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Raising Funds for LLLI

From: LEAVEN, Vol. 40 No. 6, December 2004 - January 2005, pp. 128-29.

This year, over 400 La Leche League Groups all over the USA held fundraising events between May and September to celebrate breastfeeding and to raise money to support the ongoing work of LLL. The details below are merely glimpses into the various activities that were planned for World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2004. What is your Group planning for next year’s WBW? Whether you’d like to coordinate an event like one mentioned in this article or modify a fundraiser to suit your area, it’s never too early to start planning for 2005.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Susan Vicknair Theall
Jefferson LA USA

To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, LLL of Jefferson, Louisiana planned an LLL Family Fun Day in the local shopping mall. Due to the publicity in the local newspaper and on the news, we had a large turnout. My co-Leader, Rachelle Noullet, was interviewed for an article on breastfeeding and WBW, which appeared in a prominent spot in the local newspaper on the Monday before our Saturday event. The day before our fundraiser, the local weatherman held up one of our WBW t-shirts on the evening news and announced the event. One of the anchors, a former breastfeeding mother, also commented on the importance of breastfeeding.

On the day of our celebration, we walked one mile inside the mall and celebrated with a cake (donated by a local bakery). To attract both parents and children, we had mascots from a local baseball team attend. We also set up children’s activities. Every child in the mall brought their parents to our tables. So far, we have over $800 in sponsor money, with more expected.
This was a successful event for the New Orleans, Louisiana, USA area. We took advantage of the opportunity to sell WBW merchandise as a Group fundraiser and sold t-shirts and tote bags to eight other LLL Groups.

Whittier, California, USA

Julie Johnson
Whittier CA USA

The LLL Whittier, California, USA Group celebrated World Breastfeeding Week with a luncheon at a Greek café. To encourage attendance, we let everyone know that the first 50 families to arrive would receive a totebag of goodies. We purchased 50 totebags and sold advertising space on the outside of the bags for $100 and inside the bags for $30. We raised $1,000 one month before our event! Many of the businesses who advertised in the bags also donated items for raffles and door prizes.

To encourage individual LLL members to make donations, we decorated flower pots that read, "LLL of Whittier: your coins help us grow!" We distributed the pots before the WBW celebration to all of our members with the instructions to save coins during the month of July. In coins alone, we raised $195.

Over 130 families helped us celebrate. The restaurant donated 20 percent of the lunch proceeds. A local store also donated a $50 gift card to help with expenses and matched $250 of donations. Between the tote bags, coins, and lunch, we’ve brought in close to $1,500 so far. We’re still waiting to hear from a couple of other local businesses as they approve matching donations.

One thing we will do differently next year is buy more pins to sell to attendees. They were a huge hit and we sold out of them fast. There were "World Breastfeeding Week" pins and "Human Milk for Human Babies" pins. We decorated them with gold ribbons to represent breastfeeding as the "gold standard."

We generated a lot of money and raised awareness of LLL. We look forward to having our World Breastfeeding Week Celebration next year!

Columbia, Missouri, USA

Julie Jacobs
Columbia, Missouri, USA

LLL of Columbia, Missouri, USA held our WBW event on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Over 130 people gathered to help us celebrate.

Since this is the fifth year our Group has coordinated a Walk, we have already established connections in the community. It was surprisingly simple to promote our event and ask for donations from businesses and health care providers. The Walk was also featured on two different news broadcasts. Our Group collected a total of 18 prizes to give to top fundraisers and raffle off at the end of the event.

Our Group raised over $4,400: eight sponsors gave $250 each to have their logo included on the back of a "Babies Were Born to be Breastfed" t-shirt; local businesses gave $550; health care professionals gave $300; and we collected over $1,500 from individuals. After the expense of printing t-shirts, $3,600 will benefit LLL at all levels.

Kentucky and Indiana, USA

Virginia Delaney
Louisville KY USA

The Kentuckiana Chapter held our WBW celebration at the local park under large tents. Over 400 people attended and we raised around $3,000.

Our fundraiser had 23 exhibitors, children’s activities, and a silent auction that featured over 135 donated items to bid on. We kept track of what items were popular with attendees so we can gear our donation requests for next year.

To pay for the tents and other expenses, we had t-shirts printed and got four major sponsors at $400 each, as well as four contributing sponsors.

We sold tickets (50¢ each or 15 for $5) for any children’s activity or the raffle. We also offered a free table with more than enough donated food to feed all of the attendees. A donation jar on the food table brought in around $100.

Our event went extremely well, but we also learned what we can do differently for next year’s celebration. We will definitely start the planning much earlier. We’ve already begun the process by sending thank-you cards to exhibitors and sponsors along with a postcard informing them of the next event and asking them if they would like to participate again. We hope to have all sponsors lined up by January and all exhibitors by May 2005.

Spending World Breastfeeding Week Funds

Now that LLLUSA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is officially over, the 400 plus Groups that participated have additional funds in their Group accounts to use to further the LLL mission. Some of the exciting things they are doing with this extra money are shared in this article.

LLL of Whittier, California, USA has decided to spend $25 (US) bimonthly to buy a box of 100 to 150 issues of NEW BEGINNINGS. Before distributing them to doctor’s offices, they label each magazine with their Group’s contact information. To help make their funds stretch even further, they applied for and received a corporate grant of $1,000 (US) to add to their WBW event profits.

The Matthews/Union County, North Carolina, USA Group is updating their Group Library and helping Leader Applicants purchase the seventh revised edition of THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING and the third revised edition of THE BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK.

LLL of Osage County, Kansas, USA is a newly formed Group, but their WBW money has enabled them to publicize their LLL Group extensively across their county.

They distributed binders to every doctor, WIC (Woman, Infants and Children) counselor, and Parents as Teachers (a statewide governmental program that mentors parents) representative. Each binder contained a dozen LLLI tear-off sheets, an LLLI Catalogue, a copy of NEW BEGINNINGS, and their Group’s meeting brochure. Mugs and pens with LLL logos on them were also distributed. A portion of the WBW profits also made it possible for the Group to donate THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING to health care providers and offices, as well as folders of tear-off sheets and brochures to chiropractic offices, dental offices, and pharmacies. This outreach was made possible by having a cooperative WBW event with Osage County’s sister Group in Topeka, Kansas, USA, who donated $400 (US).

The Leaders of Great Bend, Kansas, USA brainstormed with members of their Group to decide how to spend the 2004 WBW money. Some of their ideas include:

  • Provide every mother in the hospital with THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING.
  • Partner with doctors and ask them to hand out "new mother packets" to clients.
  • Set up library and bookstore displays during World Breastfeeding Week.
  • Have an LLL booth at fairs and expos.
  • Place an ad in the newspaper describing a monthly online chat session on breastfeeding.

LLL of Morristown, Tennessee, USA held a fair to raise money during WBW. Leaders Sandra Wieber and Kerri Courtier explained that they would like to use some of the money to find an additional Leader and to add new books to their Group Library. They plan to continue buying business card magnets, which includes meeting and contact information. They hope to have enough to insert into all the new mother packets at area doctors’ offices. They are also ordering cards to congratulate new mothers in the hospital. Part of the money will be seed money for next year’s WBW event. They also plan to have professional signs made and would like to purchase an ad in the local newspaper.

Now is the time to think about all that your Group can do to further the mission of LLL with a WBW fundraisers. Dozens of ideas for easy to plan events are on the LLLUSA Web site at Invite the members of your Group to brainstorm and begin planning for WBW 2005.

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