I’m amazed at how many not for profit organizations knock on our door as well as all other media outlets like clockwork with clever awareness and fund raising campaigns. Some are packaged and ready to go where others are great ideas requiring the personal touch that only our team can add to make it “ours”.
Then there are those organizations that have lots of vision and poor execution as they don’t know where to start, who to ask and what kind of campaign to do? We see so many organizations that think the only way to be successful is to find a grant and spend a disproportionate amount of their time and of professional grant writers chasing and ever challenged pool of money. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t chase grants that are available especially should you have a great story however, it is not the only path to for funding.
I’m reminded of being approached years ago by the Variety Club of Vancouver recognizing that our radio station didn’t do much for their organization and that they needed us and our audience to be more involved with Variety. Granted we did the occasional small fund raising campaign for Variety and sent our announcers to host their annual telethon but admittedly there wasn’t much of a connection with them.
Variety wanted to expand their fundraising programs and wisely realized that they could not do it all themselves without exhausting their internal resources or increasing their operating costs. Therefore they were looking for more long term partners to share the load and enlist the help of more third party fund raising. They had identified a number of key projects on their wish list and their pitch to us was simple and straight forward.
Variety had a number of projects in mind but one in particular that dealt with kids of all abilities complete with artist renderings and approximate costs. Thus the CFOX-Variety Kids Water Park was born and to this day remains a permanent landmark in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
CFOX was all about kids of all ages and their families and taking on such a high visibility community project gave us credibility and endeared the station to our audience, even if they disliked our programming. We became known as the station that played great rock and cared about our listener’s kids. Not a bad combination.
All media outlets have their own partnerships and unique fund raising efforts. The ones that take years to fulfill like our kids park and are the best ones in my opinion as they build momentum year after year and your community can see the park being build, use the new neo natal intensive care unit or new wing of your local hospital like we did with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation or pick an example of something similar where you live. The best news is that the local charity has the full on commitment of a dedicated, engaged and passionate media partner.
So what ideas are percolating at your organization that would excite a media partner to take it on and keep your organization and a great endeavor top of mind in your community?