The Washington Township nonprofit Mothers Matter is working on its first online auction to raise money for year-round operations.
Mothers Matter is a branch of the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation that was established in 2001 to help encourage mothers in achieving economically and through education. That same year, the organization began delivering gift bags of toiletries to women who could not afford them on Mother’s Day. The organization made the donations every Mother’s Day for 10 years and has now expanded its operation year-round.
The annual raffle and 5K is one of the largest fundraisers run by Mothers Matter. It has been moved online this year because of COVID and regulations against online raffles in New Jersey. The group sought another way to collect funds to maintain their operations.
“The past few years we have had a Mothers Matter raffle at our 5K runs … That’s what we had planned to do,” said Susan Rose, creator of the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation and Mothers Matter. “But the state of New Jersey does not allow online raffles … The only thing we could do is an auction.
“It’s an interesting challenge, but as with everything we are going at it 100 percent, “ Rose added. “Because of what we do with Mothers Matter gift bags, we are approaching our auction presentations the same way. There is value there.”
Online auction bids will start on May 1 and winners will be announced on Sunday, May 16. Categories of items include wine and spirits, antiques and art. According to Rose, anyone is able to bid but items must be picked up in person.
“The auction is more difficult in some ways … You know a person may spend $10 to $20 on raffle tickets, but it is different in terms of budget what people will spend,” Rose explained. “On our end, we have to make sure the product that we are asking for has a certain value …
“You have to make sure the things you are asking people to bid on are worth the money,” she added. “Especially online.”
Most of the items up for auction were donated to the organization, with some items purchased by the nonprofit itself. The group is also unable to enlist the usual volunteers because of COVID, but it has received aid from the president of the Gloucester County Women’s Club, Mary Schenider, who is helping to bring in new auction items as well as creating some of the gift baskets.
“We did have to make an investment partially because our committee is not at full strength, because some of our members are still not around,” said Rose. “There are businesses in the past year that would have donated, but that’s difficult now.”
To participate in the online auction, visit https://mothersmatterauction.laurenslegacy.org/2021/Campaign. Mothers Matter seeks volunteers to help with daily operations. They can email Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.