Successful Fundraising Tips for Non-profits – Part 1 of 4

One of the highlights of the 2015 AHPCA  “Imagine: Connecting Hospice Palliative Care Communities” conference was hearing from each of our participant groups about their community programs and events; we were all impressed with the level of commitment, passion, and initiative around end of life care in Alberta.

However, when the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative Care Hospice Society  from Stony Plain shared their phenomenal fundraising success, we wondered, “Wow – how do they do it?”

So, we asked, and here is the first of four articles in which their Board chair, Linda McCreath, generously shares their journey and proven tips in fundraising for hospice palliative care. Thanks, Linda!

A Message from the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative Care Hospice Society

First of all, BELIEVE …

  • Believe in what you do
  • Believe in your purpose
  • Believe in the benefit of, and need for your work
  • Believe in the people with whom you work
  • Believe in the kindness and generosity of the people in your community

The members of the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society BELIEVE!

When asked to prepare this article in answer to the question, “How do they do it?” it was at once apparent to me that the LUYL Society has been blessed with all of these beliefs.  We have 10 Directors (all volunteers), most of whom have been members for 15 – 24 years.  Our many members at large, and other volunteers are amazingly dedicated and supportive.  We are all volunteers … all working respectfully together for a common goal and purpose.

Our dedicated members give so much of themselves personally…their time, and yes, sometimes even paying for things themselves, to ensure that all aspects of our fundraising receive care and attention.  They spend countless hours not only on the fundraising campaign which runs from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 each year, but on our annual Silent Auction, annual Raffle, and many other fundraising activities over the year…generally being the Society’s biggest and best “fan”-tastic advocates.  It is crucial for myself as Chair, to acknowledge, appreciate and depend on the special attributes and skills of each of our members.

Our Beginning

The LUYL Society began by connecting in a very tangible way with the already existing memories of our loved ones.  In 1992 we were a small committee formed to raise money to enhance the new Parkland Palliative Care Program (PPCP) in our area.  A novel idea was proposed by the Palliative Care Coordinator to surround the Stony Plain MURALS with clear lights … each one representing the memory of a loved one.   The MURALS are a beautiful, pictorial history of the Town of Stony Plain, depicting scenes of people from our past.  They are our connection with the lives and memories of the amazing people who made Stony Plain and area their home.

The Town of Stony Plain and several local businesses became our first caring partners.   On a “shoe string budget”, we wrapped several shoe boxes in Christmas paper and placed them in local stores.  Our partnerships began in this small way, and our friends, neighbours and colleagues became our supporters.  That first year we raised $5,000.

Over the next 3-5 years the campaign, as our logo represents, grew to encompass the communities of:

Spruce Grove … the “Dove of Hope”

Wabamun … the “Tree of Hope”

Seba Beach … the “Wave of Hope”

Parkland County … the “Circle of Hope”

Stony Plain … the “MURALS”

Each community has embraced the goal and purpose of the LUYL Society … which is to enhance the lives of, and support individuals and families who are living with an incurable illness, or who are in a continuing care setting.  Our goal was, and is, to help them live through this last phase of their life with dignity, caring and support.

From $5,000 in that first campaign to an average of $100,000 in recent campaigns.  So not only do the members of the LUYL Society believe … but our donors also BELIEVE!

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Written by Linda McCreath, Chair, Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society

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