Hospitals are expensive to operate and their official budget goes to non-negotiable expenses such as infrastructure and supplies. Hospital auxiliaries contribute financially for the extras in a hospital. This money is raised through a array of creative fundraising efforts. These events not only help to raise money, they also raise the profile of the hospital in the local community and help educate the public about what the hospital does.
Many hospitals operate gift shops within the hospital itself. Gift shops may offer commercial goods that are bought at wholesale and sold at a profit in the shop, or they may feature handmade items that are made by members of the hospital auxiliary and donated. These items may range from edible items, such as jams and baked goods, to decorative crafts and clothing. A gift shop enables visitors to the hospital to pick up something for the patients they are visiting while supporting the financial needs of the hospital.
Taking baby pictures integrates a fundraising venture with the work of the hospital, namely the maternity ward. A hospital auxiliary can hire the services of a professional photographer to take portraits of newborn babies, or have it done by one of their members if they are lucky enough to have a skilled photographer in their ranks. Many proud mothers or relatives of the newborn baby will be happy to buy a portrait and have a keepsake of the baby's first days. Different budgets can be accommodated by selling both inexpensive prints and large framed portraits.
Luncheons and Dinners
Nearly everyone enjoys food, so it's a great way to attract people to support for a hospital auxiliary. Many auxiliaries hold luncheons or dinners on an annual basis, and successful events become a staple on many people's annual calendar. In tight-knit communities with many long-term residents, auxiliary luncheons and dinners can be a opportunity to support the hospital and to catch up with old friends. Because hospital auxiliaries are charitable organizations, they can often find venues for large events that are willing to let them use a hall for a reduced rate or for free, thus greatly increasing the amount of money that can go directly to helping the hospital.
A walk-a-thon is a public and visible method of fundraising that is in keeping with the goals of a hospital, in that it promotes a healthy activity. Motivated individuals can solicit pledges from a large number of friends, relatives, and acquaintances, thus helping to spread public awareness of the hospital auxiliary. Walk-a-thons can be symbolic events of one or two miles, or serious marathon-like events where people walk twenty or thirty miles and raise thousands of dollars. Walk-a-thons are very photogenic activities for public awareness raising, and often make it onto the nightly news in their local areas.
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