A word from the national director on Fund-Raising Perspectives
Besides the fact that the aged population is growing rapidly, the unsatisfactory conditions in many old-age homes are forcing more and more Senior Citizens to turn to Meals on Wheels For The Aged in the hope that this service will enable them to remain in the community for as long as possible. These and other considerations are forcing us to keep very well focused on our national expansion programme.
At the same time, traditional fund-raising methods are becoming more and more risky and less and less effective (thanks to rising costs and, to some extent, the lottery).
Today an average mailing campaign to past donors usually yields one response for every twenty letters that are mailed out. This means that, at best, every response has to be offset to cover the cost of the other nineteen letters that received no response. This, of course, is terribly wasteful and hardly fair on those who respond to our appeals.
Whenever we consider our huge annual postage bill, and we think of how many meals this amount of money could have provided, we feel a desperate need to utilize more cost-efficient fund-raising methods - even if the changeover will be slow and even if it will involve a measure of re-education as far as our long-standing supporters are concerned.
In July 2000 we instituted a special Tele-Solicitation programme - one that enables us to better explain our dilemma, and the dilemma of the aged, to our supporters. This method of communication also gives us good opportunity to encourage our supporters to take advantage of any of the convenient and secure electronic sponsorship methods. In the long-term this exercise will enable us to save a small fortune on postage, stationery and bank charges, and we will not have to continually plague our supporters with "pesky" and increasingly costly appeals.
Our goal is to encourage every family and every business in South Africa to sponsor just a few meals a month for a disadvantaged Senior Citizen. If we can achieve this goal, Meals on Wheels For The Aged will be better able to cope with the ever-growing demand that is being placed on this service, and we will be able to continue to expand into those areas where this service is still most desperately needed.
If you are not already supporting Meals on Wheels For the Aged, we encourage you to join hands with us. A few meals a month will probably not make much difference to you, but a few meals a month will most certainly make a huge difference to the life of a struggling Senior Citizen.