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Arlington, VA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from its CEO, Dan Gillison Jr., after the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum awarded NAMI the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Organization of the Year award:
“The Forum’s recognition of the remarkable success of NAMIWalks Your Way was only made possible by the awe-inspiring work and unrelenting dedication across our Alliance of 49 State Organizations and more than 600 Local Affiliates. I also commend NAMI National’s staff who played a critical role.
“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, our Alliance came together creatively to raise awareness and unprecedented financial support for NAMI’s programs nationwide. NAMI created hybrid and virtual events, allowing participants to choose any activity and join remotely with other NAMIWalks events and hundreds of thousands of mental health advocates across the country. Every step is in the right direction when we all join forces to raise money and awareness for mental illness.
“Now, more than ever, our communities need increased mental health services. NAMI wants everyone to know that they are not alone, and resources are available to help anyone experiencing mental health concerns for themselves or a loved one,” Gillison said.
In peer-to-peer fundraising, participants in activities like walks, bike rides or video gaming challenges reach out to other people for donations. The Forum surveys U.S. nonprofits annually to rank, by the amount raised, the top 30 largest programs. The list features events such as the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Relay for Life.
In 2021, NAMIWalks Your Way’s fundraising total was up 31% over 2020, increasing to $13.1 million from $10 million. The 2021 total also outperformed the 2019 NAMIWalks pre-pandemic level of $12.5 million, a fundraising feat accomplished by very few leading programs. The recently released 2021 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top Thirty list ranked NAMIWalks Your Way as the 28th largest peer-to-peer fundraising program.
NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. (right) accepts the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Professional Forum’s Organization of the Year Award from P2P’s President David Hessekiel (left).