Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fundraising cost is investment

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Volunteers and participants exchange high-fives at a CancerCare Manitoba event in June.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Volunteers and participants exchange high-fives at a CancerCare Manitoba event in June. Photo Store

As a consultant to non-profit organizations, I agree with Hadass Eviatar that the use of pink in products has been stretched to the limit (Think before you 'pink' this year, Sept. 18). However, I disagree with her premise that the cost of fundraising has nothing to do with preventing or curing cancer.

Many people's introduction to charitable giving comes through runs, walks, strolls, bike races and so on. The explosion of these events has increased the total amount of money raised for the various causes, including breast cancer research.

These activities also raise awareness about the need for research and prevention in ways that have meaning to the participants that no direct mail campaign ever could.

If a walk or run raises $1 million with $300,000 in costs, that's $700,000 more than would have been raised without it. Organizations invest in staff to organize volunteers, run websites, write receipts for gifts and make sure participants have a positive experience.

Costs associated with professional fundraising are an investment, not an expense. The return on that investment is raising more funds than is possible without it, in an ethical and open manner. And that goes a long way toward preventing and curing cancer.

JULIE MIKUSKA

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 19, 2013 A14

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