Monday, December 8, 2008

Our latest fund-raising results

This is a bit of good news at a time when all about us are losing theirs, including all our company holiday party subsidies and events (and no new cellphones or BlackBerrys, etc.).

Payroll pledges to the United Way, our company's beneficiary, are down by about fifty percent this year, possibly in retaliation...

Last Christmas we thought we did pretty well when we raised $504 for the Toronto City Mission to provide a Christmas for two families by selling raffle tickets for donated prizes, but we kept it mostly in the department.This year we pulled out all the stops. A kids' breakfast program at a community centre here in Toronto is the beneficiary.

We've planned four raffles -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter. Our first raffle raised $1000. For the holiday raffle, we had prizes like 4g and 8g iPods, a Playstation 3, a pair of Leafs tickets in the Red section at the ACC, and several $100 gift certificates for places like Best Buy and the Rosewater Supper Club.

We had a lot of people buying chances. We tweaked the theme a bit by giving one ticket per pound of food donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank, and by accepting three non-winning Thxgv raffle tickets for one holiday raffle ticket.We decorated an empty office (with a nice blank brick wall) with a tree and a large-screen monitor (about three feet across) that showed a lovely fire burning in a brick fireplace.

We got help to set up a webcam and server and distributed a link by e-mail so people across the company could watch the draw live (well, with a ten-second delay). Apparently the quality was pretty good, but the fireplace just showed flare.Our holiday raffle, for which prizes were distributed today, raised $2010, and about 120 lbs of food (73 pounds of which was contributed by ONE person, who ended up winning four prizes and who immediately gave back two of them to the draw).

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