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 third 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!
The integrity and contributions by the LUYL Society are recognized and acknowledged through the wonderful partnerships we have been privileged to develop over the last 24 years. It is undeniable that we would not be able to utilize 97% of all money raised to benefit palliative/hospice and continuing care clients, if it were not for the amazing support we receive from local businesses and organizations within our communities. Our various partners assist with advertising, signage, printing of campaign publications & posters, postage costs, meeting space … and much more.
Officially, the campaign runs from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 each year. During this time approximately 40 locked donation boxes are put out by campaign volunteers in local businesses and other locations. Other methods of communication (print publications, radio, etc.) are used to promote the campaign.
If a donor wishes, for each $10 donation they are invited to name a loved one in whose memory they are making the donation. We ask them to look at the five symbols of the campaign and know that each light on them represents the loving memory of someone dear to them.
At the beginning of the campaign, and as it progresses each symbol of the campaign is officially illuminated … starting with “The Circle of Hope” (Parkland County); “The Dove of Hope” (Spruce Grove); “The MURALS” (Stony Plain); “The Tree of Hope” (Wabamun); and finally, “The Wave of Hope” (Seba Beach). We take the opportunity at each ceremony to thank our donors and speak about how their support is benefiting the people in need in our communities.
Over each of the past several years our annual campaign has raised from $75,000 to $107,000 … and total funds raised since the first “shoe-box” campaign in 1992 are over $1,168,000.00 … with 97% directly benefiting the people in need in our own communities.
Integral to honouring the memories of everyone named in the LUYL campaign is the “In-Memory” article which is published in our local newspapers very soon after the conclusion of the campaign. The list has grown so much over the years that two full pages are required to list the names of all the loved ones. This, we believe, is very important to our donors … to actually see the name in print of their Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Friend … or that someone special to them in their lives.
It can be a form of “closure” for them at a recent difficult time, or it can be a “joyful remembrance” of someone from years past. I know from personal experience that when I see the names of the people I remember in this way, my heart takes a breath and I feel my love for them. And, we believe that when others see the “In-Memory” article, it gives them a tremendous sense of community and hope.
Sponsor/Special Supporter Recognition
The article also lists the names of our supporters and sponsors who have helped the LUYL Society achieve its goal. We all know how important this is…but in addition, the main sponsors receive a post-campaign thank you letter confirming the total raised, and how the money was allocated and spent. Where applicable, and/or requested, pictures of donors making a special presentation of money are taken for publication in the newspaper and on our website.
Whenever possible we take the opportunity to speak at our local service clubs, staff meetings and other gatherings to increase awareness of the LUYL Society…our goal and our purpose.
It is so important to take the time to publicly, and privately thank those who have supported the LUYL Society…with a monetary donation, campaign advertising, space allocation for meetings, our silent auction, luncheons, our raffle … or simply their time, advice and guidance at every step along the way.
As long time volunteers ourselves, we know that we are not involved in the LUYL Society for the recognition of self. However, we know also how good it does feel to be recognized for the work and effort we give to our cause. So as volunteers, we “pat each other on the back” each year at our Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. All LUYL volunteers are invited as are our wonderful sponsors and special supporters. It used to be a potluck (and an amazing one, I might add … as are all potlucks) put on by our members so as not to use any donated funds or incur any cost for the event.
However, in recent years we have been very fortunate to have the support of a sponsor for the luncheon … the food is still amazing, but now we don’t have to do any of the work! Except for a little cleanup at the end of the luncheon!! Somehow it is true … that no volunteer can ever avoid being part of the “cleanup crew”!
Written by Linda McCreath, Chair, Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society