25 Nov WHAT LIGHTS MY FUNDRAISING FIRE
Lori-Ann Seward is a Relationship Manager who inspires area residents to support UWSM’s poverty-reduction initiatives by sharing what inspires her.
Here’s one of her stories…
I already inherently know that what I do for a living contributes to the greater good of a community I cherish deeply. So, gratitude becomes a practice I try to never get rusty at.
Once in a while, I am moved by certain experiences I have as a fundraiser. I recall one particular day, I was moved to tears while “doing my job.”
IT WAS A TYPICAL DAY – UNTIL IT WASN’T
It was a typical day at work. I was making a presentation about the impact United Way Simcoe Muskoka achieves through its community investments. I was standing at the front of a room full of staff and residents at a local long-term care facility.
It was nice to have such an engaged audience. I enjoy sharing stories of this great work and how we all have the power to change lives for the better.
Because I get updated stories often, I also hear when one of our funded programs is credited with saving someone’s life. It happens more than you’d think, and what could be better news to share than that!
I usually let my audiences know that I’m a donor myself, so I don’t just work here, the stories inspire me, too.
A NORTHERN ONTARIO CONNECTION
Anyway, on that day, I was approached by a lovely elderly lady after my presentation. She wanted to share a personal story with me.
As a young woman growing up in Timmins, Ontario, she had first-hand experience with United Way and had regarded it with fondness ever since. I am from Kapuskasing originally and I felt an immediate kindred connection with her.
As a young woman, she got into some “trouble” as she called it, and her parents sent her on the bus to southern Ontario. She did not provide a lot of details, nor did she have to. She said she was met at the end of the line by United Way and was provided with what she needed at that time.
She said she never forgot what this did for her, and asked if she could make a $20 donation.
PAYING IT FORWARD
I help organize local fundraisers that result in contributions of tens and thousands of dollars, but for some reason, her offer left me speechless.
It’s not that I place a judgement on any donation, regardless of the amount. I admire everyone’s generosity. But on this day, the value in this donation was enormous. United Way had changed her life and she wanted to recognize it. All these years later, she was given the opportunity and she took it.
I had no idea when I was invited to present to this long-term care facility; that it would move my fundraising heart forever.
Wonder where that $20 went?
Lori-Ann Seward | UWSM Relationship Manager
An active volunteer throughout her adult life and a current leader of the local Francophone community, Lori-Ann has passion for non-profit initiatives that create a lasting community impact. She contributes to UWSM by fostering mutually beneficial relationships with the donors who make this impact happen. Having complemented her Business Administration Degree with a post-graduate Fundraising and Resource Development Certificate, Lori-Ann appreciates the ongoing mentorship she receives from the leaders at UWSM, who she recognizes as “pioneers of social innovation.