New Strategies Help Creative Kids in Saskatchewan

By: Busayo Osobade July, 2021

Cultural Areas

Arts General Culture


AR - 2020

The year 2020 created many highs and low for charity organizations as they struggled to move the needle and make a difference amidst a worldwide health and economic crisis. For Creative Kids, 2020 called for creativity as the program continued to find support for kids thanks to new, effective fundraising strategies.

When the pandemic started, Creative Kids cancelled all its regularly scheduled, in-person fundraising events, such as Nourish and Vintage. Staff recognized the need to come up with new initiatives to “weather the storm” and ensure support for kids. Gloria Walsh, manager, Creative Kids, explains how it became necessary to adapt the business model to address the new reality and meet the creative needs of Saskatchewan children and youth.

“In 2020, we had a more focused and tailored approach to applying to foundations and pursuing grant funds. This approach resulted in many new funding opportunities, and amazing new multi-year donors,” she says. “It’s really about building relationships and showcasing the importance of engaging children in arts and culture activities.”

he adds that there was also an increased Creative Kids social media presence, which may have contributed to the success of fundraising initiatives. “There were a lot of birthday fundraisers on Facebook and virtual third-party fundraisers that increased donations. Other initiatives included a letter-writing campaign in which Creative Kids Provincial Ambassador David Millar hand-signed hundreds of letters that went out to donors during the Holiday Giving Campaign.”

Not only was the program successful at fundraising, Creative Kids was able to get more applicants to apply online. When online applications opened in December 2019, nine per cent of applicants applied online. By the end of 2020, over 400 applicants, or 38 per cent of applicants, had submitted their applications online– a huge increase from the previous year.

According to Shawn Bauche, program consultant, Creative Kids, “The online application site offered some flexibility for families during the pandemic. Parents could apply any time, day or night, and receive confirmation their application had been received just moments after submission. It offered a bit of peace of mind for parents who are navigating the ever-changing realities of the pandemic.”

In 2020, more than $467,000 was granted to support over 920 kids who wanted access to artistic and cultural activities. Creative Kids removes financial barriers for Saskatchewan children and youth (age four to 19), who wish to participate in arts and culture.

Creative Kids is a program of SaskCulture Inc. Thanks to funding from Sask Lotteries, SaskCulture is able to cover all administrative costs for Creative Kids so that 100% of all donations go directly to helping Saskatchewan children and youth to participate in cultural activities and all money raised in Saskatchewan stays in Saskatchewan.