1 min

Fashion Cares revenue down

Credit: David Hawe

The AIDS Committee Of Toronto (ACT) fell short of its fundraising goal of $950,000 at its 17th annual Fashion Cares event last month.

Fashion Cares raised about $800,000 this year, after expenses of about $900,000 are subtracted.

Executive director Lori Lucier isn’t disappointed.

“That’s money that ACT didn’t have,” Lucier says. “We’re thrilled that we got the $800,000.”

Lucier attributes lower ticket sales to a decline in the US economy and the SARS scare, both of which kept non-Torontonians away.

“The largest dilemma was the cancellation of blocks of tickets from out-of-town purchasers,” says Lucier.

This not only hurt actual ticket sales, but had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the event, like boutique sales. ACT plans on having a garage sale later in the summer to sell the stuff that was left over from Fashion Cares.

“We want to ensure that as much money as possible generated by the gifts [from sponsors] go to programs and services,” says Lucier. “But the garage sale won’t bring us up to our original goal of $950,000.”

Fashion Cares is ACT’s biggest fundraiser, accounting for about one third of the revenue ACT gets from non-governmental sources. ACT’s total budget is $2.5-million. Other major fundraisers include the AIDS Walk and the photo show Snap. This year, ACT wants to raise $522,000 and $39,000 respectively from these events.

The remaining 40 percent of its budget, $981,900, comes from the three levels of government.

“Fashion Cares works for ACT because we get patrons of all sorts who are there for different reasons. Some value [Fashion Cares] for the event itself,” says Alaina Soucie, ACT’s communications coordinator.

In 2002, ACT spent 33.8 percent of its overall revenue on fundraising, 47.6 percent on programming, which included the money ACT gave to other AIDS service organizations and the money spent on the Condom Country prevention campaign, and 11.9 percent on administration. Lucier says administration includes staff that support programs and services.

Soucie says ACT is in compliance with government regulations requiring that 80 percent of what it raises from individual donations – that doesn’t include its government revenue – goes to programs and services.

ACT spent about 10 percent less putting on Fashion Cares this time around. In 2002 it spent $1,085,000, producing net proceeds of $923,000.