What does donor recognition mean to you? Here’s what it means to us.
At Habitat Halton-Mississauga, we can only grow with the help of our generous donors and volunteers who care about Habitat and whose contributions are making a great impact in our community by building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. At Habitat we know that every hand can help lift up a family in need of a safe place to call home. Therefore, we take pride in recognizing our donors because we want them to know how much we appreciate them and for everyone to know of the good they’re doing for their community.
Habitat donors need to know that their donation ends up full circle in that when Canadians are given a new leg to stand on and the chance to build their own future, they generate, on average, $175,000 of benefits to society per home. Our affordable homeownership program provides benefits back into society and the community in the form of a decreased reliance on social housing and food banks, better educational and employment outcomes and improved health. Everyone can relate to all of these benefits and feel confident that a donation to Habitat for Humanity is an investment into the community and the lives of their fellow Canadians.
Every donation helps a family build a safe and affordable home.
Donor recognition in 2018 looks much different than it did even 10 years ago. As the average Canadian is giving back and investing in their community through donating more and more every year, it is all the more crucial to properly thank them for their generous contribution, as it is not something required of them.
We, as a non-profit, need to understand why they donate; to give back or pay it forward, to feel good or to invest in change. We also need to understand how to maintain donors and how to encourage them to continue donating. Thanking donors genuinely and appropriately, on a continuing basis, as well as publicly recognizing them for what they have given and providing, in turn, with a great experience from start to finish is crucial.
Non-profits also need to be careful in asking for donations, as they must be appropriately sized. This is why Habitat Halton-Mississauga provides such a diverse range of programs and opportunities with various levels and types of donations, to suit everyone’s capacity of giving.
Donors also need to know what their donation will be going towards, to know exactly what difference they are making and how and who they are aiding; its overall impact.
As per our 2012-2017 impact report, 100% of all monetary donations to Habitat HM go directly towards building homes for families in need of a safe and affordable place to live. Your donation is not covering overhead costs, but the roof that will one day keep a deserving family safe, or a foundation that will support a family to grow independent and strengthen.
Of the money we raise outside of monetary donations, such as our ReStore profits, 20% pays off administration fees and the remaining 80% pays for programming and build costs.
All donations have an incredible impact on the community, as they are helping low income families of all shapes and sizes, of which there are currently over 15,000 in our region. By providing families with affordable housing, it means that they can focus more on building their family and less on whether they can afford their bills.
Every home changes lives, whether it be the lives of the families who helped build them, or of all of those who have given them a hand in their time of need. Since our affiliate’s 1999 founding, we have completed 40 homes thanks to donations from thousands of generous community members and partners, and with the continued support from them and from future donors, we have plans for 250+ homes for people in need to grow in, in our property pipeline. So many more families are in need of affordable housing, which is why we are growing, so that everyone can have a safe and decent place to call home.
Every connection creates the opportunity for a better life.
It is also important for a non-profit to be liked and seen in a positive, helpful and necessary light in the community. Nielson polled Canadians in March of this year on their perception of Habitat Canada and many other leading non-profit brands. The results revealed that Canadians rank us in the top 10% for social impact and more than six out of ten Canadians said that they either like or love our Habitat brand! Why is this and what are we doing right?
As mentioned before, the social impact every single donation has is huge, as it is contributing to the construction of a home, and more than that, a tool that helps families build better lives. At Habitat HM, we always make sure that donors are aware of this so that they can feel proud of their donation and that they made a difference in their community, which all of them have done.
Since Habitat for Humanity is international, it’s brand is well known, but what makes it likeable and loveable are the people in each affiliate of every country who bring to life its’ vision of building a world of strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.
Habitat HM places great importance in recognizing our donors, which we do in many ways. Depending on the level of donation, donors will be appropriately thanked by us. From hand-written thank you cards to promotion on our social media platforms or our roadsign. We love thanking those who have helped us, and ultimately the Habitat families.
From getting a custom blog post written on the donor to getting an opportunity to meet the family moving into the home they have helped build, we like our donors to know of and see the difference they have made in their community. This is why we invite all donors who have contributed to our dedication ceremony, where we showcase the completed homes and give the families their keys.
Among Habitat HM’s many diverse programs, our biggest recognition-heavy program is Team Build where corporate teams can come on site for a day. This is where corporate teams donate and raise a certain amount that goes straight into building homes for low income families in need. From this donation they are then given a day or more either on one of our build sites or in our ReVive centre. This is a great team building experience as it gets co-workers out of the office and into a new, interactive environment that stimulates teamwork and friendship.
We also have a Hope Builders campaign where donors sign up to give a certain amount each month, so that they do not need to do any work and know that they are continually helping us build homes for deserving people and ensuring that we stay on track of the building process.
Habitat HM has ReStore locations in Burlington, Milton and Mississauga, where we accept your new or gently used items such as furniture. However, as we understand that not everyone is close to one of our ReStores, we have created the PopUp ReStore where we bring our brightly-wrapped, custom Habitat HM shipping container to you!
We appreciate every single donation we receive from our community members because it is not something required from them, but something they chose to do, and with Habitat HM because they like our cause and the work we are doing.
Donor recognition is essential for non-profits because it is important to hold onto a donor once they come to you, as well as bring in new donors. This is all very crucial for Habitat HM with our current goal of bringing on 250+ houses to our property pipeline in the next few years, because every door unlocks the potential for a better life and every shelter empowers.
Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.
If you would like to learn more about your donation opportunities and how you can give to Habitat, click here.