Step By Step Fundraising Newsletter
In this issue -
- 5 Tips for Fundraising for Individuals
- Heart Transplant Fundraiser
- Links to Other Articles About Fundraising for Individuals
- Poll Results: Fundraising Catalogs
Occasionally I hear from people who would like to fundraise to
help a particular person who has financial needs based on a medical
Perhaps a hospitalization or treatment is needed for a serious
illness. Even with health insurance, facing the financial responsibility
of paying for medical treatment can become overwhelming.
This month I'm featuring an article about Jennifer Shih and her
fundraising efforts for organ transplant patients, plus a set of tips
for anyone who's planning a fundraiser for an individual.
Five Tips for Fundraising for
1. Research all of your options
When a family is facing a financial hardship due to a serious
medical situation, it is important to do some research before jumping
into a fundraising effort. After exhausting health insurance options
find out about other organizations that may be able to help:
- Social Services - Speak to social services at the hospital who may
be aware of financial resources, foundations and sources of financial
- Family Stay - Find out if there is a Ronald McDonald house or other
family stay facility near the hospital which have free or low cost
- Government Agencies & NPOs- Contact local charities that may offer
"stop gap" assistance and food banks.
2. Be aware of legal issues
Donations that are given to an individual and not a registered charity
are not tax deductible. If possible, partner with a non profit organization
such as the Transplant Fund
that can receive designated funds for the individual. Then donations
can be designated as tax deductible by those who make donations.
3. Understand what motivates donors
Friends, family, co-workers and extended acquaintances may be willing
to give out of pocket just because they care about the person and not
be as concerned about tax benefits.
Many people will want to make sure that all of their donation goes
directly to help the person in need. Donation
request letters are especially good for this reason.
Also realize that fundraising may not be appropriate in every situation.
Medical expenses must be quite extensive to warrant fundraising. For
example, asking for help when a child gets a cast for a broken arm will
not likely motivate people to donate because the need is not as great.
4. Appeal to Individuals Not Businesses
Fundraising events such spaghetti
dinners can also be a good way to fundraise. As with all fundraising
events it is important to get just about every thing donated, and even
more so when fundraising for individuals - food, location, decorations,
When seeking donations for an event appeal to individuals rather than
directly to businesses. Corporations are usually concerned with making
sure their donation is going to an organization that has government
oversight, as well as a group that has the tax deductible donation benefits.
Instead survey your extended circle of contacts for donations of supplies
and prizes. People will be willing donate items that they purchase themselves.
They may be able to get donations from their place of business since
they have influence with their employers that outsiders do not have.
5. Make it easy for people to donate
Finally, make it as easy for people to donate. Offer as many ways as
possible for people to help the family that is in need of money for
their medical expenses. Explain how donations can be made and include
contact information on all materials.
- Set up a separate bank account just for donations and discuss with
the bank the option of donations being made at the bank lobby location
- In letter appeals give the name, address of the bank in case people
want to make donations directly at the bank
- In letter requests include a pre-addressed envelope and a reply
card for those who would like to donate by mail
- Fundraising events offer multiple opportunities for people to donate
anonymously such as donation boxes, raffles, and opportunities to
"round up" ticket purchases.
Your Support is Greatly Appreciated!
Three Ways to Help:
1. Make a deposit to the bank account set up especially to help defray
medical costs. Go to National Bank, 1500 Travis Street, Anytown USA
and let them know that you would like to make a deposit to the account
of Jane Smith.
2. Mail your donation with check made out to Jane Smith to 7859 Oak
Strett, Anytown USA
3. Attend our spaghetti dinner event on January 24, 2006. Tickets are
$7 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Besides the dinner there
will also be raffles, games and other fun activities for the whole family.
If you have any questions about the fundraising efforts to help Jane
Smith, please contact her friend Sally Johnson at 210-555-1234.
a Heart" Event Helps Transplant Patients
Jennifer Shih had always dreamed
of becoming a doctor, specifically a pediatrician. After years of rigorous
study and preparation she was thrilled to land a prestigious pediatric
cardiology fellowship in Cincinnati.
In an ironic turn of
events, just a few months into her fellowship, Jennifer experienced
life threatening heart problems herself.
Jennifer's heart condition, caused by an extremely rare disease
called Giant Cell Myocarditis came on very suddenly. The only hope was
a heart transplant and she was placed at the highest priority level.
Miraculously a donor match was found and in less than two weeks from
her diagnosis she received a new heart.
After her transplant on September 12th, 2004, Jennifer realized
that her journey was far from over. While transplantation gives a new
lease on life, the risk of rejection is high and lifelong continued
treatment is necessary. In fact Jennifer was hospitalized twice after
the transplant. Now after a year and a half of treatment, Jennifer's
prognosis is good. However because of her low immune system can no longer
pursue her medical career as originally planned.
When I spoke with Jennifer one thing was certainly clear - her
excitement about life is strong and she is hopeful for her future. She's
a positive young woman who's now helping others who are in need of organ
Have a Heart Benefit
When Jennifer's friends heard about her desperate need of a transplant,
they decided to do something to help. Because of the sudden nature of
Jennifer's illness the fundraiser had to be put together pretty quickly.
That's when the Have a Heart
Benefit was born.
Their circle of friends liked to go to clubs and concerts so
they decided that a benefit concert would be a great idea. They advertised
the event through flyers, email and calling everyone they knew.
On the night of the concert attendees purchased wristbands at
the door as their entry tickets. Many people added extra donations above
the cover charge too. A silent auction was also held to raise more money.
By the end of the night about $17,000 had been raised
to help Jennifer!
In 2005 another Have a Heart benefit was planned, this time to
benefit other organ transplant patients and Hurricane Katrina victims.
This time they exceeded their expectations, raising even more money
with the event and silent auction.
Have a Heart Benefit 2005 organizers
Kerri Golding, Jennifer Shih and Michelle Gianini
Partnering with a Non Profit Organization
The National Transplant
Assistance Fund (NTAF) helped administer the funds raised and provide
a tax deductive contribution option for donors. The NTAF is a registered
charity that helps families and communities to raise money to cover
uninsured medical expenses related to transplantation and catastrophic
Jennifer recommends partnering with an existing non profit organization
if at all possible. This provides a measure of accountability, trust
and of course the tax deductive benefit for people who donate.
Lifelong Financial Impact
One of the impacts of transplantation that the general public
may not be aware of is the high cost, not only of the surgery itself,
but of the continued care required for transplant patients. After surgery
patients must take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their life.
These medications can run thousands of dollars each month.
Jennifer is currently on disability, which barely covers her
monthly medical expenses. Though she is now financially stable and hopes
to return to work at some time in the future, she knows that many transplant
survivors are not so lucky.
Jennifer hopes to continue the Have a Heart benefit to help other
people in need of financial assistance because of transplantation and
other major medical illnesses.
Links to Other Articles About Fundraising for
Here are some other success stories where people have done fundraisers
to help an individual:
Dinner Fundraiser for a Special Little Girl
for Markley 2 Mile Run/Walk
Poll: Fundraising Catalogs
I received a question about catalog
fundraisers and other pre-sale programs. Here's the results of the
As you can see over half of those who responded said
that they collect money when the order is taken.
My company has never done catalog fundraising but I know of people
that have. Most times they need it prior to the order coming in. So
it may not be actually due at the time you place the order but a few
days prior to the order coming in. I am sure there are possibly others
that work differently.
Yes it may depend on the requirements of the company that you're
working with when payments from customers are taken and payment to the
company needs to be received. Thanks for your comments Pam!
Find out more about catalog
To Your Continued Fundraising Success,