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Event Fundraising Handbook
Thank you for thinking of CHEO. Your fundraising efforts help to make a big difference in providing quality care to the children in our region. Every penny counts!
Here at CHEO, we realize how fortunate we are to have a community that loves CHEO and cares about our kids. Every dollar you raise helps ensure that our hospital’s priorities are met and our children are cared for. Whatever your event, big or small, you can be sure that the kids and staff at CHEO feel and see the difference you make.
This online document is meant to guide you in your event endeavours and provide you with the tools and information required to help make your event a success. You can download the PDf version of the handbook here.
To begin, if you are interested in hosting an event with CHEO as your beneficiary, we suggest that you register your event on the CHEO Foundation website under Events > Plan Your Event.
By registering your event, your information is sent to our Community Engagement Team for review.
Click on the following headings to view more information:
Hosting a Community Event: What are they?
Independent community events are generously planned and organized by individuals and groups from communities across Ontario and Quebec.
They can be anything that is a good fit for the organizers and participants; from lemonade stands to skate‐a‐thons… the sky is the limit.
These events can take place any time throughout the year. Seasonal events such as holiday parties can be extremely successful. For best results, start your planning as early as possible and spread the word!
Organizers choose the most appropriate venue to hold their special event. If the venue requires an official letter of endorsement, please contact the CHEO Foundation’s Community Engagement Team.
Perhaps you have had a meaningful experience at CHEO or know someone who has, or maybe you simply want to make a difference in the life of a child.
With time, teamwork and fun, you can make a difference for CHEO’s kids!
Email your contacts and ask them to support your event through your customized CHEO Foundation fundraising page.
Choose an Event
Brainstorm with your family, friends and co-workers an event that you think others will want to participate in or support.
Here are some examples of fun and successful fundraising events that have been held for CHEO:
|• anything‐a‐thon (dance, spin, walk)||• magic show|
|• bake sale||• multicultural event|
|• BBQ||• office casual Fridays|
|• car wash||• pancake breakfast|
|• celebratory events (birthday, wedding)||• pet sitting|
|• craft sale||• picnic|
|• dinner and dance||• scavenger hunt|
|• fashion show||• seasonal party|
|• head shaving event||• sporting event|
|• games night||• silent auction|
|• golf tournament||• talent show|
|• karaoke idol||• trivia night|
|• lemonade stand||• used book sale|
You are only limited by your imagination!
Develop a Plan
Every event requires planning. The type of event, the number of volunteers/members of planning team, and your goals will determine how detailed you need to be.
Identify your Audience – who is most likely to attend and support your fundraiser for the cause and/or the event itself. Be creative when it comes to fundraising. Ask your local favourite restaurant to donate space for your event, host a bake sale, or simply ask for donations in lieu of gifts for your birthday celebrations. We all have hidden talents; what’s yours?
Set a Goal – your friends and family want to see you succeed and will surely want to help you get there. Post your goals on your social networks and give your prospective donors updates on your fundraising efforts. Let donors know once you have reached your goal and always thank them.
Set a Date – don’t forget to look at your community calendar so your event won’t compete with other events or holidays. Make sure the venue you want is available, and give yourself enough time to obtain any special insurance or licenses (raffle, liquor licenses etc.) that might be required.
Create a Budget
Plan a budget for your event. See basic sample below.
|Projected Income||$ Amount||Projected Expenses||$ Amount|
|Raffle||Printing (posters, tickets, signage)|
|Cash Donations||Audio Visual|
|TOTAL INCOME||TOTAL EXPENSES|
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario requires you to apply for a license if you are including a raffle or any kind of gaming activity at your event. Should you require this license please contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780 and ask to speak with a member of our Community Engagement Team. Please note that we need a minimum of four weeks notice to apply for any license.
Submit Your Idea to the CHEO Foundation
Now that you have an idea for an event that you would like to host, fill out the CHEO Community Event form or download one by clicking here.
A Community Engagement Team representative will contact you within five to seven days of receiving your application to further discuss your idea. If you have any questions you would like to ask before you submit your event idea please call 613-737-2780 and ask to speak with a member of our Community Engagement Team.
It is important to register your event to show the community you are partnering with CHEO!
Keep Expenses Down
Securing sponsorship for your event is a great way to cover event costs while helping to promote local businesses in your community. There are many companies and businesses that are looking to get involved in local community events. Create your event sponsorship package which lists the benefits you are able to provide in exchange for the sponsorship funds e.g. promoting on social media, logo on all advertising etc.
It is important to note that if an individual/organization receives a benefit such as promotion in return for their gift, the gift, is not eligible for a charitable tax receipt. However, businesses can claim most contributions as business expenses which could have a greater tax advantage than claiming a charitable donation. If a sponsor wishes to receive an acknowledgment of their sponsorship we would be happy to issue one upon request.
Be sure to keep your sponsors in the loop with status updates and always remember to thank them!
If you would like to see a sample Sponsorship Package, please call 613-737-2780 and ask to speak with a member of our Community Engagement Team.
Promote your Event
Create an online personal fundraising page: Whatever the occasion may be the CHEO Foundation can help you fundraise through the use of a personal fundraising web page. Your page allows you to post photos, articles, and information while raising money at the same time. Simply share and send the link to your family and friends. Your page will also automatically accept donations on your behalf, track results and it’s free to set up! Click here to set up your personal fundraising page.
Word of Mouth – tell everyone you know, talk about it any chance you can get.
News Release get your local media involved – If your event is open to the public and you would like to inform your local media about your fundraising initiative, send out a media release to your local paper. Be sure to include information about why you are fundraising and who or what inspired you. Click here for a list of media contacts in Ottawa-Outaouais.
Twitter: If you are going to be holding an annual event, create a Twitter handle for the event. This is a great way to attract followers and get the word out there. Be sure to let us know you are on twitter so we can retweet your event!
- Create a timeline for promoting your event and special announcements.
- Based on your timeline, schedule important tweets before your event with tools like Hootsuite.
- Create visual elements to support your event.
- Designate social media team members to monitor and engage with your social channels.
- Search and follow twitter handles for those involved in the event including media, speakers, sponsors and attendees.
- Find a hashtag for your event (create one if a hashtag doesn’t already exist).
- Introduce yourself as the live-tweeter just prior to beginning your event.
- Monitor event hashtag and mentions.
- Retweet and reply back to interesting points from event attendees.
- Encourage people who are attending to post photos, use the event hashtag and share their experience.
- Using the # symbol in front of a word or series of letters is called a “hashtag”
- Hashtags are used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet
- Using a hashtag allows you to participate in and/or track a conversation on a particular topic
- Hashtags NEVER have spaces (Ex. #CNcycle #CHEO #CancerResearch)
- “Live-tweeting” is tweeting about an event as it is happening
- It is not just one or two tweets, but a series of tweets throughout the duration of the event
- Live-tweets often contain photos
- Events being live-tweeted have hashtags (most of the time)
- Live-tweeting is done from a mobile device
A few things to avoid
- Don’t follow any random people (make sure anyone you do follow is legitimate)
- Don’t retweet (RT) content from a user you are unsure about
- Make sure you’re tweeting from the event account and not your own account for personal use
Facebook: Create a Facebook event page with your event details and invite all your friends and family. Don’t forget to continually update with new things that are happening with your event and your progress in reaching your fundraising goal. It’s also a great way to thank your sponsors!
Instagram: Have an Instagram account for the event and post lots of pictures. Be sure to incorporate the hashtag and try to follow and interact with the other people using it. Repost (“regram”) your event attendees’ posts. It creates a relationship and makes them feel more attached to your event.
YouTube: Create a video of the event to post afterwards – it’s a great way to say thank you to your attendees and reminds them what a great time they had. It’s also a great way to announce next year’s date if this is an annual event.
How to find CHEO on Social Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CHEOvideos – you’ll find lots of great stories!
Did You Know CHEO Facts (these are great to share on Twitter!):
- Each year, CHEO helps over 500,000 patients.
- CHEO’s Emergency Department is one of the busiest in Ontario – in addition to being #1. Last year 72,428 patients were treated in the ER.
- 20 years from now there will be 70,000 more kids in our community – that is why supporting CHEO today matters now more than ever.
- CHEO’s number of teen patients has increased 66% since 2009.
- At CHEO’s Medical Day Unit children and teens are treated on an outpatient basis for oncology, hematology and dialysis.
- Last year CHEO’s Medical Day Unit had 10,467 patient visits.
- Last year 48,500 patients had to say “ahh.” That’s 48,500 tongue depressors used at CHEO
- CHEO is a teaching hospital.
- CHEO staff, physicians and even families provide education and training to 1,600 future pediatricians, nurses and other health professionals.
- It costs more to purchase equipment for kids than adults.
- CHEO has specialized pediatric equipment, like blood pressure cuffs that come in more than 6 different sizes.
- CHEO’s Food Services team create special kids menus. They will make sure that kids’ pancakes have a smiley face to help brighten the day.
- CHEO is the only hospital in Canada to have a “Kid Clown School”. Laughter and play are important for kids’ recovery.
- CHEO’s Child Life Specialists use play and distraction as a tool to help kids cope with stressful situations.
- Project Stitch, $13M renovation project of CHEO’s Day Care Surgery Unit, will reduce surgery wait times and improve the patient experience.
- Project Stitch will enable CHEO’s surgeons to perform up to 1500 more surgeries each year.
- CHEO Researchers are leading world class experiments to help fight and cure cancer using innovative therapies like oncolytic viruses.
- CHEO researchers published almost 400 discoveries last year. That’s more than one new discovery EVERY DAY.
- CHEO researchers have led the way to help discover 99 new genes that are known to cause rare diseases.
- The CHEO Research Institute currently has over 500 active research projects underway.
CHEO’s Inspirational Stories:
Here is a video about the amazing staff and patients that make CHEO what it is:
Here is a Thank you video from the children and youth at CHEO:
Invite CHEO Bear
If you are interested in having the CHEO Bear mascot at your event, we ask that you contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780 and reserve him two weeks prior to your event day. Don’t forget that you will need to find a volunteer to fill his shoes and someone to be CHEO Bear’s assistant! CHEO Bear can sure help lift the spirits at any event.
We, at the CHEO Foundation, love to work with third party event organizers to help them succeed. If you are interested in hosting a CHEO event or if you are already hosting an annual CHEO event, visit our events page online to see what materials and support we can offer you. We also offer CHEO Bear icons. For a donation people can sign their name so the paper bears can be showcased at your event, workplace or party! Remember a $20 donation is eligible for a tax receipt, so the name and address of the donor will have to be provided. For a list of materials we offer, visit us online.
Although the cause alone is worth giving to, sometimes donors are motivated by incentives. For example, get yourself and/or a group of friends to shave or dye their hair once your fundraising goal is met. Just make sure you always follow through and send lots of photos when you do!
Friends Help Friends
Ask your friends and co‐workers to help plan your event and assign them with specific roles, for example assisting with silent auction, logistics etc. Make sure to provide your confirmed volunteers with briefing notes, details on their roles and responsibilities, and training.
Thank Your Donors
We often forget about the people who helped us achieve our goals. Don’t underestimate the act of thanking your donors, family, friends and volunteers. Personalize your message. Donors are more likely to give again when they feel valued. We appreciate you and want you to know it! So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Let Us Support You
You’re not alone. The Community Engagement Team is here to help you. As previously mentioned, we can support you by:
- Posting your event on our website events calendar
- Providing your event with CHEO promotional materials
- Helping you set up your personal fundraising web page
I want to organize a fundraiser for CHEO. Where do I start?
The first place to start is to fill out the online application form. This form will provide us with all the information needed to assist you with your fundraising event needs.
What is tax receiptable and what isn’t?
Donations over $20 are eligible for an official income tax receipt. We are not able to issue an official income tax receipt for the purchase of lottery tickets, raffle tickets or merchandise (i.e. teddy bears). Donations collected by the event organizer that are donated by the public are not eligible to be tax receipted in the name of the event organizer. For more CRA tax guidelines please visit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
How do I get tax receipts for the donations collected at my fundraiser?
Record the name, address and telephone number of the individuals or businesses that require a tax receipt. Submit this information along with their donations to the CHEO Foundation. We will process and mail tax receipts to the individuals or businesses listed on the donation form.
Can I deduct my expenses from the funds raised?
All reasonable expenses associated with your event are permitted to be deducted from gross proceeds. A final accounting must be provided to substantiate the net proceeds to CHEO. The CHEO Foundation cannot issue tax receipts for an amount greater than the net proceeds. All financial control is the responsibility of the event organizer. Please consider asking a local business to sponsor your event and provide in-kind donations to help alleviate costs.
Can I use the CHEO Foundation’s logo on marketing materials for my event?
Yes, the CHEO Foundation logo is available for use by approved Community Events. Your community events application must be approved by the CHEO Foundation before you are permitted to use the logo. We ask that you submit all your marketing materials to the CHEO Foundation for review before being published and/or printed.Can a CHEO Foundation representative attend my event, and can the Foundation provide volunteers?
Due to the number of independent fundraising events that take place throughout the year, we cannot make a commitment for a CHEO Foundation staff member to attend the events. We are also unable to provide volunteers for your events.
Can I donate used toys and teddy bears to the kids at the hospital?
While we appreciate that people are thinking of our CHEO patients we have to decline such offers. Due to the hospital’s infection control guidelines, patient allergies, safety precautions and limited space, we cannot accept any food products, used items such as used toys, used stuffed animals, used books, used electronic games and videos, and homemade toys and crafts. While many used stuffed animals and toys appear new and clean, we still cannot accept them because they may have been exposed to germs, dust, pets and bacteria. All of these create a risk to our patients who may have allergies and fragile immune systems. If you would like to donate new toys, games or craft supplies please contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780. A member of our Community Engagement Team will be able to provide you with a “wish list” of toys, games and craft supplies that are needed at CHEO.
Can I come by and visit the kids at the hospital? Can I bring my kids by to visit as well?
The children at the hospital are sick and have compromised immune systems; visits from the public are discouraged for this reason. We would be happy to schedule a time for you to come by the CHEO Foundation office to drop off your donation. Please contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780 and ask to speak with a member of our Community Engagement Team.
Do you have promotional materials available for my event?
Yes, we’re happy to make the following CHEO-branded promotional materials available to you for your event in limited quantities: posters, banners, CHEO buttons, CHEO stickers, coin box (for counter), large plastic coin boxes, CHEO paper bears (purchase for a loonie and display on wall), mascot, as well as a lemonade stand. We ask that you make arrangements to pick them up from the CHEO Foundation office. We kindly ask that you return any unused items.
Can the CHEO Foundation promote my event?
We can promote your event on our community listing page of our website, on our special event screens throughout the hospital and in some cases via our social media channels. Due to donor confidentiality rights we are unable to promote your event to our database.
Can I get a photo taken with a BIG cheque?
Yes. We’re happy to organize a cheque presentation at the CHEO Foundation during business hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm). Please contact the CHEO Foundation at 613-737-2780 and ask to speak with a member of our Community Engagement Team.
Can I choose where I want my donation to go?
Yes, you can decide which specific area of the hospital (i.e. research, equipment, specific department, etc.) you would like your donation to be directed to, although undesignated funds are preferred. We ask that you decide this in advance so you can communicate this with the individuals and businesses making donations to your event.
Can I provide alcoholic beverages at my event?
Yes, but this may require further consideration from the Foundation. If your event involves the consumption of alcohol, please provide this information in the application form. If the CHEO Foundation approves the sale of alcohol at your event please be advised that a permit is required and it is the responsibility of the event organizer to apply and obtain an alcohol license.
How do I submit my donations?
Donations can be submitted in person at the CHEO Foundation office located at the CHEO hospital (415 Smyth Rd) during regular business hours Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. You can also mail in your donations (please do not mail cash and make cheques payable to CHEO Foundation):
Attn: Community Engagement Team
415 Smyth Rd
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M8
**If donors require tax receipts, please mail the names, addresses and telephone numbers of those who need to be receipted.
How do I receipt for Golf Tournaments?
Green fees – this would be the green fee charged to non-members playing on the course. Note that if a member of a club is participating in a golf tournament at his/her own club, and would not have to pay for the round, the green fee does not need to be deducted from his/her entry fee to arrive at the donation amount.
- Meals – cost that would be charged if the meal were purchased separately is to be deducted.
- Complimentary Items – Are valued at the amount that would have to be paid to acquire the merchandise at the donating retail outlet or the outlet from which the merchandise was obtained.
- Door prizes/achievement prizes – The total retail value of the prizes, whether they are door prizes or prizes awarded for achievement, must be aggregated and then divided by the number of participants. The amount per participant, if exceed the lesser of 10% of the entry fee or $75, must then be deducted from everyone’s receipt amount.
- We do not issue official tax receipts for corporate sponsorship, ie; golf hole sponsor signage. We do not issue tax receipts for any other sponsorship where the donor would receive recognition on signage, brochures or any other printed materials.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind!
- Have fun! You are making a difference in the lives of CHEO kids through your event!
- Take pictures (your CHEO Foundation representative would love to have copies);
- Display CHEO Foundation’s promotional materials at the event;
- Read a letter of thanks on behalf of the CHEO Foundation;
- Keep track of donors’ names and contact details on a pledge form so participants who make charitable gifts of $20 or more receive an official tax receipt from the CHEO Foundation.
Please submit your event proceeds to your CHEO Foundation representative within one month of your event.
- Send a personal cheque or money order and a note about your event to:
ATTENTION: Community Engagement
415 Smyth Rd
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M8
- Call your CHEO Foundation representative and donate the event proceeds via credit card. Donors who request tax receipts will be issued their official tax receipts by the CHEO Foundation after event funds and donors’ full names and contact/address details are received.
- Thank your event participants by sending them an email or card.
- Send a picture of your event along with the amount raised to your local paper to celebrate your event with your community.
- The CHEO Foundation is pleased to recognize your outstanding efforts in the following ways:
- An official letter recognizing your event’s success will be sent to you within three weeks of receipt of funds.
- Your event may be showcased on our website’s Community Highlights page.
Send Us Your Photos
Don’t forget we want to know about the success of your event! Once you have your photos and total funds raised, send us an email with:
- An update on the success of your event
- Some photos for us to see
- Next year’s date (if you know it)
We will share them on our website. We love celebrating in your successes, too!
Guidelines for Issuing Tax Receipts
The CHEO Foundation adheres to the provisions outlined in the Income Tax Act. The CHEO Foundation will provide tax receipts that follow these guidelines:
Official tax deductible receipts will be issued for the following:
- Monetary donations from identified individuals or organizations;
- The donation portion of a ticket price for a fundraising event. Canada Revenue Agency only allows receipts for the ticket price less the value received by the donor;
- In‐kind donations of services processed through a cheque exchange;
- In‐kind donations less than $1,000 are subject to appraisal by a qualified Foundation staff if no invoice is available;
- In‐kind donations greater than $1,000 are subject to appraisal by a qualified third party appraiser if no invoice is available;
- Bequests from estates, or premiums paid for life insurance policies assigned CHEO Foundation;
- Auction bids over 125 per cent of retail value of the stated fair market value will result in an income tax receipt for the full difference between the successful bid price and the stated fair market value;
- Donations of inventory if an appropriate invoice is provided.
Acknowledgement receipts will be issued for the following:
- Amounts received by coin or loose collection where it is impossible to identify the amounts contributed by a particular donor;
- Donations transferred from other non‐profit organizations, such as the United Way;
- Funds provided as sponsorship support for a fundraising event, upon request.
Receipts will not be issued for:
- Donation of services;
- Purchase of merchandise (such as Bear Wear);
- Purchase of auction items;
- Purchase of lottery tickets;
- Donation of items with an advertising component;
- Donation of old clothes, used furniture etc;
- Donated items for which the fair market value cannot be determined.
Official receipts will be issued by the Foundation office upon receipt of:
- The full donation amount;
- Full name and address of the donor/organization;
- Complete supporting documentation. Note: In order to maximize net proceeds from funds raised, official receipts for income tax purposes for amounts less than $20 will only be issued upon request.
Supporting Existing Events
Want to raise money towards a pre-existing CHEO event? Here are three great options!
CN Cycle for CHEO – Sunday, May 5, 2019
The CN Cycle for CHEO is a fun, non-competitive event that offers a wide range of cycling (15K, 35K, 70K) and walking (2K, 5K) routes for people of all ages and abilities. Our fully-supported urban cycling routes will be closed to traffic and will offer a unique opportunity for individuals, groups and families to safely cycle along Ottawa’s most scenic corridors.
Help kids with cancer. For more information, please click here.
The CHEO Telethon – June
The 24 hour CHEO Telethon is one of the community’s most favorite traditions where CHEO takes the viewer inside the walls of their children’s hospital with parents, their children and the wonderful staff that work with them while they are in the hospital.
For more information, please visit cheotelethon.com.
RBC Race for the Kids – Sunday, September 15, 2019
The RBC Race for the Kids is a 2K, 5K and 10K all terrain walk/run event in support of youth mental health programs at CHEO. All of the closed courses make their way through beautiful Wesley Clover Parks – an innovative, four-season outdoor recreation and learning hub located in the National Capital Greenbelt that encircles the City of Ottawa.
Go further for youth mental health programs at CHEO. For more information, please click here.