Support Frontline Healthcare Workers

My name is Rick and I am an average citizen that wanted to make a positive difference in Canada during a time of crisis. During the height of the pandemic our brave and selfless doctors and nurses, including all of the staff needed to support their efforts, were putting their lives on the line every day in order to save their fellow citizens. Although we are doing well fighting the virus in Canada, I find myself concerned about the long term psychological effects on frontline staff as a result of the Covid virus and only hope that we do not see a second wave in the fall. 

When the pandemic first took root I decided to focus my time and efforts into creating a funding program that provided aid to frontline healthcare workers and to the hospitals in the regions where they work. To support this effort I designed a lawn sign that would be visible in our communities and was intended to represent our deep appreciation for their heroism. Although the program enjoyed success in the initial stages, the move to phase 3 of the Covid response has significantly reduced demand for products like this. 

Each sign sells for $25. Proceeds are distributed according to the following approximate breakdown:

40%    Allocated directly to the frontline healthcare workers program
40%    Covers manufacturing and distribution costs
10%    Payment for program support personnel 
10%    Held as an emergency fund for miscellaneous expenses and procurement. All unused monies will be paid to frontline workers at the end of the program. 

These signs are recyclable with your regular pick up. Signs should not fade for one year.  FrontlineHW was attempting to have all printing performed in the local areas that were selling the signs. My hope was that this would help some printers avoid having to lay off workers. Monetary proceeds from this program could also assist government in their efforts to minimize funding to keep businesses running.

The most important part of the initiative is to ensure that FrontlineHW is not beholden to any large corporation, government, or individual. The $25 per sign is affordable to most home owners. That is the maximum amount that FrontlineHW will accept from any citizen. We do not want your money if you are in dire straights and only ask that those who can afford a sign give it serious consideration.  

The main goal of the initiative is to ensure that frontline workers know that we stand behind them each and every day. It is our hope that these signs help them feel supported both on their way to work and when they leave.

Although we are not using distributors at this time, signs can still be ordered using the “Contact” section of this web site. 

Program Objectives

Our product has been designed to be 100% Canadian.

During the development of this product FrontlineHW considered the following:

  • How can we show our support and appreciation for the efforts or frontline healthcare workers and how can we provide them with monetary relief?
  • Provide a mechanism that will ensure that all monies donated are applied on a regional priority basis
  • Include support for local economies
  • Allow customers to have easy access to purchase signs from local distributors
  • Prove that the program works by identifying how and where donated money is spent in their local regions
  • Vision: Verify that the program can be used for most urban areas to allow the product to be offered on a province wide or country wide basis
  • Ensure absolute transparency regarding distribution of monies received and maintain up to date accounting ready for audit

Why we decided not to register as a charity

Have you ever made a donation and wondered where your money went? How much of your actual contribution made it to where you wanted it to be spent? The typical average breakdown for charities is as follows:
75% goes to the program
15% is used for administrative activities
10% goes to support fundraising activities

Administrative costs can include 

  • Human Resources and Accounting staff
  • Portions of Director and employees salary
  • Information technologies dedicated to infrastructure and operations
  • Production of annual report
  • Office Supplies
  • Building utilities
  • Legal Services
  • Board of Director expenses

Source: Love to Know – What percentage of donations goes to charity?

Another source seems to indicate that only about 10% is used to support administrative activities and fundraising. This is an excellent report with lots of information on charities and Canadian donating trends.

Source: The Giving Report 2020

After reviewing this information we decided not to register as a charity. There are two main reasons for this:
1. Current Covid-19 donations are time sensitive and the process of establishing a charity can be complicated and time consuming
2. Additional administrative actions are necessary such as establishing a Board of Directors, producing annual reports, rental space/utilities for the business, etc. This adds another level of red tape that impacts our ability to get the product to the consumer.

In the end we would like to think that we are creating a new form of support for Frontline Healthcare Workers. One of our main objectives is to find a way to advise those that have purchased signs where their money went and how it helped those frontline workers.

Many people give to charities in lump sums and do not invest in small operations like ours. We only ask that those who can afford a sign consider supporting our cause. Remember that you will ultimately know how your $10 per sign was spent and how it helped frontline staff.