AVA Raises Over $300K Through #VapesGiving
Last month, we told you about #VapesGiving, the annual fundraising drive of the American Vaping Association. In just one week, #VapesGiving raised $142,183 from vapers and others in the industry. That total became $332,183 when Naked 100, an e-liquid company, matched the money raised with a $190,000 of their own.
I spoke with Gregory Conley, the president of the AVA, over phone to get more information on their organization and fundraising efforts. I wanted to gain greater insight into what funds were specifically being raised for, and identify vaping companies that are aiding in these efforts. A portion of the interview is shown below:
Joe: Can you tell us what specifically it is that the AVA plans to do with funds raised through your #VapesGiving program that is being matched by Naked 100?
Gregory: Currently there are 25 states with functioning trade organizations which employ lobbyists that work towards restricting vaping. Our fundraising will go towards supporting our own lobbying in individual state legislatures to advocate for independent vape shops, retailers and vape manufacturers. The focus is to help our state allies that are underfunded struggling to pay their lobbying bills.
We decided that it would be a good idea, because of potential legal complications to collect charitable donations and then disburse them among state organizations, which are primarily 501(c)6 entities. Also, directing sponsors to contribute to twenty individual groups presented logistical concerns.
Joe: Could you share with us some of the companies that are AVA’s greatest benefactors and some that you think have the ability to do their part, and are not?
Gregory: Obviously, Naked 100 is a huge help with the pledge of $190K in matching funds for the #VapesGiving fundraiser. Our other monthly benefactors are listed on the bottom of our website, vaping.org. They are the reason that we exist.
Organizations that are financially supporting vapers’ right are: AltSmoke, NicQuid, JJVapes, VaporBeast, Smokeless Image, Baker White, ECBlend, Hoosier E-Cig, Pure Cigs, TastyVapor, Delaware Vapor, Ginger’s E-Juice, Lucky Ruckus, Mid-Cities Vapor, Smart Spark, Vapers Alley, Delmar Vapor Lounge and Bombies.