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Conference Fundraising

From: LEAVEN, Vol. 37 No. 6, December 2001-January 2002, p. 137.
Mary Hurt, LLL PR Associate

Imagine being embraced by an atmosphere holding breastfeeding and gentle parenting as the norm. Imagine your regular world suspended for three wonderful days while you are surrounded by people from every corner of the globe who feel as strongly as you do about the benefits of breastfeeding. Imagine you will be among the attendees at La Leche League International’s 18th Conference to be held in San Francisco, California, USA July 3 through 6, 2003.

Yes, imagine, but also plan. Procrastination has been called the greatest enemy of fundraising. The side bar lists a year of fundraising ideas to help you get started. Many Leaders, though, have found they need to search no further for fundraising ideas than the annual World Walk for Breastfeeding. They found that they were able to “walk” to the 2001 LLLI Conference in Chicago—not literally, of course, but by using the Group’s share of funds collected for walking during LLLI’s World Walk for Breastfeeding. It seems the Leaders most successful at fundraising convey an expectation of contributions from local hospitals and doctors, the local grocery store, neighbors, and friends. Walking for breastfeeding helps breastfeeding at all levels. If you want to “walk” to San Francisco, it is encouraging to note that you could walk in 2002 and 2003 in order to fund your attendance at the LLLI Conference.

Whichever fundraiser you choose, you will be successful if you start now with enthusiasm, goal-setting, and the desire to join LLL Leaders and families from around the world, as well as acclaimed speakers and LLL’s Founders at LLLI’s 18th International Breastfeeding Conference in one of the world’s most beautiful cities—San Francisco.

A Year’s Worth of Fundraising Ideas

January ­ Invite Leaders and Group workers over for hot cider (or cold if your climate is warm) and brainstorm about fundraising ideas. Accept all ideas, write them down, and then decide on some that sound easy, fun, and profitable. Some Groups have an enthusiastic Group member who becomes the Fundraising Coordinator for the Group. Send out letters to various businesses or organizations asking for funding to attend the LLLI Conference. La Leche League Leaders are educating mothers and helping babies thrive throughout their community. As educators, it is imperative for them to keep their information up-to-date. The LLLI Conference is one way they can access the latest available information on breastfeeding.

February ­Follow up on letters to businesses; call for an appointment, and keep it. Bring a friend for moral support. It will be harder for them to turn down two enthusiastic women asking for help.

March ­Hold a Couple’s Night. Make it enrichment and a fundraiser. Find out what other nonprofit groups are doing for fundraising in your area. Jot down the best ideas to share.

April ­Start collecting items for a “first garage sale of spring.” Depending on your climate, begin starting seeds for a spring plant sale.

May ­Order your World Walk for Breastfeeding Kit and decide when between May 15 and September 15 you will hold your walk. Check out a book on goal setting or positive thinking from the library to shore up your enthusiasm.

June ­Organize a children’s fair at the park. Hold a picnic for all those who want to attend the LLLI Conference to encourage each other’s spirit and determination. Share your plans and enthusiasm for the Walk.

July ­Have an “it’s too hot to bake, bakeless sale.” Ask people to donate the amount they would spend on ingredients to bake an item for a bake sale. Finalize plans for your World Walk. Recheck the page on “How to Get Sponsors” and “How to Get Publicity” from your World Walk kits.

August ­Walk, walk, walk for breastfeeding, for fun, for your Group, for all levels of La Leche League.

September ­Have a demonstration party for a company that will reimburse your Group with a percentage of sales. Ask everyone to tell their neighbors and call it a “pre-holiday” shopping spree.

October ­Plan a pumpkin-and-used-costume sale or sell homemade costumes on order.

November ­Hold a pie sale; take orders and money ahead of time.

December ­Contact a local mall and set up a gift-wrapping booth. Sell homemade cookies or homemade dough ready-to-bake.

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