Have you ever wondered what goes into a fundraising campaign?

We were thrilled when the LCBO accepted Threads of Life’s application for their coin box program this year. From July 16 to August 12, a coin box wearing our name will be on each checkout counter in the 658 Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) stores around the province.

It’s a great opportunity – in the five years Thread of Life has been part of the program, LCBO customers have donated more than $60,000 just by dropping their change into the boxes. But more importantly, we realized, it’s a chance to let more people know about the work Threads of Life does.

Every year, 28 provincial or national charities, plus many local organizations, are accepted to receive donations through the LCBO’s Giving Back In Our Community fundraising program. So the company has many tips and recommendations for how charities can make the most of their four weeks. We were encouraged to send an information sheet to the stores, so that employees there could answer questions from customers if anyone asks. We sent out a press release announcing our participation in the program. And we prepared cards to insert into each of the coin boxes, so customers would know who they’re donating to.

We spent lots of time thinking about these cards. What image or message would tell people, at a glance, what Threads of Life is all about? We wanted to give LCBO customers some idea of the grief and chaos that results when someone is seriously injured, killed or becomes sick because of work. And we wanted to let them know that their contributions could make a difference. Oh, and we wanted anyone who sees the coin box, and needs Threads of Life’s support, to know how to reach us.

All that in a space 5 x 5 inches! Here’s what we came up with. We chose a photo we hope conveys some of the emotion our family members feel. In the limited space, we made the decision that the text would highlight only those families affected by fatalities and life-altering injuries, knowing we were leaving out many families affected by occupational disease. We hoped the message might be compelling enough that they would come looking for more information.

How do you think we did? Do you have an idea for how we could convey a message like this in the future?

If you’ll be in an LCBO store before August 12, look for our coin boxes and drop in your spare change. And if you’re not in Ontario, there are still lots of ways you can spread the word and support those affected by workplace tragedy. Visit the Get Involved section of our web site to learn more.

Susan Haldane