Imagine fundraising. It’s easy if you try

As someone who has volunteered for non-profits most of my adult life, I know that fundraising is sometimes known as the F-word

One of the many books found at the Nelson Public Library that can help you with your fundraising projects.

As someone who has volunteered for non-profits most of my adult life, I know that fundraising is sometimes known as the F-word — because it’s hard, and nobody wants to do it. For many people wanting to raise money for a good cause, the prospect can be daunting: we all know how to run a bake sale, but what if cupcakes just won’t cut the mustard? Still more of us have a great idea, but not the means to articulate it for those would-be funders. Sometimes, it takes more than imagination.

Enter the library.

Oh, we’ve run some imaginative fundraisers over the years, from the Incredible Shrinking Tea Party to our more recent Oysters, Authors and Ale and the Storyteller’s Saloon. We published our knockout literary cookbook, Seasonings, (did I mention it was shortlisted for a national book award? And that it’s available for just $24.95 at the library and the Kootenay Co-op, and other locations? Real fundraisers never miss an opportunity). Our recent library renovation campaign raised a hundred grand.

But that’s not what I meant; that just means we’ve done our homework — and you can, too. Because what I was getting at is that library is the go-to place for fundraising skills and ideas, with resources to kick-start imaginations.

For those who like print, we have titles such as The Zen of Fundraising (for those who would make peace with the F-word); Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face (ouch!); Fundraising for Dummies (for those unashamed to admit it) and Storytelling for Grantseekers (for those hoping to hook the big fish).

Also for grant seekers we have two binders in our reference section heavy enough to save you a trip to the gym: they are the Handbook of Assistance Programs for Non-Profit Organizations, federal and provincial editions. These regularly updated binders include opportunities for everything from arts to education, environment to technology. If you can imagine it, there may be a grant for it.

There’s more: our newest database, Imagine Canada, makes the F-word almost F-un.

Imagine Canada is the Canadian Directory to Foundations & Grants delivered via online database, accessible through our library computers (on site). It contains updated information on over 2,200 Canadian grant-making foundations. In addition, the database includes over 150 American foundations with a history of granting in Canada. Imagine that!

To test, I did a simple search: I looked for granters who give to arts organizations in British Columbia and who support special projects or ongoing operations. Clearly, I need to narrow my search, as I came up with hundreds. Clicking on one result, I was able to receive full information on that foundation: how it operates, how and when it gives, and to what — everything I need to know to decide if it’s a good bet or a longshot. The site allows you to create a profile and save your searches. As an addition to our library resources, this is a great one.

So there you go: an ounce of information, a soupçon of skill, pinch of knowhow, a little imagination, and you have a recipe for success that’s way better than a bake sale.

Go ahead: spell the whole word. Then, take a deep breath and imagine.




Anne DeGrace’s library column is featured every second week in the Star


Just Posted

Maglio Building Centre sold to RONA affiliate

The stores in Nelson and Trail will remain open

Granite Pointe offers indoor driving cages

The cages will be available March 1

Leafs fall 4-1 to Border Bruins

Nelson ends the regular season tonight at home to Spokane

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read