School is back this week and with it begins a very busy fall for SickKids Foundation.
We’re inspired by the August 15 announcement by the Government of Ontario that it would invest $75 million towards the SickKids Research & Learning Tower. The investment means we will be able to realize the full scope of the project. We remain committed to reaching the $200 million target for our Tower fundraising campaign by 2013 and we have $50 million in commitments to date. There are now 275 builders on the construction site at the corner of Bay and Elm streets and we grow increasingly excited as the Tower continues to push higher into the sky each month.
Later this fall, we’ll be launching a new promotional campaign focused on the world-class research conducted by SickKids. Watch for our TV ads, which will tell our research story.
There are many ways you can get involved this fall.
Our Dreams and Discoveries Lottery is now underway and offers a larger grand prize ($1.5 million) and more competitive ticket packages than ever before. To purchase a ticket, go to www.sickkidslottery.ca. Get two tickets for $100, three for $135 or even 25 for $500.
On September 14, we’re inviting you to grab your favourite jeans and donate $5 for the privilege of going casual. We’ve lined up a number of companies here in Toronto to participate. Please see www.miraclejeansday.ca if your organization would like to participate.
We are also looking forward to celebrating this month the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, the Rally for Kids with Cancer and the Sears Great Canadian Run. Also watch out for close to 100 other fundraising events taking place in the community throughout the fall.
We can’t thank enough the thousands of volunteers and the thousands of donors who commit themselves to making a difference for sick children. You are making a huge impact and you inspire all of us at SickKids to redouble our efforts to build a healthier future for kids.
SickKids Foundation had a record-breaking finish to the 2010/2011 fiscal year, despite the lingering effects of a global economic recession. While our final results won’t be confirmed for a few weeks, all indications point to a year-end finish of close to $107 million – up 21 per cent from 2009/10.
This incredible achievement is a testament to the generosity of our donors and the hard work of our volunteers and staff. It will allow the Foundation to make major investments in advancing child health both at The Hospital for Sick Children and across the country through our national grants program.
I am also pleased to report that the Foundation continued to reduce its cost per dollar for fundraising and administration, consistent with our goal of being in the mid-range of comparable charities on this measure.
A major focus for our fundraising effort this past year has been the new SickKids Research & Learning Tower, a $400-million facility now under construction at the corner of Bay and Elm streets. Under the leadership of Tim Hockey, Chair of The Research & Learning Tower Campaign, more than $46 million in commitments have been secured from donors for this vital initiative. Clearly, our aspiration to be the preeminent centre in the world for child health research has resonated with our donor community.
As we begin the next year, we’ll continue to look for innovative ways to attract and steward our donors, communicate the impact that donations have at SickKids and beyond and look for ways to become even more efficient and effective in our work. With the support of our Board of Directors, collaboration with the Hospital and help from our donors, volunteers and stakeholders, we can make the upcoming 2011/2012 year our best yet.
There is no doubt that the past two to three years hit the not-for-profit sector hard. SickKids Foundation was no exception. So when I started here almost a year and half ago, I knew there were specific areas that required our attention in order to gain back some confidence from our donors that SickKids Foundation was in fact an effective steward of their donations and worthy of their support.
I am happy to share an article by Paul Waldie from today’s Globe & Mail highlighting some of SickKids Foundation’s successes over the past year.
Having released our annual report and financial statements for 2009/2010 at the beginning of September, we were pleased to report, as the article points out, “donations have held steady at $88-million, costs are down 20 per cent and executive pay has been curtailed.” These are three areas we have really concentrated on in our effort to be transparent and accountable to all of our donors.
A large portion of the article focuses on the performance of our investment portfolio and thanks to the outstanding stewardship of our investment committee, led by Prem Watsa, the Foundation has realized a 41.6 per cent increase in our endowment funds, today reaching an all-time high of $680 million.
I hope you will all take the opportunity to read what the Globe & Mail had to say. We are really proud of our achievements and very optimistic of what the future holds for SickKids and children’s health.