not mean the board stops being a working board it just means you have extra help and hopefully expertise.
    Finally, Blue Avocado website is a site for all things nonprofit. Lots of resources and expertise there too. Hope this helps.

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