Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Raising Money For Canadian Teams

Ray and I are in talks with the CBF about continuing our sponsorship.  We are happy about this but it is just a start.  We need more sponsorship.

So I am going to take a pass at thinking about the best way to get other people involved in sponsorship.  Why should we care?  I suppose that the best answer is that competing in physical sports is very important and its exciting to have teams do well in the Olympics.  But all the money should not just go to physical sports.  Its about a strong mind also.  As we age the strong mind part because even more important.  There is growing evidence that the brain is a use it or lose it “muscle” just like the rest of the body.  Obviously it is important to get lots of people playing but it is the star power of the great players in any sport that get everybody excited.

I am not talking about paying our top players money to practice (as they do in Olympic sports) I am just talking about providing them with enough money to have a very tiny amount of training and to actually play in the event.  I am not talking about being a bridge power, just being competitive.  And Master Point Press does plan to put its money where its mouth is.  But we can’t do it alone.

So my first step is to try to design a sponsorship program of some sort.  I have some ideas but I need help.  So I am asking Canadian bridge players who are willing to help me to send me an email at

Anyone who knows me knows I am an idea person but at the moment I am a lonely one.  This is all the volunteers will need to do: help me think up an award program for people who are prepared to donate money to the Canadian Bridge Federation International fund.  Later (or if this doesn’t work) I may work on some ideas around fund raising games.

My thoughts so far: Have a tiered program where a donation as low as $25 will get you something.  (a discount off ebooks, a free ebook or some sort – tips from top player?, a letter of thanks and acknowledgment on the CBF website and magazine).  Then a range from $99-26 which gets you that and a draw for an online lesson from somebody and/or a free game with an international player.  Well you get the idea.

Even if you hate committees send me your ideas.  You can reply in the blog or by email.  Canada, I need your creativity and your help and your kind donations to the program.


Ross TaylorJanuary 16th, 2010 at 11:37 am

There are some very wealthy bridge players who could make a significant difference with nary a dent in their net worth. Perhaps it is worth coming up with a high-end approach in addition to anything else you do Linda.

Sooner is better than later, but any is better than none – maybe some of these people would be willing to bequeath something substantive to the CBF in their will if petitioned in a dignified way.

Ross TaylorJanuary 16th, 2010 at 11:38 am

PS I hate committees and bureaucracy

Bobby WolffJanuary 16th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Linda and Ross,

Forgive me for interjecting a possible caveat.

In return for contributions, the benefactor will get a guarantee (subject to scrutiny) from the foundation that the money will only go to conscientious players giving of their time and efforts to improve their partnerships and performances. Those favored players will also be judged by qualified administrators (whatever that means) to, at least, have the potential to develop into good enough players to be competitive world wide while representing Canada. Call the agreement a Quid Pro Quo for the future of Canadian bridge.

In my opinion, this agreement may help lure a Corporate Investor who may love being on the ground floor with helping the Maple Leaf internationally and at the same time feeling secure that special care is being taken to insure an honest and quality program.

No committees, bureaucracy or hanky panky! I’d recommend to lure Fred Gitelman and BBO to be specifically involved, if only for his reputable association, not to mention the publicity which could be continually provided for the sponsors and the upcoming player participations.

Good Luck!

LindaJanuary 16th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the great suggestions. Any one else?

LuiseJanuary 17th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

At dinner at Marcus’ school last Friday, I actually sat down next to a man who does fund-raising for a living. He brought up very useful suggestions about how to go about raising money and gave some ideas of things to think about in this situation.

1) How much money is “enough”? What are the goals, and what specifically will the money be used for? Is your goal to raise $150,000, for example? (150K was just a random number he mentioned, but I will refer to it often for purposes of a logical argument).

2) How are you most likely to get the money? If 150,000 is the goal, then will that be 3 people with a $50,000 donation each? Or 30 people at $5000 each? Or 150,000 people for $1? etc.

3) Who cares? I mean that to say, who is your target audience who is likely to want to support the cause? Obviously you are trying to reach canadian bridge players. Probably you want to reach Canadian elderly bridge players, since they are the most likely to care and would have the money to be able to support the cause. How do you reach them? What methods are most likely to get them to pay up? Do you set up fundraisers and the bridge clubs that people play at, for example? Do you call and speak to them over the phone? Do you go to the club and physically speak to people? Do you set something up with the club owners — maybe ask owners to set up an optional 50/50 pool, 50% to the winner, 50% to the fundraiser… etc.

Once you have more idea of what you are looking for, who you would like to reach, then it gets easier to make a plan and follow through and achieve your goal.

HowardJanuary 18th, 2010 at 11:22 am

Dear Linda, Given that it’s only likely to be Canadian bridge players who wish to want to support the country’s best players in some shape or form, then I believe every canadian bridge club could put on a charity fund raising event for such a cause. Here in sheffield the club put on a one-off special teams event: food, raffle (donated prizes) to raise a spectacular £1400 for funds to help refurbish the premises. One hundred Canadian BCs could therefore conceivably raise £140,000. However, if top players get sponsored in this way from the rank and file membership, they could look to be giving something back……like special celebrity appearances to host a master class lesson or two……..or just to turn up at an event to either participate ( as one of the prizes ” a game with” ) or to just host the event and say thanks in person.

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