Over this past semester, I have had the privilege of working with Catholic Family Services in Hamilton. My group and myself were partnered with CFS initially to perform a communications audit and later to host a fundraiser on their behalf. Working with CFS on this fundraiser in particular was an eye opening experience that showed how people are willing to give back and where that money really goes.
For our fundraiser, we hosted a christmas card photo shoot that offered professional photography at a beautiful location for a heavily discounted price. The photo itself was $30 but it was shocking and heartening to see how many people gave us more. There was an air of holiday spirit and giving that seemed to envelop the whole day. Being able to work with a not for profit was an amazing experience because we were really thrown right into it and had little support from the staff at CFS. That is nothing against them as our contact (Jennifer) wore two hats as the communications director and fundraising head which meant that her time was extremely limited and she had to do the most with it. Our role was to make her life a little bit easier and help bring in some of the much needed holiday donations. Being in complete control of this fundraiser meant that we were able to better understand the way that fundraisers operate in general. We learned first hand the difficulty in finding a space and a photographer that had coinciding availability and who were willing to donate their time. We also learned the difficulty of the general public as we had a few people that signed up right away and continued to back out and sign back up etc. However, the day of the event was amazing and we had only one person not show up for their time slot. This turned out for the best as we were able to give a bit more time to those that were before and after.
Overall, being able to work with a non profit in a real life setting with real life stakes really opened my eyes to the communications field. Working for a not for profit means that you will have to do the majority of the work on your own but the rewards of helping others in your community as your job is insurmountable.