An Interview With John 'Gungie' Rivera, Founder, Cristian Rivera Foundation
FS: Do you foresee any big changes in the way you reach potential donors and other supporters in the near future?
JR: The foundation has thus far mounted a grassroots fundraising effort, holding various fundraiser events, selling merchandise and soliciting donations on its website. The foundation is currently exploring options for soliciting corporate donations and grants.
FS: How do you reach out to supporters and potential supporters in ways other than purely fundraising? Are you engaged with social media and social networking?
JR: The Cristian Rivera Foundation sends out a monthly newsletter to subscribers, keeping [them] up to date on the latest news and asking them to pass the information along to friends, family and colleagues. Messages are also sent via Facebook, text and voice ... to alert people of upcoming events, etc. The foundation also recently launched official Facebook and Twitter pages.
FS: Can you describe a recent successful fundraising effort?
JR: The Second Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala was held at New York City event space Quo on Tuesday, Oct. 19. The venue was filled with supporters who enjoyed food donated by celebrity chefs and committee members Ricardo Cardona and Alex Garcia. They also had the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind items and experiences in both live and silent auctions. Lucky winners walked away with an autographed jersey from Carlos Beltran; a painting by Ouattara Watts; baseballs signed by Derek Jeter, Bob Gibson and Hank Aaron; a Cristian Rivera Foundation T-shirt autographed by "iCarly" star Miranda Cosgrove; a soccer ball signed by David Beckham; a football autographed by all of the New York Giants; boxing gloves autographed by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali; a date with “Las Gemelas Lulu y Lala” from "The Luis Jimenez Show" on X96.3; a weekend at the W Hotel in Hoboken, [N.J.] including dinner and lounge for both nights; and a party for 25 people catered by Alex Garcia and Ricardo Cardona, who cooked, cleaned and provided both liquor and staff.