MHC fundraising goal for ‘Let’s Emerg Together’ changed to reflect the donations received to date

MANITOULIN – With the very generous donation from the Smith Family Foundation of $1 million and having received other funds toward the fundraising to support the Mindemoya emergency department expansion and renovation project (worth $5 million in total), the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) board has given its approval for a change to its fundraising goal of $1.4 million to $2.5 million, which would mean MHC may have to borrow funds for the project if the fundraising goal is not met.

Angela Becks, MHC fundraising chair told the Recorder after an MHC board meeting last week, “the total cost of the project has always been $5 million. The original fundraising campaign had been set at $1.4 million, with $2.5 million having been approved by the board out of the MHC’s own resources. And the board had approved seeking financing from a financial institute for a loan to make up the gap.  The Smith Family Foundation donation of $1 million was a game changer, and we have also received other funds toward the campaign so right now we have already raised $1.7 million.”

At the board meeting last week, “the board approved the fundraising committee recommendation to increase the fundraising goal of $2.5 million so they don’t have to borrow money for the project, and if we still can’t fill the gap in fundraising, the board would then consider a financing mechanism to bridge the gap (depending on the magnitude of the shortfall),” said Ms. Becks.

The board passed a motion to approve the updated draft capital fundraising plan, recognizing the plan is a living document, which will be updated to reflect changes as the fundraising efforts unfold.

The board also approved a set of proposed revisions to Section 8.3.92. Fundraising Committee-functions of MHC’s corporate bylaws and further recommended that these revisions be presented at the annual general meeting in June 2021 for adoption. 

The bylaw notes in part, “the fundraising committee shall establish and recommend to the board such strategies and activities relevant to developing and obtaining sources of funds, so as to support major capital needs that relate to fulfilling the strategic goals of the organization. Prior to undertaking any fundraising activities the fundraising committee will prepare a draft fundraising plan, for board approval, to offer initial direction. It is expected to be a living document and will reflect changes as the fundraising efforts unfold.

The question arose at last week’s MHC board meeting as to what will happen if the fundraising campaign exceeds its goal, as was the case for the ventilator campaign for the two Island hospitals. Lynn Foster, president and CEO of MHC told the Recorder on Tuesday, “I have just released a letter to municipal council leaders and First Nation chiefs noting that for the ventilator fundraising campaign the original fundraising goal had been $74,000 and $207,000 was raised. In the letter I have outlined that there is the opportunity for being flexible around the financial gifts they provided for the ventilator campaign, that these (financial) gifts can be returned to the individual municipality or First Nation or could be set aside for other MHC capital projects. In the unlikely chance that we raise more than we set for the campaign goal a similar letter will be sent to the municipalities and First Nations who contribute to the project, providing the same options.”