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 second of four articles in which their Board chair, Linda McCreath, generously shares their journey and proven tips in fundraising for hospice palliative care.
Registered Charitable Status Obtained
In April, 2004 in response to a desire to become a separate entity, and self-sufficient in meeting the needs of our donors, the LUYL Committee became incorporated with charitable status under the name of the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society. The 10-member, volunteer Board of Directors administers all organizational and financial aspects of the Society.
Funding Application Protocol
We believe that being upfront with our donors as to how we plan to spend their money is of the utmost importance. To that end, the organizations which we support are invited each year to complete a designated number of funding applications for items on their “wish list”. In general, the total of all the requests dictates our “goal”, and there have been years when that “wish list” has been quite extensive! At those times the list is prioritized and the money to purchase given out as and when sufficient funds are raised. We are proud to say that never has there been a year when we could not fund all the items applied for from the “wish lists”.
Donations & Recognition of Donors
It is equally important to recognize the support from our donors. Each donation of at least $10.00 is receipted for taxation purposes. Each donation of $100.00 or more also receives a letter along with the receipt from the LUYL Society expressing our gratitude for their support. The letters are sometimes personalized depending on the circumstances of the donation. Families who have named the LUYL Society to receive memorial donations are advised in a timely manner of the names of those who have donated in memory of their loved one.
Keeping Our Donors Informed
Our donors know right from the start of the annual fundraising campaign exactly what we are fundraising for, and how much the cost of each item will be. Pre-campaign letters detailing this information are sent out to our database of supporters approximately 2 months before the start of the campaign. The same information is printed in our local newspapers, and on our website for the general public.
Throughout the campaign weekly ¼ page ads in our local newspapers, and online, reaffirm our standing as a volunteer-run society, our purpose, our fundraising goal, and the fact that on average 97% of the money we raise is used to support the people in need in our own communities.
In this way we also promote other activities during the time of the campaign, such as our annual Light Up Your Life Silent Auction, annual Raffle and locally sponsored, Orient Restaurant “Luncheon for Light Up”.
Campaign information pamphlets are sent out or made available each year pre-campaign. Various methods are used such as the Stony Plain Utility Mailout, Wabamun mail distribution, all area churches, our donation boxes, extensive pre-campaign correspondence, several food stores for distribution as bag stuffers, and at all special LUYL events. Throughout the entire year, to maintain awareness and support, the LUYL year-round brochures are available for the public at over 50 medical, dental, physio and other business locations in our communities.
Written by Linda McCreath, Chair, Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society