Creston Valley non-profit groups have a chance to learn about successful fundraising when the Creston and District Community Resource Centre (CRC) hosts professional fundraising consultant Lorna Visser on Sept. 4.
The principal of Carmanah Strategies — an organizational development, communications and fundraising consulting firm — is based in the West Kootenay, and will speak on the topic, “Stepping into Abundance: Raising More Money for Your Cause.”
“These are very difficult times in which to raise the money to do the things that no one else is doing,” said CRC board chair Rita Scott. “As time goes on, more services fall to the community to provide. Getting the money to do that is a major challenge.”
Visser will share successful fundraising approaches, and offer tips gleaned from over 30 years as a professional fundraiser. Her presentation will show groups how to move to a model of abundance, and make fundraising fun and deeply rewarding.
The CRC will its own funding challenges in the future — one of the organization’s goals is to buy a building.
“We can really appreciate, on behalf of the whole non-profit sector, how difficult it is,” she said. “I think we have to move away from the idea that fundraising is a competitive activity, that if we get money, someone else does not.”
Visser organized a media outreach campaign and raised $1.5 million in 10 months to ensure that the Valhalla Mile, a 155-acre privately owned lakefront property on Slocan Lake, was purchased and added to the Valhalla Provincial Park — an act that earned her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
She is well equipped to attack fundraising from a variety of angles — her career has included time as a journalist at a daily Calgary newspaper, a corporate communications professional with Petro-Canada, Nova Corporation, Husky Oil and Shell Canada, and as a fundraising professional for the Canadian Red Cross and Ecojustice Canada.
In addition to volunteering in the conservation community, she is helping to establish the Slocan Valley Legacy Fund, a community foundation. She’s also a farmer, raising free-range hens for the Fowlty Towers egg emporium, and an amateur musician, playing clarinet in four bands.
“We are very excited to offer to the community at large, and the non-profit sector in particular, this instructive and innovative speaker who can help us to make definite strides in our fundraising,” said Scott. “She is going to help us find our strengths, and how to bring a positive outlook to meet those challenges.”
Visser’s presentation runs as part of the CRC’s annual general meeting, which runs 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Creston and District Community Complex’s Erickson Room. For more information on Visser, visit www.CarmanahStrategies.com.