Thursday, March 1, 2012

Charity has to start new capital campaign to pay for the last capital campaign

Metro’s Community Hospital says it will be starting another massive fundraising campaign this month to pay for the last one

The “For Our Sick Kids” campaign ended last week after raising $30 million. More than 25 full-time staff, two dozen consultants, a team of more than 100 volunteers and a trained monkey laboured on the campaign from a Class A office suite for more than five years.

“We certainly raised a lot of money and we’re very grateful,” said Hospital Foundation CEO Dibble Brewer. “But we didn’t realize that we would have to spend so much money raising the money we raised. So we decided to start a new campaign aimed at paying our bills from the last campaign.”

During the campaign, three different sets of fundraising consultants provided counsel to the Foundation. Other consultants including a communications firm, an ad agency, a web service and a fortune teller who knew something about social media. Three database consultants were also used, including one to set-up the Foundation’s database, one to tell the Foundation how it worked and one to clean up the mess the first two consultants made.

“Our staff worked very hard. And it was equally hard for me to fire most of them once the campaign ended and pay them a year’s worth of severance each.  That really added up. I guess I wasn’t thinking when I hired them all in the first place, especially, Svetlana, our masseuse,” said Brewer.
The salaries for the staff were set by the hospital, which paid about twice the scale the Foundation had paid in the past.

“I guess we shouldn’t have paid so much, but they were all somewhat good at their jobs. I know I was worth my $250,000 a year plus a car and a gym membership,” said Brewer. “I’m glad I’m still here.”

The Foundation, created out of the ruins of two previous hospital foundations for the “For Our Sick Kids” campaign, had to create everything new.

“We spent a whack of money on new letterhead, business cards that glowed in the dark, new furniture, an Italian espresso machine and new coffee mugs with my picture on it. I couldn’t believe how many versions of our major ad campaign I ordered – 27. That added up, too. I was floored by how much that all cost when my finance director told me while I was terminating her.”

The Foundation will be launching the “PAY For Our Sick Kids” campaign soon. Aiming to raise an additional $3.5 million to cover the costs of the “For Our Sick Kids” campaign, the new effort will ask existing donors to dig deeper and help those who made the original campaign a reality.

“We’ve already got a direct mail appeal ready that shows the pictures of the ex-staff members and consultants. We just took out the pictures of the kids from the original campaign and changed a few words and presto, it was done.”

To make the campaign work, the Foundation will be hiring five new consultants and ten new staff as well as recruiting 50 new volunteers to form the campaign cabinet. It also moved into better Class A office space in a different downtown building with a better view of the lake that is conveniently located near downtown shops.

“Hmm. I wonder how much this campaign will cost? Ah, never mind,” said Brewer.