The People of CEF: Sandy Lavigne

By Leah Yee, Social Media Coordinator Each month CEF will be highlighting some of the fantastic people involved in our organization – we know that without them, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish everything that we do. For the first issue of The People of CEF, we are pleased to introduce one of our amazing volunteers, Sandy Lavigne.

Sandy Lavigne, volunteer with CEF.

Sandy is an integral part of the newly established sponsorship program – an exciting venture that aims to generate revenue to offset the production costs of shoots, so that more money can be used to fund our development projects.

As a sponsorship coordinator, Sandy is responsible for reaching out to potential sponsors from within the creative industries and developing an effective sponsor benefits program. She recognizes that one of the most important parts of development work is getting the word out about projects, and this is one of the reasons she is so excited about finding big-name sponsors. On a daily basis, she can be found researching possible partners, chasing leads and positioning the foundation in imaginative new ways; she describes her work for CEF as "exciting and innovative", and she is loving every moment!

The ultimate goal of the sponsor benefits program is to find sponsors who are just as passionate about the CEF mission as we are; and everyone involved agrees that this is just the tip of the iceberg in finding untapped creative ways to generate revenue.

Sandy became part of the CEF family a year and a half ago after hearing about the foundation from a good friend and attending several events, including one for the Cambodian Floating Health Clinic. As she watched presentations outlining the work we do, and saw the inspiring images from last year’s Africa tour, she knew she wanted to be a part of it.

When asked why she chose to work with CEF over other non-profits, she spoke of the incredible people involved in the foundation. Sandy describes the CEF family as a skilled, talented, and caring group who take on projects as a unified team – she calls it a true creative community. Sandy also praises the funding model as a unique way to raise money, and with a background in journalism, she recognizes the importance of a good story. She believes that CEF combines strong development work with a powerfully visual narrative in a way that cannot be found anywhere else.

Of course, volunteering is not without its challenges. Part of being a sponsorship coordinator is about determinedly chasing down potential leads, and this is something that pushes Sandy outside of her comfort zone. However, she explains that because CEF is a cause she truly believes in, she happily embraces this challenge!

When asked about her favourite CEF experience thus far, Sandy fondly recounts how she was able to attend the 2012 annual general meeting and really get a sense of the organization. She was impressed by the enthusiastic way that all the different facets of CEF – from photographers to board members – worked together for the common goal of education, health and sustainability for those in need.

Sandy has spent time in many developing countries and has seen first-hand the difference projects like ours can make to the people living in these countries. Her words of advice? "Get involved!"  There are limitless opportunities within CEF to make a positive impact on the world while doing something you already excel at, or while learning something new.

From all of us at CEF, thank you Sandy for your dedication and hard work!