History | 9 Steps to Karuna Success
| Do's and Don'ts | Marketing
This web page has been
primarily designed to help those of you who wish to start up your own hospice of
the same nature as Karuna. To give you the best possible picture and mindset, we
wish to inform you about our history before we continue.
Service was formed by health professionals and community members in
response to the growing need for hospice care at home for
people with a life threatening illness and their loved ones.
Brisbane since 1991 and on the Sunshine Coast in 1995, Karuna is a
not-for-profit public benevolent institution and registered charity.
philosophy is founded on Buddhist principles of love and compassion.
Our team of staff
and volunteers offers comprehensive support for the physical, emotional,
social and spiritual needs of the individual.
Our goal is to
offer an opportunity for people with terminal illness, and their
families (however defined) to enjoy the highest quality of remaining
The name, Karuna,
is from the Sanskrit meaning 'compassion'.
Indeed you will run into
obstacles along the way, to help your progress we will give you a few hint, tips
if you will, that we think are useful.
Here are some steps
that will help you get started:
STEPS TO KARUNA SUCCESS
- Research, research, research.
- This is the first essential rule for any
new organisation to get off the ground.
- No money is required for this type of
- Karuna started out with one volunteer,
no money, no car, no building, only a vision, which is the key to success.
- Know your community around you.
- Know their needs and wants, to meet with
- Carefully analysis other hospice
services and start to look for gaps.
- Make a list of what other hospice
services do not offer such as a 24 hr service, or a service free of charge etcÖand
start to build from there.
- This list will provide you with an
outline of objectives in which you wish to archive. (When Karuna first got
together they worked towards filling 3 major gaps, these were.
- A service free of charge
- A 24 hour service
- Organize a public meeting within your
community that consists of medical professionals, volunteers, friends, family
and any one who has an interest in your idea.
- A public meeting does not require the
expenses of professional advertising in the paper or TV, just through several
- This meeting should be used to explain
your motives and ideas, and must be completely honest.
- From this meeting you must then organize
a second meeting for those who are willing to participate in your organisation.
- Simple advertising must now be applied.
- Again keeping in mind that no money is
- Going through the phone book is a good
idea in locating all of the medical contacts you will need to get started.
- Doctors, hospitals, nurses,
physiologists, old peoples homes, and more will need to be contacted in order
for you to gain awareness of your service.
- Sponsorship is a must, a vital key to
help you get started.
- With your first couple of clients that
you help, you should try to encourage a donation in order for your
organisation to help other who are terminally ill.
- This should not be an issue, as you will
find that the majority of people you help will be more than generous with
- With your donations use this to employee
one nurse and self employee yourself.
- This is important to your organisation,
as any service requires professionals.
- It took Karuna approximately 6 months
to generate enough donations that were required to start up the organisation.
- Once you have generated enough
donations, buy a building that you can run your service from; keeping in
mind that Karuna visits their clients in their own home environment. A
building is simply used for employees, volunteers and staff to work from.
- The money raised through donations
must be spent wisely. Karunaís advice is to spend the money on resources
that are required to make your clients life as comfortable and enjoyable as
- Nurses, medical equipment,
physiologists are very essential tools to have once your organisation gets
- Keeping in mind that community clubs
will also be more than willing to donate either money or equipment.
- Expand at a realistic pace.
- Donít be in a hurry to make your
organisation look pretty and professional, remember "Karuna" is a
service nothing more or less.
- Always have monthly meetings to set new
goals and recap on every ones achievements and ideas.
- In house counseling sessions for
volunteers are a must.
- Start with a vision.
- Know the needs of your community.
- Have a good concept, - it encourages
people to give both expertise and dollars.
- Be patient and persistent.
- Encourage volunteers at all times.
- Assume anything.
- Expect donations over night.
The marketing efforts of
an organization like Karuna are crucial. A non-profit organization is dependant
of funding from governmental and private institutions and individuals. The
marketing message will be one of the most important element in your
organization. As mentioned above, a good concept draws people, knowledge and
dollars to you.
To further assist you in
the initial stages we give you Karunas key marketing messages.
- A youthful, dynamic organization Ė
only 10 years old.
- Genuine caring and friendly
- Spiritually based and compassionate
- Community based and inviting
participation from diverse backgrounds.
- A commitment to high quality holistic
care (not only medical)
- Empowering of clients, carers,
volunteers and staff.
Along with the marketing
aspect of the organization, a lesson of ours that canít be repeated too many
times is: the more integrated and unified the marketing message sent out from
various divisions, offices and staff is, the better. The Karuna office in
Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast is continuously working towards an integrated
We regard the marketing
message important when our sole income relies on governmental and private
donations. Also, the less consistent you marketing message is, the less
professional and sincere you will appear. Remember, you will be asking
individuals and organizations for time and/or dollars, so you better provide
them with good reasons to donate to you.