All non-profits, especially those that rely on live events for part of their revenue, have had to get creative during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in the ALS space.

Organizations have come up with novel ways to raise money and stay connected with their communities, even when we can’t be together physically. For the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), this has meant virtual, distanced events like the My-State Trek and Ales for ALS™ Virtual Brewfest for ALS.

A Life Story Foundation, a longtime partner of ALS TDI, has also found new ways to connect with their community, safely and virtually. After Kevin Swan was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, he, his wife Shaina, and his mother Julie, founded A Life Story Foundation to raise money for ALS awareness and research. For years they have relied on events like galas and golf tournaments to raise funds, but, like so many others, they found themselves having to adapt to the new realities of 2020.

“Will we be Netflix or Blockbuster?” wrote Kevin, when describing the magnitude of the decision faced by his family foundation in an article for the Entrepreneur’s Handbook. Determined to adapt with the times, they considered their options and turned to a resource that had, in many ways been hiding in plain sight: YouTube.

“A Life Story already had a YouTube channel with several high-quality videos, but how to monetize that stream is part of our new strategy,” the Swans wrote in an email to supporters. “Did you know YouTube is the second largest search engine?? We didn’t either!”

Kevin, who has a background in advertising, worked with Shaina to begin shooting video on their phones and trying to build up their YouTube subscriber base. They have worked hard to put out at least two videos a week, with topics ranging from the day-to-day realities of living with ALS:

to practical advice about caring for people with ALS:

and even to humor:

Now they’re working to build up a subscriber base so they can begin monetizing these videos and raising funds to support their organizations mission. As of this writing, they’re at over 800 subscribers, just shy of the 1000 they need to beginning generating revenue with advertising. You can help them reach their goal by checking out their channel and subscribing.