Tips For Planning a Successful Cancer Awareness Fundraising Campaign
Planning a successful Cancer Awareness Fundraising Campaign is a lot of work. You want to ensure that it will be successful. While planning an event can be overwhelming, having a plan can be the difference between holding a successful event and having it fall flat on its face.
Here are some tips for planning a successful cancer awareness fundraising campaign:
- Identify Your Goal
- Set A Date
- Choose A Location
- Build A Volunteer Base
- Involve The Community
- Offer Something To Your Guests
- Report Back On Your Goal
- Thank Your Volunteers
- Evaluate For Next Year
Identify Your Goal
What is your primary objective? Do you know a cancer patient, or surviving family in need of financial support? Do you see unhealthy behaviors in the people around you that could be changed through awareness and education? Have you identified a worthy cancer research facility to whom you could donate the proceeds from your campaign? Once you’ve identified your goals clearly, write them down and be specific. A successful campaign is much more likely to be achieved if you have specific goals in mind and can share them clearly with other people. This is the time to identify your awareness focus, as well. Will you focus on Breast Cancer Awareness, Survivor Support, or encouraging regular prostate exams (prevention and early detection)?
Set a Date
This may seem elementary, but weather patterns, commute schedules, school holidays, competing and a number of other factors can make a big difference in determining the best date and time of day for your event. If you are planning an awareness day for your office or school, you’ll want to consult primary decision makers before setting a date.
Choose a Location
The easiest location is generally the best location. But, what is the easiest location? It location varies, depending on who you are trying to reach. If you are planning an event for work, it is usually easiest to hold the even at work. Some ideas for work location might be in the parking lot, break room or common area, so that people aren’t required to show up at a separate location in order to participate. School cancer support campaigns can be held in the gym, or during a sporting event, wherever you are most likely to reach the most people for the cause. If you are planning a community cancer awareness event, a central location with high traffic flow is usually the most desirable. If your cancer awareness campaign involves fundraising, a location with high traffic flow is a must.
Build a Volunteer Base
Whether it’s a couple of close friends, or a team of community members, this is one time that two heads really are better than one, and many hands make light work. Trying to pull off a successful cancer support campaign on your own can be overwhelming. Reach out to those around you to build a team of volunteers who are as excited about the cause as you are. Recruit people who have a passion for cancer awareness. These might include cancer survivors or their family members, community members who work with cancer patients, such as radiology centers, cancer treatment centers, and health care professionals. As you recruit your volunteers, ask each of them to bring a friend, until you have the number of people you feel will make your campaign the most successful.
Involve the Community
Reach out to the businesses in your community in seeking support for your efforts. Depending on your goals, your requests to businesses will vary. You may be asking for auction donations to raise money for a local family. Or perhaps you are handing out “goody bags” full of cancer awareness and prevention information and you’d like your local businesses to throw in some promotional items, or cancer awareness merchandise, with messages that support your theme. For instance, your local hair salon might donate pink combs that say, “Curl Up And Dye is only for hair, Check Your Boobies and Fight Like a Girl!”
Offer Something to Your Guests
The most important thing you’ll be offering your guests is information and an opportunity to do good. Your local health care professionals, the CDC, American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute all offer educational and support materials for distribution. Bankrate.com offers helpful tips on managing housing and mortgage expenses while dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Many people also offer cancer awareness merchandise, either as gifts or to sell as part of the fundraising efforts. You can gather all of you information and free merchandise into bags to be handed out, or allow people to walk around the event and collect the things that are most interesting or meaningful to them. It is nice, but not always necessary to feed your guests. Depending on the venue, it may not be appropriate. If you do plan to offer food for your event, it is important to take into consideration common food allergies, to be sure the refreshments are safe for everyone to enjoy.
Follow Through and Report on Your Goal
If your goal was to raise money to help a local family, be sure to report back to those involved on the success of your campaign, and make arrangements to have the funds delivered. If your plan was to educate and prevent, calculate the number of visitors and amount of information disseminated. Perhaps your campaign was to encourage others to get involved in the fight against cancer by volunteering their time or money to a worthy organization. Did you have the information and forms available so people could make that happen, and how many took advantage of it?
Thank Your Volunteers
Don’t forget to thank the volunteers and members of the community who helped make your cancer awareness event a success. This includes members of your planning team, community members who helped out more than you expected, and any corporate sponsors who stood out in their support. It may be appropriate to offer a small gift, or cancer awareness item, as thanks for their help. An appreciated volunteer this year is more likely to be an enthusiastic supporter in the years to come.
Evaluate for Next Year
The best time to evaluate the success of your campaign is immediately after it’s over. It is tempting to put the evaluation off for several weeks. After all, you’ve worked hard and deserve a break. But you will be surprised at the details you’ll forget in a short amount of time. If at all possible, set aside some time not more than a week after your cancer awareness event to evaluate and make determinations for next year. You’ll thank yourself later.