Have you ever heard of Birdies for Kids? If not, don’t feel bad. It is one of the best kept secrets in the world of children’s charities. Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink is a fundraising program that matches up to 50 per cent of donations. And while it’s an amazing program benefiting over 175 local children’s charities, it’s not that well known. Luckily, we had the chance to sit down with our friends from the Shaw Charity Classic who explained everything you need to know about Birdies for Kids.
Q: When did Birdies for Kids start?
A: “2015 was the first year that the tournament used the program. It started out of the John Deere Classic, which is a PGA tournament in the States. They run a program called Birdies for Charity. We adapted Birdies for Charity to Birdies for Kids.
Q: Can you explain how the program works and how people can take advantage of it?
A: “It sounds too good to be true and it really is. For every dollar that a donor puts into the program, they will receive up to 50% additional funds and matching. So if you put $10 into Ronald McDonald House then your donation is actually $15. Donors can make a donation by cash, cheque, or credit card, they can do it online or just mail us a cheque – it’s really that easy.”
Q: So from now until September, anyone who wants to donate to us can use Birdies for Kids?
A: “It runs every year starting February 1 and ends the final Sunday of the tournament, so this year is September 2.”
Q: Who matches the funds?
A: “The matching pool comes from AltaLink, as well as a group of corporate supporters.
Q: How does the program relate to Birdies?
A: “Originally donors were able to make a per birdie pledge. For example, $10 for every birdie made at the tournament. We ended up taking that part out of the program because a lot of donors didn’t understand how common birdies were and would pledge $1000 per birdie. So on the final Sunday, we’ll email them with a notice saying they owed $80,000.”
Q: What are you most proud of in terms of what the initiative has accomplished?
A: “I think it’s the fact that it’s free for charities to sign up and any children’s charity in Alberta can sign up. I’m most proud of being able to include any charity that wants to and supporting every single child.”
Q: Is there anything else we should know?
A: “We’ve already said it but it’s honestly just so easy. Just put the money through the program and then we handle the rest. Also, the tournament pays for all the admin, credit card, and processing fees, so if a donor donates $100, we will give the charity $150 not $150 minus fees.”