Like other non-profit organizations, fundraising is very important to keeping our doors open and our services benefiting the community. While applying for grants and funding is a large part of our funding strategy, a sizeable part of our donations actually come from community fundraisers, also called third-party fundraisers, by supporters of our mission and vision.

Third party fundraisers can look like anything and can be coordinated by anyone. Most importantly, they’re often fun events and a great excuse to bring people together for a common good led by shared values. We aren’t always made aware of the stories behind these fundraisers but appreciate when we can connect with organizers to learn more.

Today we had the opportunity to talk with Audrey, a long-time supporter of YW Calgary who is currently planning the 10th – and final—Annual Hope for Healing Gala on April 30th to raise funds for YW’s Domestic Violence programming. This was an excellent opportunity to ask Audrey about her motivation, aspirations, and insight.

Tell us a bit about your Hope for Healing event and what led you to start it 10 years ago?
The Hope for Healing Gala started as a birthday party, actually!  Then many people throughout the evening were asking if I’d host another one and honestly, it’s history from there.

Hope for Healing

My initial motivations stemmed from my personal story of family abuse. When I was younger, a police officer helped my mom escape with two young daughters and a single suitcase to a temporary, but very secure placement in a shelter much like YW’s Sheriff King Home crisis shelter. By sharing my and others’ personal stories at Hope for Healing, I hope to motivate people to do something—to make a difference in the life of one woman, one girl, one boy, one family.

How has the event changed over the years?
It’s become much more organized. It started to gain traction a few years in and sponsorship levels became more sophisticated, allowing us to make the event bigger and better.

What do you hope people attending your event will experience or remember?
The fun experience, the memories we’ve created over the years, and the reason behind all the effort.

What would you tell someone who might be considering planning a fundraising event, but who doesn’t know where to begin?
I can relate completely. I’d advise them to reach out to the organization that they wish to support and ask for ideas. There’s really no reason to re-invent the wheel and organizations are very helpful to supporters. YW Calgary makes it easy by having this informative page Host a Fundraiser.

Are there still tickets available for your final event on April 30 at The Best Western Port O’Call Hotel in Calgary?

Yes! Purchasing a ticket to the event (a portion of each will be directly donated), bidding on auction items (ALL proceeds directly donated), personal donations (donations exceeding $20, tax receipt provided) or sponsorship (monetary aid to the event) are four ways to be actively involved in making the difference. Visit hopeforhealing.info/ or donate at http://support.ywcalgary.ca/hopeforhealing and connect on social media at #HopeForHealing2022 @audreygetsitdone

Check out these other third-party fundraisers in support of YW Calgary:

Hockey Helps the Homeless

Over the last 12 years, Hockey Helps the Homeless has raised over half a million dollars for YW and our Transitional and Community Housing Programs. We are already looking forward to their next fundraising hockey tournament on November 4, 2022!  Learn more at hockeyhelpsthehomeless.com @hockeyhelpsca #HHTH

Rose and Croquet

International Women’s Day Charity Brew at Ol’Beautiful

Thank you to Ol’ Beautiful Brewery in Inglewood, who created a special International Women’s Day Charity Brew. $1 from each pint sold during the month of March was donated to YW Calgary! http://www.olbeautiful.com

Hosting a fundraiser enables you to become a catalyst in our community while having fun.  Your fundraiser can raise money that will help women and their families who may be struggling with poverty, homelessness, family violence or isolation. Support that will help them to move from a position of vulnerability to one of sustainable strength and opportunity.

Find YWCA Calgary on GoFundMe and Facebook Fundraisers to collect donations in lieu of gifts at your birthday, anniversary or company party. For other ideas and to learn more about hosting your own fundraiser, visit our website: Host a Fundraiser.