A Minute With Amber Fowler, Executive Director, Northwest Burn FoundationSeptember 2012 By Dane Grams
FundRaising Success: What is the mission of the Northwest Burn Foundation?
Amber Fowler: Our mission is to prevent burns and to improve the quality of life for burn survivors through programs, education and research.
FS: How does the organization fund its mission?
AF: We receive generous financial support from family foundations, private donations, corporate giving and through three signature annual fundraising events, including our annual gala (March), Golf Classic (June) and Give Burns the Boot (October).
FS: What are the organization's fundraising strengths/weaknesses?
AF: Our two strengths lie in the fact that we have a 30-year legacy of serving burn-injury survivors and their families in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and we have a strong relationship with the world-class Harborview Burn Center in Seattle.
Our two weaknesses lie in the fact that for more than 10 years, our organization has not diversified its funding base by truly engaging the constituencies we serve outside of the Puget Sound (Seattle-area). Second, failing to stay on top of changes in technology has inhibited our ability to manage our data and inhibited the way we communicate with and to our citizenry.
FS: How does it engage supporters in ways other than fundraising?
AF: We have undertaken an ambitious effort to plan, create, initiate and evaluate new and fresh event opportunities that further advance the foundation's mission and financial objectives, specifically in the areas of community relations and scald kit program outreach.
Establishing education outreach programs within grade schools and with those organizations that serve populations age 55+ serves as an untapped opportunity to connect with parents and adult and child care providers to educate them about our programs and services while building our donor base.
FS: Can you share a success story?