According to many fundraising journals and how-to articles, the number one reason that people most often cite for not supporting a charity is “no one asked me.”
Having worked in the charitable sector for many years now, I was reminded of this recently when I sat down with Jim Hugessen and his wife Louise Stevenson to thank them for the generous gift they made to the diagnostic imaging campaign, shortly after the campaign launch in May.
When I asked Jim why they decide to put themselves “in the picture” and support the campaign? I fully expected an answer that would touch on his late wife’s (Mary) connection to Almonte and her tireless efforts to raise money for the Hospital and Manor. Instead, Jim responded, “because you asked me… .” Both he and Louise did go on to talk about how the Hospital and Manor’s excellent patient and resident care make it an institution that they feel warrants the community’s ongoing support.
Having high-quality health care close to home is also something they feel is vitally important, particularly psychologically for patients and their family members. Both felt that travelling to (the big city) and finding parking etc. just adds another layer to what is already a stressful situation.
In the coming weeks and months, volunteers and staff working on behalf of the AGH-FVM Foundation will be fanning out, meeting with community members, and telling them about the $4 million campaign currently underway to replace all of the diagnostic imaging equipment at the Hospital. Although the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funds Hospital operations, it does not contribute funds to replace or purchase new equipment. The Hospital must count on the generousity of community members, service clubs, local businesses, and granting agencies. This means that eventually, we are going to ask you to “put yourself in the picture” and support your local hospital. Regardless of the size of the gift you make, like Louise and Jim’s, your support will have an immediate impact on local health care close to home.