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A Fundraiser Is Born!

Nicole Day-Foster
Windham ME USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 42 No. 4, October-November-December 2006, p. 86

When I attended my first LLL Series Meeting, I was expecting my second child. After not meeting my nursing goals with my first baby, I was reluctant to trust my body's ability to nourish my baby with my milk. I had never contacted LLL before or attended a meeting and was nervous that I might not be accepted at an LLL meeting. A good friend of mine was a member of LLL and gave me a copy of THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING as a gift. I enjoyed the first meeting, so I returned the following month and became a member soon after. I attended meetings and read books from the Group lending Library during my pregnancy. When my new baby arrived, I truly felt prepared to breastfeed. We continued to attend LLL meetings regularly and enjoyed our nursing relationship for years. I am so thankful for the information and support I received at LLL meetings.

I volunteered to perform various Group jobs. One day during an Evaluation Meeting the Group Leaders asked if I would be interested in helping coordinate the 2003 World Walk for Breastfeeding. I had never planned a fundraiser or coordinated more than a birthday party, but I was honored to be asked, and was thrilled to chair our Walk Committee. The day of our event was a beautiful September day in a city park during the public farmers' market. We were joined by over 100 guests throughout the day including breastfeeding coalitions; WIC (Women, Infants, Children -- a US food supplement program) nutritionists and directors; international board certified lactation consultants; generations of families; special guest Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC; as well as those who happened to be out just passing by. Our members and guests all had such a wonderful time. I was so proud of what we had accomplished together as a Group and community. It was truly inspiring. On that warm sunny day, a fundraiser was born!

The following year, I coordinated a fundraiser for both my LLL Group and our local breastfeeding coalition at a local natural food store. We had a wonderful time while raising money and awareness for breastfeeding. We worked together with other Groups to staff a table and provide information in the store through the entire day.

I was honored to co-lead an Area Conference session about fundraising for the next two years. During the year that followed, our family moved into a new home, where I gave birth to my third child. I chose to postpone my focus on fundraising for a period, but couldn't stay away for too long with the excitement surrounding the 50th Anniversary of La Leche League!

Through these few fundraising opportunities, I've created an appetite for learning as much as I can about raising money for LLLI! I know that I am fortunate to be a breastfeeding mother in a time that breastfeeding advocates have long awaited. As the research citing the wide range of benefits that breastfeeding provides becomes increasingly recognized, I believe we will see an increase in funding available to support the unique work of LLLI. It is my goal to learn how to obtain that funding. Currently, I am working with another Leader on writing my first grant proposal. We are consulting with a grant-writing professional to learn as much as we can about this exciting process. If a proposal is rejected, we will try again! Our Group is also hosting a 50th Anniversary fund party, planning a walk, and participating in other fundraisers along the way. We will continue to become educated about ways we can receive funding for our Group and LLLI, one year at a time.

Each of us can help to assure LLL will be here for future generations and have fun at the same time. The LLLI Funding Development Department has provided us with many fresh ideas about how we can make a difference. I am open to experience the joys and frustrations of fundraising, and welcome the opportunity to learn valuable new skills at the same time. Please share your fundraising experiences by submitting a column or article to Leaven about fundraisers you have found to be successful, or new ideas your Group is trying right now. Let's share our enthusiasm and inspire and support each other in this important work of raising money for LLLI!

Real Estate Funding

Many of you know at least one real estate broker or sales agent in your community -- an individual who represented you in the purchase or sale of your home whose photo magnet is still on your refrigerator. Perhaps you have a friend, relative, or neighbor who is licensed to practice real estate in your state.

It is not uncommon for real estate agents to donate a percentage of their commission to charity. Some agents select an organization to donate money to while others will make a donation in their client's name to the charity that the client chooses.

The next time you are talking to someone who is buying or selling a home, ask them if they have already selected a charity for their real estate agent to make a donation to. If they had not thought about it, why not offer them the opportunity to support LLL?

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