Hired on as the new Executive Director in October 2019, Diana Boal brings almost 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit world to Shelldale Family Gateway. Diana has been at Manager or Executive level in Waterloo, Hamilton and now Guelph, adding her knowledge about social services and sustainability to help bring Shelldale Family Gateway to the next level in fundraising.
With an educational background in Economics and International Relations, Boal understands the fundamental interconnectedness as it pertains to sustaining struggling communities and their ability to enjoy the fruits of not just their own labours, but those of friends and supporters across the wider communities in Guelph.
“What we see in Shelldale/Onward Willow is a community that could be brought down by its circumstances,” says Boal. “Instead, we see a vibrant, vital, multicultural group trying their level best to make the most out of the opportunities that are available.”
For Shelldale Family Gateway, this includes EarlyON programming for 0-6 years, provided by the County of Wellington. In addition – and just as importantly – Diana sees the need for early intervention and primary prevention for children and youth as well as their families. This type of programming comes with a significant price tag: one the community can’t afford on its own. However, the social cost of NOT providing these services is even higher, and one no one can afford to pay.
As an experienced social services E.D., grant writer and fundraiser, Diana Boal can see that intercepting behaviours endemic to low income neighbourhoods is critical. “Our community members are struggling: be it on social assistance, a newcomer to Canada, a single-parent household…we at Shelldale Family Gateway see challenges on a daily basis that would burden people and yet we seek to alleviate those burdens and make this a thriving, vibrant community.” Boal points out that Shelldale Family Gateway families disproportionately make up Guelph’s lower income and newcomer stratus of the population. They are immediately set at a disadvantage that Shelldale Family Gateway strives to help them overcome.
New Fundraising Program Launching
As happens with so many not-for-profit organizations, sustainability of programs is always the number one concern. Fundraising and writing grants covers only so much, only on a program-to-program basis and so sustainable solutions must be found. Shelldale Family Gateway is in the process of planning and launching a new, exciting and sustainable fundraising program called “Friends of Shelldale Family Gateway”.
“Friends” will be a way for the wider community to see and hear about the great work Shelldale Family Gateway does on a daily basis. A monthly newsletter with program and funding updates will let donors and friends alike know about our successes and challenges, and most importantly, about the positive changes we are making to this wonderful neighbourhood.
Executive Director Boal sees the establishment of a fundraising committee as a significant first step in aligning our goals with our abilities. “We need strong people: not just in fundraising, but those who know the neighbourhood and the challenges faced and how to best overcome those challenges. Fiscal responsibility will be first and foremost for the Committee so donors are guaranteed that their dollars are going where they’re needed most: to the people of this community.”
Are You A Rock Star?
If you’d like to become part of the fundraising subcommittee, or be on our mailing list or just drop us a line, please connect with Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org