For many families facing a cancer diagnosis, running a successful fundraising campaign can truly make a difference in the life of their loved one with the disease. An online crowdfunding campaign can help cancer patients facing major medical bills cover their treatment expenses. Additionally, people who recently won a battle against cancer may want to raise money to give back, while families who recently lost a loved one to the disease may set up a fund for research or to benefit a related charity as a way to honor the deceased. There are so many reasons to start a cancer fundraiser.
Cancer Is Scary, but Fundraising Shouldn’t Be
We realize that for a lot of people, cancer fundraising begins at one of the most stressful, emotionally draining moments in life. Funding the treatment shouldn’t be your biggest concern when faced with a health crisis.
- The National Cancer Institute estimated that there would be nearly 1,660,000 new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. by the end of 2015.
- By the end of this year, the institute predicts that 589,430 people will die from the disease.
- As of 2014, 5 million people are living with a cancer diagnosis.
We compiled a list of fundraising ideas to help you run an energetic, successful crowdfunding campaign that will allow you and your family to focus on spending time together and healing, rather than worrying about finances.
1. Plan a backyard concert
Is a friend or family member in a band? If so, ask them to consider performing for a backyard concert fundraiser. If you don’t know any talented musicians, reach out to local bands and artists who may be looking for opportunities to play and gain a following. Performing at your fundraising event could benefit them as well. It gives them access to an audience that may never have heard of their music! Publicize your event on social media, on your crowdfunding campaign page, and in local coffee shops. Ask for a donation in exchange for admission.
2. Run a marathon or race in the name of a loved one with cancer
Cancer benefits come in many forms. Runners and natural athletes may want to take advantage of benefit runs for cancer and other causes. Sign up for a race that directly benefits a certain type of cancer, such as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series for the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer research, or the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which benefits blood cancer charities. Participate in the name of your loved one by putting a patch or a ribbon with their name on your shirt. You can also enter a race of your choosing, and instead of raising money for a certain charity, collect pledges via your online crowdfunding campaign to donate to your loved one with cancer. If you do this fundraiser ideas as a group, don’t forget to pick a fitting cancer fundraising team name.
3. Put on a fitness or wellness program in exchange for donations
If you or someone close to you works as an athletic instructor—whether their focus is yoga, spin classes, Pilates or personal training—recruit them to lead a group workout. To attend, supporters can donate to your fundraiser. You may even organize this as part of a larger week-long fundraising event in which you put on healthy fundraisers to benefit your crowdfunding campaign. Sell smoothies, plan a group hike, and invite people to sell homemade goods to promote your cancer fundraiser. By getting people to donate their time, you engage supporters who may not be able to give much financially but who through their service can generate a lot of income for your fundraiser.
4. Host a used book sale
A used book sale can be highly successful, especially near the beginning of the school year or semester. Ask friends and family to donate books they no longer want. Then publicize your sale on social media and your crowdfunding page. Categorize the donations by genre, and make groupings based on estimated value. If you don’t have a ton of used books lying around that you’re looking to sell, consider hosting a similar garage sale-type event with a different focus. The same system can be applied to clothes, athletic equipment, and other items.
5. Host a “dance-a-thon” cancer benefit
Many college students raise thousands of dollars each year through the Dance Marathon program for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. At the end of their fundraising year, they hold a 12- to 40-hour event in which students dance “for those who aren’t able to.” Why not draw inspiration from this model for your own cancer fundraiser? Rent out a gymnasium or ask a nearby school if it will let you use theirs for free. Then host a dance-a-thon in which participants collect pledges for hours spent dancing without stopping to benefit cancer. Make it social by charging admission for spectators and providing snacks and drinks. This can be a fun and empowering supplement to your crowdfunding campaign!
6. Sell flowers or ribbons to raise awareness
One simple way to raise money is by purchasing a roll of ribbon in the color that symbolizes a certain type of cancer awareness; for example, breast cancer fundraisers would feature pink ribbon, lymphoma fundraisers a green ribbon, and childhood cancer fundraisers a gold ribbon. Buy safety pins so that donors can show their support by pinning it to their lapels. Or sell individual flowers that match the disease’s awareness color for a few dollars. Then donate the proceeds to your crowdfunding campaign. These projects connect your individual cancer fundraiser with a message of solidarity and support for other patients going through similar challenges.
Get Your Crowdfunding Campaign Started Today!
Inspired to take action? Learn how you can help a sick friend and show you care. You can raise money to fund a family member’s treatment or to donate to fund cancer research or benefit a charity that makes life easier for patients. Your cancer fundraiser could save lives. Launch a campaign today.
Learn More About Cancer
Check out Healthline’s resource on cancer, including how to detect early warning signs, cancer treatment options, and common side effects. For more information on stem cell treatment see our post Is Stem Cell Therapy Right For You?