My Epic Home.
Three simple words, but they say so much. First and foremost, they describe how people served by Epic Opportunities feel about the places where they live. They also were the name of an innovative fundraising campaign the agency undertook this past year to help it reach its goal of purchasing 10 news homes for people it serves.
The My Epic Home campaign was officially launched last November with an objective of raising $80,000 towards the purchase of a single, accessible home for people supported by Epic Opportunities. Mission accomplished: the campaign ended up bringing in slightly more than its $80,000 target by early March and donations are still being welcomed.
“We were extremely pleased with this result as we were not sure how the local community would respond within the turbulence of the pandemic,” says Executive Director Ruby Reimer.
“At the same time, we were not surprised because we consistently see the strong support from local businesses as well as individual donors who are connected to our work through family or friends of the organization.”
Epic Opportunities Foundation President Ralph Guy agrees.
“We’ve really grown over the years,” he says. “There are more people involved, people are more engaged, they know what we want to do and where we want to get to, and people are looking for ways to support Epic Opportunities.”
Although the campaign was already in the planning stages, it took on added urgency when last year’s An Evening with Epic in-person fundraiser had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My Epic Home is not very different than other fundraising initiatives the agency has undertaken over the years, such as its ongoing Make a House a Home campaign or the annual event, An Evening with Epic,” Guy says. “We were still able to engage corporate supporters, family members and friends of Epic. The online nature of this campaign had the added benefit of gaining further reach. We saw increased support from people who may not have typically attended an in-person event. With the online nature it also really encourages donations of any size. People could provide as much or as little as they wished to.”
A webpage designed to easily connect donors to Epic Opportunities vision was developed and posted on the organization’s website. The webpage provide examples of how donations could be used, such as $100 for a new window, $500 for insulation or $2,500 for foundation repairs.
In addition, short and catchy video messages featuring some of the people served by Epic Opportunities were created and distributed on social media to bring awareness to the campaign. Regular supporters were also contacted by phone and email and invited to contribute.
Guy says word of mouth among Epic Opportunities supporters also played a huge role in getting information about the campaign out to people.
“People within our Epic community would send an email to their friends or family or business associates and say I am supporting Epic Opportunities. This is the work they are doing. Can you join us? Can you help us? It was a great means of communication and awareness.”
The impact of the My Epic Home campaign on Epic Opportunities and the people it serves will be twofold.
First, it will reduce the number of accommodations the organization will need to rent and allow it to invest more of its resources into homes it owns. Guy says that will make a huge difference in the lives of people Epic Opportunities supports because they will not need to be concerned with moving should a landlord wish to sell their property. It will also have a significant financial impact on the organization since any upgrades or improvements it makes to a home it owns will remain with Epic Opportunities rather than having to be removed if a rented property is sold.
“When you rent a house, you have to outfit it to meet a person’s needs. If they have to leave, you often have to undo what you did to satisfy the terms of the lease. Then you’re leaving and outfitting another house which is just wasted money,” Guy says. “When we own a home, we don’t have to do it again. It’s a one-time investment.”
For more information about the My Epic Home campaign please visit epicmb.ca/my-epic-home.