Donor Focus: Tackling an "Icky" Topic
Some of our most recently implemented and highly successful fundraising initiatives include:
- PCAR’s Catalog of Products: Known for our materials (products from public awareness campaigns and curricula developed for distribution within the state), we created a venue to market these materials outside of Pennsylvania to state coalitions, sexual-assault programs, educational facilities, hospitals, police, et al. This has proven to be an extremely successful undertaking generating mor than $75,000 annually. In addition, we created opportunities for our centers/subcontractors to participate by submitting their materials on consignment, thereby creating income-earning opportunities for them as well.
- Engaging New Partners/Leadership Breakfasts: These events utilize key leaders in business, government, etc. who are supportive of our work to invite their colleagues to a continental breakfast to learn about PCAR. The colleagues come out of respect for the relationship and, during the breakfast, the leader introduces his or her guest to the executive director . After breakfast, a formal program is held where our CEO talks about PCAR (focusing on our mission; shocking statistics that show sexual assault is primarily a crime committed against children and youths; our challenges and needs). At this time, there is no mention of fundraising, simply opportunities for the corporate/government leader to become engaged by utilizing his/her expertise to assist PCAR in short-term projects that are dependent upon and/or are enhanced by outside expertise. This can be accomplished by their own direct involvement or through another employee who brings the level of expertise that we are seeking. Such events have been highly successful on several levels as they serve to increase awareness of PCAR, our issues and, most importantly, generate buy-in from community/state leaders who are typically outside our purview or reach. By engaging in this level of relationship-building, we find that leaders become invested in PCAR and bring personal and professional resources (financial, expertise, etc.) to advance our cause.
- Vision of Hope Luncheon and Fund: Utilizing the premise of involving new partners, reaching out to new constituents and recognizing the outstanding contributions of advocates, PCAR wanted to create a special event that would live in perpetuity. Late last year, PCAR contacted former first lady Michele Ridge to serve as honorary chairperson of our first annual Vision of Hope Luncheon. The luncheon, held on July 14, 2005, served as PCAR’s opportunity to recognize activists, leaders and policymakers whose advocacy on behalf of victims and their families resulted in long-lasting social and system change. As a significant highlight to this event, the Vision of Hope Fund was created in honor of Mrs. Ridge’s exemplary leadership in child-abuse prevention at the state and national level. This fund will be utilized to direct critical funding support to build effective and innovative prevention resources throughout the country. (Mrs. Ridge will serve as Chairperson of the Fund’s Advisory Board).
This event surpassed everybody’s expectation, bringing in old and new allies who possess renewed interest and capacity to build the fund, knowing that it holds the hope and promise of change for generations of children.