Vancouver Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s honouree, Michele Buchignani, on what inspires her to fundraise.
Fundraising can initially seem like a daunting prospect. Many people find it difficult to ask their friends, family and colleagues to make a financial gift. Others can find it overwhelming to know where to start. We recently interviewed Michele Buchignani – who alongside her family is the honouree for this year’s Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s event in Vancouver – about her experience in fundraising. To date, Michele and her family have raised over $16,000* for the Walk.
If you’ve already registered for the Walk, or if you are planning to, we hope Michele’s story will inspire your fundraising efforts.
1. Why do you think fundraising is so important?
The funds raised by the Walk are such a critical support for the important work of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. We know a lot of people (us included) can be a bit squeamish about asking people for money, but it’s a necessary step to bring us closer to a dementia-friendly society, and ultimately, a world without dementia.
2. What advice and tips would you give someone who hasn’t fundraised before and who may be a little nervous about the process?
When my family asks people to donate to the Society, we always tell them how their money will be spent. If you have attended a Society support or education program before like a support group or a Minds in Motion® session, tell your potential sponsors how the experience has helped you or someone you care about.
If you don’t have personal experience with a specific service or program, you can let your supporters know that the Society is committed to supporting people living with dementia and their caregivers to live better lives while on the dementia journey. You can also talk about how funds help enable critical research into the causes and cure for dementia.
3. You previously chaired another fundraising event, the Hockey for Alzheimer’s. Do you have any stories about some of the most inspiring or effective fundraisers you’ve worked with in the past?
The thing that struck me most about the Hockey for Alzheimer’s event was the incredible passion that participants had. While certainly a love of hockey was part of it, what I recall most is how each participant had a story to tell about how their own lives had been affected by dementia. They brought that passion into the event and this fueled their spirit of competition to be the top fundraisers. I think it’s important not to be afraid to open up and tell people why you are doing this and who you are doing this for. When others see this passion, they really want to support you.
4. What really motivates you to fundraise?
We all have our own reasons to be involved in the fight against dementia. I have experienced the dementia journey with both my grandmother, Mary, and also more recently with my father-in-law, Darrell. I have seen how devastating it is for both the person on the dementia journey and their family. My dream is to see British Columbia become a dementia-friendly place where people affected by dementia have the support they need to live engaged and meaningful lives.
If Michele’s story has motivated you to fundraise for the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s, register today. The event will take place in 23 locations across B.C. on Sunday, May 6, 2018. If you can’t attend the event but would like to make a donation to Michele to help her make B.C. more dementia friendly, you can do so here.
* As of 10:30 a.m., May 2nd.