Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico and FileMaker

In 2012, I developed two FileMaker solutions for Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico.

The first one was a contacts and event management solution with the following features:

  • Contact management
  • Donations received
  • A dinner gala
  • The Erin Trujeque Golf Tournament registration for teams and individuals
  • Donations for both a silent auction and a live auction
  • A car raffle

This solution was interesting due to the dual nature of the donations.  One person would donate an item or items (say an all expenses paid trip to Disneyland, or maybe a fine piece of art). The donated item constituted a tax write off for the donor-nothing unusual there.  However, the item would then be auctioned off to another person, triggering another tax write off for that person for the same item.  To further confuse the issue, many times several individual items would be combined to make one auction item. Lots of fun…

There were many other challenges, like issuing and tracking raffle tickets, seating arrangements for the 600 person gala, table arrangement maps, and quick data entry on the night of the gala in order to determine the winners of the silent auction items and getting their orders processed for pickup within 2 hours of the end of the auction.

The satisfying part was systematizing the processes and almost entirely eliminating mistakes. The gala is an annual event, and lasts about 5 hours.  The system I replaced was based on Microsoft Access.  According to the IT guy who has worked this event for 10 years, they would not be done entering data and printing out receipts until 2-3 in the morning.  This past year, we were done by 10 PM!

As for the gala, the results were outstanding.  As I mention in the video, one child with cancer baked a dozen brownies for the live auction, and sold them for after some spirited bidding for $71,000.   She them thanked the winner, then offered to cook another dozen for the second place bidder if he would pay $71,000, also.  SOLD!

The second FileMaker solution was for the clinic run by the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico at the University of New Mexico Pediatric Cancer Center.

This is where the work gets done to help children with cancer and their families.  People like one strong, single father in northwest New Mexico whose young son was diagnosed with cancer last year.  And then his young daughter was diagnosed this year with cancer, as well.  The strength of this man and his children was inspiring to all who saw them.  

And the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico provides a unique form of help for him, his children, and others families in New Mexico by providing food and gas vouchers, payments for rent and utilities, wigs for cancer patients, and by giving toys to the children to play with while being treated at the hospital.  And all data is processed on a FileMaker database on a MacBook, with the signature capture happening on an iPad.

From what I have heard, they are the only organization in the country helping families directly in this manner, and this assistance helps ease the financial burden that comes with treating cancer.

And they could use your help.  Please help by donating now!

 

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