Notes from Advancement Committee Meeting 4/26/16

Present: Liz Nemeth, Rita Alison, Annie Vorys, Ashley Wall

Engaging Board: Liz & Annie shared plans to educate members so that they are comfortable sharing HS with their contacts. Board members will each be asked to research and present topics including history of HS, Circle of Hope (COH) specifics, Practicing Hope (PH) and support groups overview, Walk, etc.

Each board member will be given an elevator speech to carry with them and use to share HS.  Liz & Annie designing card and 2 copies will be given to board members in their portfolios at 5/17/16 Board Welcome Dinner and Meeting.  1 copy should be stored in portfolio pocket and one can be kept in wallet or purse.

Ashley to create board calendar through 2016, and Annie will determine board member’s preferred format for receiving info.

COH:  Ashley writing initial bio about Sandra Hughes to be used in press release, fliers, and appropriate promo materials. After passing it by group, she will get approved by Sandra.

Milestone motivators discussed for COH:  create mini competitions between now and 8/13 to boost awareness, participation and fundraising.  First MM is a team/FR challenge we hope Colfax fire station will issue to other Emergency Responders/Fire Stations that we’ll promote.  At the end of set time period, winning station will get catered meal from Firehouse Subs.  Liz is contacting Colfax station to pitch idea, and Rita will contact Firehouse owner to donate meal.  Other ideas for prizes need to be developed. Liz reaching out to EMS contact to determine best way to include in MM challenges. Ashley will create preliminary timeline.

Greeting Cards: Group decided on 6 edgy and honest cards expressing sympathy and encouragement for loss parents:

Whenever you are ready/I am here for you.

No. Things don’t always happen for a reason./So sorry for your loss.

Angels celebrate birthdays, too./Thinking of you on this special day.

Holidays can be a bear.  We are here to celebrate in whatever way you choose,/with loving support or reckless abandon.

It’s hard to feel merry with the burden you carry./Thinking of you this season.

This sucks./I’m here for you.

Liz to send to graphic designer for development.  Committee/Ashley requesting printing quotes from known printers. Ashley pricing packaging and mailing options and will create timeline and program plans with goal to introduce close to Father’s Day.

Heartstrings Advancement Committee Update – 8/24/16

 I.            Greeting Cards – Andy Kurtts of Buttermilk creative to send files of 6 approved card designs with copyright, design credit, and HS contact info by end of week.  We will send to printer to be sure all is in order and plan to print 50 sets (12 cards each) at the end of October. The marketing push to start early Nov.? will offer limited addition appreciation gifts to target HS community members who don’t typically donate at year-end and will apply to donations of $25 and over.     Pricing Projections:

COSTS: $ 30/Set of 12 cards includes packaging and shipping
12 cards, 2 each of 6 designs @ $1.75 per = $21/Box set @ .77 per/Padded Envelope Mailer @ .32 per/FedEx Pkg and 3 day Economy Shipping = $8/USPS Pkg & Shipping $6.50=$29.77 Max Cost: 50 sets x $30= $1500 REVENUE: Min Revenue: 50 x $25 min = $ 1250

 II.         Shredding Event- November 12 9am-Noon, Location TBD in Winston-Salem. Cost: $350/3 hours shredding company. To break even, must bring in 35 boxes with donations of $10 each.  Board is helping to search for locations.  Handy Capable has not returned multiple calls, so assume no interest in salvaging computers donated.  Shredder will destroy hard-drives if we include computers.

III.       Circle of Hope Memorial Concert 2017 – Meeting with committee of volunteer parents on 9/13 to explore new concept for memorial event to move away from the outdoor Walk format to an indoor concert.  Parents would not speak about their child publicly or participate in guided small group discussions that are very difficult emotionally for many. 

Instead, families would submit songs to be played by live musicians for their child during the slideshow.  One suggested venue is the Crown at Carolina Theatre which can accommodate 100-140 seated and up to 180 standing. There is also a concession bar that would allow a reception during intermission or afterwards so parents could connect as desired.

The room is 55’ x 48’.  The floor is a structural concrete deck painted a neutral grey-black shade. The walls are natural unfinished brick and mortar with bench seating on the north and south walls.  There are floor-to-ceiling black curtains that can be pulled from a curved curtain track to enclose almost three-quarters of the room’s wall space.

COSTS: Rental cost and staffing for non-profit for 3 hours is $310-$360 plus box office takes a fee for tickets sold. Number of musicians will impact costs.  Ashley has discussed concept with professional musician and music director at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church who would be interested in managing music for the event.  They would need at least a month to prepare the music, and some music may need to be played on a sound system rather than performed live (especially rock music).  August timing will likely continue but TBD—maybe a Sat or Sunday afternoon event.

If we launch event at the Crown and it grows over time, we can move it to the main theatre.  Fairly turn key for staff, except marketing and getting music collected in advance for musicians. 

Need to determine how to boost donations with this format in addition to sponsor funding.  One idea is to offer 1 song per family and to suggest donations for additional songs or medleys from family or friends?  We would also need to decide about printed program and messages. Ideas are welcome from this committee, especially prior to the 9/13 meeting.

IV. March Benefit – Discussed March Madness Dash tentatively March 9, 10, or 11 at Rev Mill Event Center but need to tighten concept and confirm preferred date to reserve date.  I will check to see if dates are currently open.  

Minutes from Advancement Committee Conference Call on 11/9/16

Participating: L. Nemeth, R. Alison, J. Alison, A. Vorys, A.Wall

Shredding Event on 11/5/16 at Knollwood Baptist Church Preschool raised $332 net.  Agreed that worth having another shred event in spring to see if raises more funds.  Takes time to establish awareness and a following in community.  Idea of tying-in with an existing event proposed such as Fisher Park Historic Preservation Tour of Homes or partnering with a realty company.  Shamrock is scheduled for another HS shredding event on 5/20/17 in GSO. Location TBD.

Hops4Heartstrings Benefit had its first meeting on 11/7/16, led by Brooks Johnson and attended by Mike Vorys, Craig Bowyers, and Andy Kurtts.  Other HS dads are interested in joining.  Preliminary plans include a corn hole tournament and incentives to form teams. Working on logo/branding and refining concept.   

End-of-year and Giving Society: Top donors (approx. 75) to receive 2016 Update newsletter (mails 11/14), followed by solicitation letter, postcard and personal solicitation call week of 12/5.  All contacts will be sent a digital version of newsletter/solicitation on 11/14, followed by reminder email 11/22, Giving Tuesday email 11/29, and final EOY reminder e-blast 12/26.  Board will be briefed on EOY plan and personal solicitations at 11/15/16 board meeting as part of Advancement report.

The Windswept Society is proposed to foster higher level donors.  Minimum level for members is $1,000 annually, and EOY donation may be counted toward minimum.  Object is to create specially-recognized group that donors wish to join.  Initial launch will focus on impact of support with $500 covering programming costs for one couple to attend the 9-session Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group (also might consider using $1,200 as covering programming costs for one couple to attend the 9-session Child Loss Support Group).  Emphasize that monthly sustainers who give $84/month as well as donors who pledge $1,000 for the year will become WSS members.  Perks include free tickets to WRH (to witness impact of their support) and a special VIP donor dinner planned for March in a private home.  Jason to secure the chef, and Ashley to secure the home.

The next Advancement Committee meeting has not been scheduled.