Background

Centennial Infant and Child Centre (CICC) provides individually designed programs, services, and support for infants and children with special needs and their families. The CICC’s mission is to strengthen families and their young children with special needs to develop the confidence and skills for the best start in life. “It’s a wonderful organization,” said Debra Bond-Gorr, Chief Development Office at CICC “I have been in the charitable sector as a professional fundraiser for over 31 years and my experience with this organization is one of the best I’ve had.” 

CICC provides four different programs: Early Intervention, a home-visiting service that supports families with children with delays in development; Integrated Preschool, a half-day program emphasizes individual planning in an enriched, structured and nurturing environment; Student Placement, where students work in the preschool with children, teachers, and therapists to support the growth and development of children with special needs; and Childcare Consultation, where consultants provide support to Early Childhood Educators across Toronto. The funding for each of these programs is made up differently, from the province, the city, parent fees, and of course, donors. 

The Challenge

“Donors have been paying an ever-increasing share of our programming so that we can continue to meet the need for our program participants,” said Debra, “so it is essential that I am reaching out to the right public and the right people who have passion for our mission”. 

When Debra joined CICC about five years ago, the organization was in need of a new building, and someone to take charge of their capital campaign. After conducting an extensive feasibility study, Debra recommended that instead of a $3 million campaign for the building alone, that the organization runs a $10 million campaign for the new building, a program endowment fund, and a family assistance fund. “Our donor base was small,” said Debra, “but we had a great story to tell and a great mission and I knew I could deliver the passion to find and convince people to donate.” As the sole person dedicated to this project at the time, Debra started looking around for a program that could help her do sufficient research that wasn’t too time-consuming. And that’s where iWave comes in. 

The Solution

Debra uses iWave to support her campaign goals “I needed to find businesses that wanted to engage with us, and I needed to find high net worth individuals that have a connection to our cause,” said Debra “And with iWave, I am able to take a broader look at the human portfolio, not just the numbers, but actual connections and relationships.” With iWave in their campaign toolkit, CICC is half-way to their campaign goal, “We were able to find a million-dollar donor who didn’t know anything about us before” said Debra. 

As CICC’ss needs and goals change course due to the impacts of COVID-19, Debra stays optimistic. CICC’s in-person support and programming had to be halted in March of 2020 “It was devastating for the children and families,” said Debra “But out of chaos comes greatness.” CICC adapted and transitioned into virtual programming, connecting with children over Zoom. One little boy was so excited to see his teacher again, that he hugged his iPad so tightly that he broke it. “We want to always be there for these kids,” said Debra, “Today, and tomorrow, and beyond, and we are thankful for tools like iWave to give us a hand in doing so.” 

 

“With iWave, I am able to take a broader look at the human portfolio, not just the numbers, but actual connections and relationships.

 

DEBRA BOND-GORR

Chief Development Officer at Centennial Infant and Childcare Centre Foundation

At a Glance:

Organization:

Centennial Infant and Childcare Centre Foundation 

Location:

Toronto, Canada

Industry:

Education/Human Services 

Key Challenge:

Finding a fundraising intelligence platform that allows for sufficient research and time-saving features that could support its current capital campaign and beyond.  

Key Benefit:

With iWave, CICC can look beyond the numbers to find donors who are as passionate about their mission to support children and infants with special needs in their community as they are.