The Sunshine Foundation of Canada makes dreams come true for children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. Sunshine was founded in 1987 by a Canadian police officer who lost his teenaged son to muscular dystrophy. To date, Sunshine has fulfilled more than 7,000 dreams across Canada, ranging from family trips to celebrity meetings, and gifts like computers and customized bicycles. Sunshine Dreams allow children to escape from the daily regimen and challenges of living with a severe physical disability or life-threatening illness.
The foundation wanted to find a way to celebrate the 25th anniversary in a way that would raise awareness, funds and expand the number of people committed to the cause.
The Brown & Cohen Solution
Developed, Bright Night, Big Dreams, a signature event that would:
oShowcase Sunshine’s good work
oIntroduce the national executive team and the cause
oMobilize local fundraisers from across the country expanding the existing donor base
oBe easy to execute by non-professional fundraisers in markets across the country
Tested the event concept at the national partner conference, tweaked based on feedback and rolled out nationally.
Developed templates for all marketing materials including program booklet, poster, email invitations, print invitation, PowerPoint template to promote sponsors and dreams at event, template letter requesting sponsorship, sponsor level chart, template letter requesting silent auction/in-kind donations, donation form, etc.
Developed instructions for volunteers on how to use the forms and how to seek donations/sponsorships and develop their local media advisory.
Conducted media training session at national partner conference for all chapter volunteers to enable them to do media interviews around their Bright Night, Big Dreams events in their community
Solicited media sponsors to help with awareness.
oSecured media sponsorship with CTV Toronto and then approached CTV affiliates across the country for media sponsorship support
oSecured K-Rock media sponsorship opportunity in Kingston
oSecured CTV Ottawa participation in 2012 Sunshine DreamLift
Solicited greeting letters for program booklets from the following:
oHis Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
oThe Hon. David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
oThe Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
oThe Hon. Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
oLieutenant Governor and Premiers of B.C. and Alberta
Monthly coaching to all local Bright Nights Big Dreams committees on their events.
Seven Bright Nights Big Dreams events were organized by local volunteers across the country following the pattern of the Toronto event.
Media coverage was secured under Brown & Cohen guidance for all seven events.
On March 20, 2012, Brown & Cohen executed the first Bright Nights, Big Dreams event in Toronto. Approximately 80-90 people attended the event and all ticket buyers were NEW Sunshine supporters.
The event had a gross revenue of close to $20,000 and a profit of approximately $14,000 (additional donations came in after the event). The expenses were entirely covered by donations secured by the organizing team.