The financial requirements for programs such as Fund the Match and the KBC PTC are significant and ongoing. On the one hand, KBC has had moderately successful fundraising events, such as our annual Hats & Heroes Ball. Although events like this raise some funds, they are not an enduring foundation for future growth and sustainability. Such events, major value that lies in presenting KBC and its mission to encourage the interest and commitment of individual and corporate donors. Of the many good causes for children, particularly ill children, KBC has some unique qualities, which serve to set it apart from others and to encourage long-term donor commitment in this very competitive marketplace.
First of all, KBC serves children with cancer, leukemia and over 80 other life-threatening diseases, which can only be cured with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Thus, from the very beginning, KBC’s mission is defined as life itself. Even though this treatment is life-saving, children without resources cannot even begin the process of finding a donor, or begin treatment without extensive testing that is never covered by Medicaid and most insurers. This compelling argument raises KBC donors to a very high level from the beginning. KBC programs assist children without which curative treatment is delayed or not accessible at all. Secondly, KBC takes care of children right here in Central Florida. Funds pledged to KBC do not go to some distant program with unknown people and unknown priorities. These are children and families right here in Central Florida. You can see them at the annual gala. You can see them at the Christmas party. They may even be your neighbor’s children. This is a powerful draw for local support. Finally, the KBC PTC at FHFC exemplifies the credibility and strength of the organization. This association gives legitimacy to KBC, which can be a powerful reassurance to any potential donor. Clearly, KBC is not some small, family organization that may not exist for the long haul. The association with the strongest hospital system in the state guarantees its credibility, quality, and safety for the organization or individual seeking to donate to a children’s cause.
These arguments underline a continuing approach to the community for long-term foundational support to carry out KBC’s mission for the foreseeable future.
The concepts listed above are powerful arguments for the importance and credibility of KBC’s mission and should serve to both inspire and convince potential donors. In order to reach these donors however, one must build a consortium of individuals representing or having contacts with those who can support and understand the KBC vision and its significance. With this in mind, KBC has organized in 2014 and going forward, a large Development Advisory Board (DAB) of influential individuals in the general and corporate community to participate in the building and growth of KBC’s financial program. Obviously, the philanthropic world is very competitive and requires committed individuals who will not only contribute personally, but also serve as ambassadors to the community at large.
In 2014, KBC recruited 40 diverse individuals who represent the leadership of the Central Florida community and are willing to commit to the KBC mission. The program consists of several steps: 1) Recruitment requires a statement of personal commitment both financially and of personal time and committed effort. 2) Commitment to a series of educational activities to learn about the mission of KBC and the medical illnesses it supports. 3) Opportunities to participate as volunteers for KBC sponsored children and family activities. 4) Opportunities to participate in planning and executing the mission and long and short-range goals of KBC.
Key indicators as to progress being made with programs, fundraising, and mission development, are as follows:
1) The absolute number of participants is a direct measure of interest and impact, particularly in the Karing 4 Kids programs. These qualitatively serve the community KBC is trying to reach, and success is measured indirectly by demonstrating a growing number of participants. For example, the Holiday Party, an annual event, has grown to nearly 400 in 2014, from 200 in 2008.
2) The level of networking or community assistance with the Karing 4 Kids programs is a measure of KBC’s growing partnership with community organizations and providers. The Orlando Ballet – Kids Beating Cancer Dance Program is an example of this type of success.
3) Positive response to programs is a strong indicator of success. The Food for Families Program has been overwhelmingly positively accepted. Numerous families have expressed their gratefulness for this reduction of the financial burden of having a child hospitalized for prolonged cancer treatment.
4) The sheer success of accomplishing the establishment of the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center has been a measure of the long-term goal achievement of KBC that stands alone. Continued measure of that parameter is ongoing by the number of patients transplanted and treated in the KBC PTC. Continuing to measure the number of children that are enabled to enter the transplant treatment process because of KBC’s Fund the Match Program is a concrete measure of success in the achievement of long-term basic goals of the organization.
Measurement of success in the field of philanthropy will rest with the success of the newly formed Development Advisory Board (DAB). Success will be measured by increase in the level of supporting funds raised by efforts and their circle of influence.
In regard to the discussion of recent progress toward long-term goals, we go back to the one overwhelming achievement — the establishment of the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. This is an example of success on many levels. The raising of funds going directly to patient care, i.e.: pre-transplant testing and treatment and using the relationship exemplified by that commitment to obtain a joint commitment from a powerful community resource (another words Florida Hospital for Children) to achieve a KBC goal is exemplified in the transplant center establishment.
What this exemplifies going forward is that an organization such as KBC with limited resources, but great vision and commitment, can, through alliances with powerful resources, achieve objectives that would otherwise be impossible. Continuing to build these types of alliances with powerful local resources and organizations through the DAB will be a cornerstone of KBC’s plan going forward. The continued support of programs such as Karing 4 Kids not only directly supports the population we serve, but also underlines the human aspects of what we do and serve as a foundation enabling us to reach out to the community for support and achieve goals that we cannot accomplish alone.