Beth Selby and Lynda Kay, Rotary Club of Cobourg: Today’s Fundraising Climate

Dr. Elizabeth Anne Selby (Beth) brings a wealth of management and governance expertise grown through her extensive experience with Ontario's school system. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Guelph, as well as Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in Education from the University of Toronto and a range of education-related certifications.
Beth is also Past President of the Rotary Club of Cobourg and will serve as the District 7070 Governor in 2019-2020.
A graduate of Queen's University, prior to settling in Cobourg Lynda Kay held the position of National Publicity Manager for CBS Records Canada (Sony Music). Currently the Campaign Director for the Northumberland Hospice Care Centre, Lynda retired from her role as Chief Executive Officer of the Northumberland United Way in 2017.
With a long history in local community involvement, Lynda is one of the founding members of the Town of Cobourg Civic Awards, a member and Past President (2012-13) of the Rotary Club of Cobourg and a Past President of the Port Hope Chamber of Commerce.
Lynda has also been a long-time support of the hospital. She served as a member of the Campaign Committee responsible for raising funds to support the building of NHH in the early 2000s, and has since served on the NHH Board twice, first from 2005 to 2011 (when she Moderated the Board's first Citizens' Advisory Panel, 2009-10) and, in her current term, from 2013. Lynda has participated on numerous Board committees over the years. She chaired the Quality and Safety Committee in 2017-18 and she is the Second Vice Chair of the Board.
The current fundraising landscape is challenging. There are over 85,000 charities in Canada competing for fundraising dollars. In addition, the number of people making donations is shrinking, but those that do give, are giving more.
There are many different forms of fundraising ranging, but do be successful, we must constantly communicate our relevance to potential donors. Who we are, what we do and Why do we do it? From within the club, there needs to be volunteer engagement. Other factors for success include:
  • Pooling resources: Partnerships with other clubs and local organizations to support causes that are important to the community
  • Create excitement and participation: People like experiences walks, runs, cycling  tied to a cause ( Rotary Foundation Walk, Cycle to Conquer Cancer, Colour Run)
  • Cause-related events are popular  - Coldest Night of the Year, Sick Kids
  • Food events and family oriented events highly popular –Waterfront Festivals, Ribfest, Butter Tart, Poutine, Mac and Cheese Festivals
  • Social media –  the major tool for promoting events
  • Multi-year projects and pledges are growing in popularity
Understanding your potential donors is important. What works for younger donors, may not work for other age groups. Donor groups can be broken down as follows:
Generation Y
  • Born 1981- 1995   ( Ages 22 -36)
  • Represent 15% of Total Giving
  • 3.4 million donors in Canada
  • 62% give
  • $639 average annual gift
  • 4 charities supported
  • Not likely to be large donors yet
  • Look to social connections to learn about charities
  • Strong social media presence is essential to them
Generation X
  • Born 1965 – 1980 ( Ages 37-52)
  • Represent  27% of total giving
  • 4.6 million donors in Canada
  • 79% give
  • $831 average annual gift
  • 4.5 charities supported
  • Often seeking a community connection or networking opportunities
  • 1946 – 1964  (Ages 53-71)
  • Represent 32% of total giving
  • 5 million donors in Canada
  • 78% give
  • $942 average annual gift
  • 4.9 charities supported
  • Planning for after work, volunteer opportunities are critical
  • 1945 and earlier 72+
  • Represent 25% of total giving
  • 2.4 million donors in Canada
  • 87% give
  • $1,507 average annual gift
  • Average of 7 charities supported
There are several ideas for fund raising depending on the financial goals. Smaller events can include weekly 50/50 draws, briefcase draws, walks, runs, and cycling events. Larger fund raisers can include golf tournaments, trip draws, dinner and dances.