How a Single Fundraising Event Met a Hospital’s Goal

Within a small, rural community atop a mountain, the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation raised $20,000 in the second year of its up and coming Tree of Lights fundraising event.

Here are 6 ways you can see the same kind of success.

Add a Personal Touch to Your Donation Opportunities

The Tree of Lights is a heartwarming new tradition for the Bear Valley community to honor or memorialize loved ones at the beginning of the holiday season. Participants can purchase a light to symbolize each person they’d like to honor or memorialize. Then, during the ceremony, the names are read aloud and the tree is lit. Afterward, guests are welcome to attend a reception in which they feel a sense of camaraderie, talking about their loved ones with others who’ve experienced loss or share their honored person.

Get the Word Out About Your Fundraising Event in Multiple Ways

This year, attendance doubled. President of the foundation, Holly Elmer, and board director, Kay Guidry, found such great success by turning to their community, starting with major donors and local media, successfully gaining news coverage and their first $5,000 toward the event.

Leverage Your Donor CRM and Digital Communication Tools

Holly and Kay also credit having fundraising software to spread the word, “I think last year when we did not have DonorPerfect, one or two people could not have pulled off this event, but because of the support and the fact that DonorPerfect made it so easy to reach our donors and prospective donors, it just made it a lot easier to access the information that we needed. We were able to mail almost 600 brochures to potential donors.”

Obtain Donated Goods to Lessen Overhead Costs

The acts of kindness continued. A local donated a 6-wheelchair accessible van for the Skilled Nursing Facility, including a full van wrap, used to promote the event. The local electric company donated two cherrypickers to help light the tree. Even Holly’s neighbors pitched in with a higher-than-average donation.

Deliver Meaningful Thank You Letters to Donors

Holly was sure to thank her donors in a special way. “Not only had they gotten their tax letter, but they’d gotten a personally written letter as well. They were just nonplussed by it. They thought that was really super. When DonorPerfect sent out the tax letters, it gave us the time to also write personal letters which holds up, builds up our [support], I think.”

Let Donors Know the Impact of Their Generosity

In their communications, Holly and Kay explain to donors that after sponsors cover the major costs, the majority of their proceeds go directly to the hospital, and they can tell you exactly what was purchased. This transparency with donors and the emotion their events and personal letters invoke keep donors coming back.

We wish the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation the best, as they continue to grow this meaningful tradition.

In the area? The ceremony and tree lighting is the second Saturday in November. You can visit see the Tree of Lights every night until midnight through January.

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