For the past 14 months, Alicia has been working very closely with a volunteer committee, made up of 12 young professionals between 22 and 25 years old, who have committed to raising $1 million in support of the renovation of a patient space at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). They committed to doing so through three avenues: hosting third-party fundraising events, soliciting individual one-time gifts and multi-year pledges, and soliciting corporate one-time gifts and multi-year pledges. To date, the group has raised approximately $500K in commitments and they are hoping to close in on $1M by July 2016. Their "road to a million" has been met with a few obstacles along the way and while timelines have changed, the group remains committed to reaching their goal. This case study will discuss our journey managing a group of young and ambitious volunteers, overcoming obstacles, and our continuous engagement to ensure both their goals and our goals are met.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Flexibility on the part of the organization is key when working with young professionals. Ensure goals and timelines are "soft"
  2. Providing continuous engagement opportunities have proven advantageous to keeping the cause and the goal top-of-mind
  3. Having mentors and/or mature co-chairs for the committee to rely on are key to the success of the journey

Jennifer Bowser


Dancers For Cancer

Jennifer Bowser is the co-founder of Dancers For Cancer, a graduate from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science and currently in her second year of law school at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Beginning at age 3, dance has always been a part of Jennifer’s life. Prior to law school she was a dance teacher with Center Stage School of the Arts where she shared her passion for dance with her students, and co-chair of Right To Play’s Young Professionals Network.  Jennifer believes giving to Marnie’s Studio and building the Dancers For Cancer stage in SickKids Hospital is the perfect legacy for the foundation and for those who have given so selflessly to the cause over the past 7 years.

Alicia Leon

Manager, Major Gifts

SickKids Foundation

Alicia Leon has been with SickKids Foundation since 2010. Following an undergraduate degree in Health Studies and Psychology at Queen’s University, Alicia went on to complete her Certificate of Fundraising and Volunteer Management at Humber College. She completed her internship for the program at SickKids Foundation and has since, taken on various roles at the organization. Alicia worked for a time on the Corporate Partnerships team with Children’s Miracle Network corporate partners, on the Community Events team with third party event organizers, and since early 2014, as a Manager on the Major Gifts team. Alicia has been exposed to various aspects of the fundraising industry and has had experience building relationships with a multitude of different groups and individuals including patient families, youth and student fundraisers, mid-level donors, young professionals, volunteers, and both corporate and major donors.