Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your interest in fundraising for CancerCare! Your enthusiasm, time and support pay off in a big way: more individuals and families affected by cancer will have the opportunity to benefit from our free services. Take your fundraising efforts to new heights with the helpful tips and ideas below.
Personalize your Team CancerCare page. As soon as you register on Team CancerCare, you can immediately start fundraising online. But you can increase the chances of people supporting your event if you personalize your page. You can use photos from the image library or upload your own photos or graphics, and you can replace the standard text with a personal message to your visitors.
Cast a wide net. Once your page is set, think creatively about who you can reach out to about. To create your outreach list, consider including:
- Your classmates, co-workers and friends
- People on your email address book
- Your holiday card list
- Members of clubs or other organizations you’re affiliated with
- Local businesses, especially those that you frequent (they like to keep good customers)
Cast an even wider net. Increase the number of people on your list by reaching out to all your Facebook and MySpace friends, for example. Include the web address of your Team CancerCare page, and encourage them to sponsor your event efforts. You can also promote your event by including the link in your email signatures.
Make it personal. Whether you ask for support in person, by email or through cards and letters, a personal appeal works best. In addition to providing details about your event, explain your personal reasons for doing it – are you honoring a friend or family member who is a survivor, increasing awareness, or simply raising funds for a great cause?
Set a realistic but challenging goal. A measurable goal provides motivation and allows your friends and family members to work together to make it happen. To set your goal, consider how many people you are able to reach out to and how much they might be able to contribute. Or, set a daily goal of asking one person each day for a donation to your event. If you get $10 a day for 5 days, in only one week you have $50 towards your target.
Encourage online donations. Making donations through your Team CancerCare page is the fastest and easiest way for your supporters to make a contribution. Online contributors receive a gift receipt via email and instantly see their donation applied to your goal. If some people prefer to write a check or give cash, you can enter their donations online so they are reflected in your total. However, you’ll need to print and complete a Donation Tracking Form and mail the funds to CancerCare.
Familiarize yourself with CancerCare. Becoming informed about our organization and the specific services we provide will help greatly in your efforts. You will be able to better communicate to your sponsors why supporting your cause is important. Visit About CancerCare to learn more.
Steps for Planning a Successful Event
- Decide on the type of event you want to organize
- Center your event on a specific cause that is close to your heart. For example, choose a specific cancer diagnosis or issue to focus on. This will make it easier for you to express to others why the cause is important to you – and for others to connect to your cause. More heads are better than one: bounce ideas off your friends, or collaborate with them to come up with your concept.
- Enlist help
- Create a list of people you trust and who believe in your cause, and ask them to assist you in putting your event together. Start with friends and family. Those who are able to help can form your official event planning committee.
- Secure a location
- Finding a location is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful fundraiser. Ask around and see what contacts already exist in your community and then tap into them.Certain venues may offer their space only on specific dates, so be prepared to be flexible. Depending on the nature of your event, select a date that will give you enough time to plan it successfully. Negotiate. Many local businesses are willing to donate their space or charge a reduced amount for nonprofit fundraisers. Some locations will require a deposit to reserve a space. This, too, may be negotiable.
- Set a realistic timeline
- Work with your committee members to assign realistic deadlines for individual tasks. See The Role of An Event Planning Committee for suggested tasks. Plan to meet with your committee once a month for the first few months and then more regularly (weekly or more often if needed) as you approach the event date.
- Use the internet to your advantage
- Once your Team CancerCare page is set up, let all your contacts know it’s there. Send your friends, family members and co-workers an email announcing your event with a link to your page. Add a link to your Team CancerCare page to your email signature to increase the number of visitors. Together with your committee, decide how often you would like to communicate with your supporters about your event. Then, send email updates about your activities to donors and event participants. Post an announcement and link to your Team CancerCare page on Facebook and other social networking sites to increase traffic and possibly donations.
- Get your story out there
- Local newspapers, radio stations, and elected officials are always looking for inspirational stories to feature. Contact them about your event and the cause and organization it supports. Ask someone who is close to you to help you with publicity. In the process of raising awareness about your event, you will need to tell your story many times. Having emotional support may be helpful.