Expenses involved in running an LLL Group include buying new books and leaflets for the library. For some Groups it might involve room rental or refreshments when the venue is a public building. Leader or Group dues, travel expenses, and conference fees are also legitimate expenses. How does your Group raise money? We asked for your most effective fundraising ideas and here they are:
Several Groups have had success with professional photographers donating their time to take photographs. Stacey Kaplan Voynov, Des Moines, Iowa, USA, says,
A local photographer donates her time and offers short nursing photo sessions (three digital pictures) in exchange for mothers making a $30 to $50 donation to our Group.
Garage sale/Table top sale
Ruth Schwantje McAllister held a garage sale in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for the Victoria Central Group and raised $1568.05! Another Leader, Sarah Jean explains,
We have a garage sale in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada—all the items in the sale are donated by members and the surrounding community and then we sell them ‘by donation’ as well (people decide how much they want to give). Everyone is always very generous! We’ve done it for two years now. Last year we made just over $200 and this year we made just over $500. It’s fun, and a great chance for our mothers to feel like they are contributing to the Group, even if it’s just to help for a couple of hours at the tables.
Cake bake sale
Leaders from Isle of Man, LLL Great Britain, held a very successful cake sale. Members and visitors baked and brought delicious cakes, visitors paid a small fee to sample and then voted on their favorite cakes.
Baby and child expo (public exhibition)
LLL of Ocean Springs/Biloxi in Mississippi, USA, hosts an annual Baby & Child Expo at their local shopping center. Leader Katie Hughes explains,
Vendors pay for tables and sponsorships and Leaders sell raffle tickets for donated raffle items. The Group earns enough money to pay dues, provide continuing education for Leaders, buy library materials, and even help other Groups in the Area pay their dues.
Helen Schermerhorn Bratzel’s (Ontario, Canada) most successful fundraisers were inadvertent,
I did a number of home visits over a year or two, and a few mothers donated several hundred dollars in gratitude. Now, when asked what my fee is for doing a home visit, I always say that a donation to the Group is welcome. We also received a large donation from a local dentist, who provides laser treatments for tongue and upper-lip ties, because she has learned so much about breastfeeding from us. I went along with two women to their babies’ appointments with the dentist, and we all gained so much.
Laurel Edwards Franczek from Madison, Wisconsin, USA says,
This year we did a screening of The Milky Way (a documentary about breastfeeding in the US). The majority of the income was from sponsorships and memberships, rather than tickets sold. Local birth and breastfeeding related businesses each paid $50 to set up a table to present their information. And we gave one free ticket to anyone taking out a membership.
Jennifer Kaczynski, South Carolina, USA, has raised income by selling more memberships. Her Group makes them attractive by including an LLL book with the deal. Her Group has also sold advertising space on the back of T-shirts for their yearly fundraising event.
Laura Soisson, LLL of Frederick, Maryland, USA, ran an online auction during World Breastfeeding Week. Sandy Moore-Furneaux in Norman, Oklahoma, USA, also runs a regular online auction. Sandy explains,
We encourage mothers to ask their favorite restaurant, hair stylist, artist, chiropractor, or massage therapist to donate gift certificates. We also ask the local museums, Gymboree, music teachers, play spaces, and anyone else we can think of, to donate. We also ask artist friends to donate—two years ago, one friend of mine donated a beautiful wire sculpture of a mother and baby, which I won!
Charity fun run
Abigail Yonekura Henke says that LLL of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA just held their fourth annual La Leche Loco Run—a five-kilometer race and one-mile fun run. She says it is always very successful and great fun.
A car wash is another favorite fundraiser. Corrie David, Salem-Lisbon LLL, Ohio, USA shared, “We made about $300 in four hours by holding a car wash. This was with two Leaders, one adult helper, and nine children. We did not do much advertising ahead of time, other than cute children holding up signs.”
Maternity clothes library
Jayne Joyce, Oxford, Great Britain, runs a successful maternity clothes library which the Group finds is an easy way to make money with the added bonus of contacting women before their babies are born.
We originally got our clothing from Freecycle1 but library users have since donated a lot more. It is currently run by a Leader Applicant from her home. Women come by appointment, usually in the evening. They are given the box of clothes in their size and try things on in a private room with a mirror. They choose what they want and we charge £3 ($4.58) per item and they can keep it for as long as they need it. We also give them LLL Group meeting details and information sheets. We advertise via local Children’s Centres. We have been running our maternity clothes library since 2006 and when it’s active it can bring in up to £300 per year.
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Sandwich Area La Leche League, Illinois, USA raises funds by Goodsearch and Goodshop—which make a donation to the nonprofit or school of your choice for almost every purchase you make. In the United Kingdom a similar system is Everyclick. Everyclick is a fundraising website and charity search engine. Using this search engine raises money for La Leche League Great Britain without costing parents anything. See http://www.everyclick.com for more information.
Christina Neumeyer, La Leche League of North County Coastal, California, USA says,
The most successful fundraising our Group did was with Equal Exchange. We had two fundraisers with the company during holiday seasons and raised about $1100. Stik-ees’ window-clings is the other company we used, but I think the profit was only about $80.
Ruth Lewis, Nottingham, La Leche League Great Britain, explains how her Group raises funds at a local festival. “Our Group is paid to staff the baby-change cabin at a local festival. It’s our biggest single source of funds each year. Leaders, Leader Applicants and mums take slots to cover the three days it takes place.”
Mary Lawler, Cumbria, La Leche League Great Britain, applied for two community grants very successfully: £250 from Warburton’s (British baking firm) and about £1300 from a local community chest grant. Lottery funding is also very popular in Great Britain. Groups may also search local community voluntary services for details for raising funds in their area.
Code of Ethics: Funding
Leaders are reminded to check with the LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook when accepting funding from commercial sources. LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (see Appendix 33) and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code.
The Code of Ethics: Funding says:
LLLI, LLL entities and LLL representatives may seek a diverse range of funding from
- individual donations/contributions
- grants from acceptable charitable foundations, governments or public agencies
- appropriate commercial sources (see below).
LLLI, LLL entities, and LLL representatives shall choose sources of funding carefully. Before choosing a funding source, we will research its products and ownership structure, using our international networks and any relevant publications in print and on the World Wide Web. Leaders and employees working on funding issues will support each other by sharing information and will be mutually affirming and accountable world-wide.
For the full text , please refer to the Code of Ethics: Funding on the LLLI website, (sign in with your lllid when prompted).