Focus on leadership gifts now underway
For release – May 30, 2023
Organizers of The Home for Good Campaign are crediting the City of Guelph’s commitment to match community donations for building early momentum to help the campaign pass the $1.5 million mark.
“The early awareness resulted in several donations of all shapes and sizes, reinforced the urgency of the homelessness crisis and the Guelph Wellington community’s commitment to funding solutions,” said Chris Willard, executive director of The Guelph Community Foundation, which is co-leading the campaign with United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.
Home For Good is a capital fundraising campaign to help finance three approved building projects that will contribute 72 permanent supportive housing units in Guelph. In July 2022, City Council passed a resolution to match public donations up to $500,000 from the Affordable Housing Reserve. Fundraising surpassed this goal before the March 31, 2023 deadline, allowing the campaign to count on the full half-million commitment.
“We are especially pleased with the grassroots approach to fundraising that we’ve seen with this matching campaign. Employee teams, community groups and individuals stepped up. Every donation is a huge commitment to help solve homelessness and makes a big difference in getting us to our goal,” echoes Glenna Banda, United Way’s executive director.
She cites examples including small businesses matching customers’ donations during a Christmas holiday campaign, a company matching staff gifts donated during a team pancake breakfast, a pizza day at a local high school, contributions at events on International Women’s Day in March, and a healthcare professional choosing the campaign for their monthly donation.
“This particular donor spoke of a professional understanding of the impact of the social determinants of health on individual wellness, and the difference that permanent supportive housing can make. In many cases, we learned that donors chose the campaign, or people gave a little more than they might have, because they knew their donation would be matched by the City,” notes Banda.
Mayor Guthrie says the City’s commitment worked exactly as intended. “This was a unique opportunity to rally the community around this critical issue, and as usual in Guelph, people stepped up.”
He stressed that more community leadership is essential to reach the campaign’s $5 million goal, noting that organizers will build on this momentum in the rest of 2023 by focusing on recruiting large commitments from individuals, groups and businesses.
“Every campaign of this nature relies on the high value leadership pledges as much as the grassroots commitments – gifts in five and six figures from those who are fortunate to have that much to give. We continue to encourage this level of giving to get the campaign past the post,” says Guthrie.
Willard adds that organizers would welcome another pledge from a major donor to match community donations for a limited time. “Clearly, it is a powerful fundraising tool,” he said.
For more information please contact:
Glenna Banda, executive director, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin
Chris Willard, executive director, The Guelph Community Foundation
Learn more about the campaign and the collaborative efforts to solve homelessness in Guelph Wellington at HomeForGoodGW.ca