Funeral Service Association of Canada
The Last Post Fund is a non-profit organization that offers financial benefits for funeral related expenses to eligible veterans and disability pensioners. Despite a constant rise in funeral costs, funding rate levels for the Last Post Fund had remained constant since 2001. This discrepancy in funding was making it harder for funeral homes to provide veterans with the dignified burials they deserve.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC) had waged a decade-long effort for the federal government to raise the amount paid for funerals of indigent veterans. Efforts by FSAC had maintained a narrow focus and resulted in little knowledge of the issue on Parliament Hill. Furthermore, there was a lack of pressure and discussion by the public to correct the problem. After ten years of being ignored, FSAC engaged Impact Public Affairs to correct this funding shortfall in the 2013 federal budget. A campaign style approach was implemented.
RESULTS: A TWELVE MONTH CAMPAIGN WITH 100% RESULTS!
The plan included direct advocacy, mini lobby days, media events, grassroots lobbying and a new relationship with the Royal Canadian Legion.
This foundation laid a very successful framework, building relationships with all parties and with members of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee. Committee members then championed the issue with the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
The media outreach was a resounding success. More than 80 news stories earned more than 32 million impressions between October-December 2012.
On the grassroots level, more than 50 thousand letters were sent to MPs through the partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion.
The end result was a 100 percent victory as the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a doubling of the federal funding and an additional $65 million investment.
FSAC was awarded the Canadian Society of Association Executives’ Associations Make a Better Canada award in Public Affairs/Government Relations in 2013.
Further funding and an expansion of the eligibility criteria were granted to the Last Post Funding in Budget 2014 and Budget 2016 following continued efforts by FSAC and Impact Public Affairs.