October 5 saw the inaugural Fundraisers Belgium’s Fundraiser Day take place in Gentbrugge. The event brought fundraisers together to exchange knowledge, learn and be inspired, and it also saw Annelore Camps, founder of Allez, Chantez, take home the first Fundraising of the Year award.
The award is a sign of recognition for fundraisers from the industry and their peers. The three nominees – Allez, Chantez, Welzijnszorg and UZA Foundation – each pitched their case, with the Fundraiser Day audience voting for the winner.
Allez, Chantez was recognised for its annual campaign to encourage the spirit of giving among song lovers and raise funds so it can continue offering free singing sessions. Every year, the fundraising campaign runs around Allez, Chantez’s anniversary, with the aim of raising enough for another ten sessions.
The expert jury, which selected the nominees, praised the campaign concept and timeline, how it focuses on and communicates an annual goal, the transparency of the story behind it and its sense of urgency. They noted that few socio-cultural organisations are currently fully committed to fundraising in Belgium and that the case of Allez, Chantez therefore serves as an inspiration. The campaign collects cash and digital donations, which also enable it to capture data.
Welzijnszorg came second with fundraiser Chris De Cock responsible for delivering a turnaround at the organisation, through creating internal support for using telemarketing for conversion and donor upgrades. This has seen Welzijnszorg grow from around 10 monthly donors in 2021 to more than 320 monthly donors now, providing a monthly income of approximately 4,500 euros. Internally, confidence has grown that asking a giving question in the right way strengthens the relationship between Welzijnszorg and its supporters.
UZA Foundation and their fundraising team was the third nominee. Their successful mountain bike race in Wolvenbos took place for the fourth time this year to benefit cancer research. UZA Foundation motivates companies to put together a team of five riders who brave a challenging course, and despite a limited network, manages to mobilise a large community. They focus on fun with an element of competition: FUNraising. In 2023, the event raised €243,000.
The day brought 120 fundraisers and fundraising service providers together to learn and inspire in the field of fundraising. In the morning, Marc Michils (chairman of Kom op tegen Kanker) spoke with a plea: ‘For solidarity. Against hostility’. After the award ceremony, participants were able to choose from afternoon sessions on event fundraising, scientific research on ethics in street fundraising, middle donors, bequests, and more. There were also networking opportunities, and the day ended with a debate on ‘creating impact with fundraising’.
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