Lost&Found builds its financial and resource capacity in new ways

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Editor’s note: In the second half of 2019, Lost&Found is expanding its effort to end suicide for young adults in the United States in four significant ways: adding new campus chapters, refocusing its programming on resilience, expanding its mental health research efforts, and seeking new sources of financial support. This is the fourth in a four-part series looking at those efforts.

Lost&Found’s resilience programming efforts are drawing regional attention, and to maintain the pace of its impact on suicide prevention efforts on South Dakota’s college campuses, Lost&Found is seeking to raise more than $100,000 in new philanthropic capital by August 2020.

“We’ve put in the work, and we’re ready to launch,” says Lost&Found CEO Erik Muckey. “Through years of experience, research, and strategy, Lost&Found is now poised to not only create sustainable impact in South Dakota, but throughout the surrounding region. In order to align a sustainable financial model with our vision of ending suicide for young adults in the United States, we first need community support and investment, both in Lost&Found and the mental health ecosystem regionally and nationally.”

By late July 2019, Lost&Found had already exceeded all of its 2018 fundraising efforts, bringing in over $25,000 to support its growing programs. $5,000 came through Kicks for a Cause, a Sioux Falls charity kickball tournament. The Lost&Found team was sponsored by American Bank & Trust, Heritage Bank NA, Davenport Evans, Audio and Visual Integrations, and The Diamond Room. The Sands Family Social Venturing Fellowship at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management also invested $10,000 in Lost&Found.

Lost&Found’s leaders are looking to several sources for the next stage of Lost&Found’s fundraising efforts.

One strategy is the FOUNDers Club, in which supporters give $10-$30 a month to support the staffing needed to deliver support to students, advisers, and student leaders.

“When starting a social enterprise, having a commitment and consistency from our donors really makes a difference to manage the expenses that we know are coming,” Muckey said. He added that the FOUNDers Club name, while also being a play on the name of the organization, reflects the idea that these consistent supporters are helping to found the organization in much the same way that the actual founders are, with funding that represents their own commitment to the cause.

The FOUNDers Club has a good start with 12 members already committed in 2019.

A second source of funding is individual or corporate gifts.

“Five hundred dollars brings resilience training to 50 students,” Muckey said. “We’re looking for individuals and organizations ready to help us scale our impact in South Dakota and beyond, whether through one-time gifts, a long-term giving plan, or matching gifts.”

Those interested can learn about the various ways in which they can give through Lost&Found’s Giving Options page.

Lost&Found will also participate in the SD Day of Giving on December 3, 2019. The organization will get the word out through Facebook before the event. Supporters can also make their online shopping count anytime by designating Lost&Found as their charity of choice on Amazon Smile.

“We are incredibly thankful for your support,” Muckey said. “Lost&Found and its many partners have made and will continue to change the game in campus mental health, starting with students at USD, SDSU, USF, and DWU. With your continued help, we can impact the lives of more students where we serve today and at institutions ready to partner with us.

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We’re ready to launch, and we need the support of our community. We’re hosting a Lost&Found Launch Event from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Fernson Tap Room in Sioux Falls.

Come hear more about the way Lost&Found is ramping up its efforts this fall and the years to come!


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