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‘Party with a purpose’ can tell your nonprofit’s story in a new way

By Giving Hope ArizonaDecember 22, 2016

When I started in the fundraising business, I looked for ways to “tell the story” to new prospective donors. Direct mail, phone-a-thons, and galas all seemed to work, but what about a new charity, unknown to most folks? 

The ability to inform people about the good that was being offered to the community was extremely important. If we could get in front of people and inform them, I felt that donor investment would follow. 

In 1993, I became president of a brand new hospital/foundation. We had no donors and no financial support. We carefully selected our board of workers. Knowing how most board members don’t like to ask for contributions, we merely asked them to host a party in their house for 8 to 10 couples. 

We call it Party with a Purpose. The casual get-togethers are usually on a weeknight evening from 7-8 p.m. and we talk about the cause, the need, provide materials and “the ask” is very soft. 

Our target audience was $1,000 donors. We had 25 the first year and more than 500 by year 10. 

Just as important was the need for volunteers to assist in the operation of the hospital. More and more men and women felt the call to volunteer than ever before. 

Now, as the new executive director of Camp Soaring Eagle, we are launching the same concept here in the Valley. We have been met with enthusiastic support. Our camp is committed in providing a fun and memorable experience for chronically ill children. 

There are currently more than 311,000 children in Arizona that require frequent special medical attention. Qualifying illnesses include, but are not limited to, type 1 diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer, collagen vascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, neuromuscular impairments, retinoblastoma and blood disorders. 

To keep the camp FREE for all participants, donations are vital to our operation. We seek volunteers also as every child has a volunteer attached to them. 

Through the power of philanthropy, we will give more and more children a chance to just be kids – to laugh and play.