In this episode of the Strategic Nonprofit podcast, Trista sits down with Shelley Milstein, Manager of Philanthropy at Spinal Cord Injury BC, to discuss how she raises funds for her organization. In particular, one of her most outstanding fundraising achievements, a spectacular event that started at $15k and finished at $100k!
So join Trista and Shelley as they mull over current topics such as the impact of Covid19 on fundraising, retaining employees in uncertain times and how to connect deeply with your donors to improve engagement.
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Introducing Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI-BC)
Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI BC) is a Non-Profit Organization committed to helping people with spinal cord injuries and related disabilities to adjust, adapt, and thrive. SCI-BC is currently serving over 2,600 British Columbians, families and friends, by providing answers, information and unique community experiences to change lives.
SCI-BC understands that a spinal cord injury or related disability can be life-changing for anyone. In the beginning, they need to adapt to their new body, new mobility challenges and new daily routines.
After the initial support, SCI-BC continues to help support individuals however possible. Whether that’s finding employment, learning about their different health needs, figuring out how to have a baby, or starting a new business.
Shelley is responsible for managing the Fund Development Team, where she produces fundraising pieces and ensure grants are submitted punctually, all while overseeing the budget.
Retaining Loyal Employees
We work really hard to make sure that our staff stay employed. We will cut all other costs.Shelley Milstein
Half of the SCI-BC staff live with a disability or have spinal cord injury, which is exceptionally prominent, considering data exposes a considerable gap between their employment rates and the general population. Shockingly, as many as 60% of people living with disabilities are unemployed, so SCI-BC tries to keep their employees on a full-time or part-time agreement.
Covid19s Impact On Fundraising
Uncertainty has come at an extreme cost for many organizations this year, including Shelley and her team who have felt the effects of possibly missing out on their next $100k Fundraising event. While also juggling the loss of their longtime corporate sponsors who can’t afford to fund them during a time of crisis.
However, the only real solace for organizations at this time is understanding that it’s affecting everyone – which is why it’s perhaps more advisable for NPOs to focus on their existing loyal donors rather than host a Covid19 Fundraising event like so many others.