This is a guest post by Ben Lundin, a a member of the Kidney Cancer Association’s Patient & Caregiver Advisory Council.
As we approach World Kidney Cancer Day on June 17th, some of you are sure to begin planning for the Kidney Cancer Association’s 76K Challenge.
In January of this year, I raised more than $8,700 across 120 unique donations for the KCA. You can see what I did here. How did I do it? By following these few steps.
Reach down deep and connect to your inner purpose. Establish why you’re doing this. Think about how has kidney cancer affected your life. How does it connect to who you are and where you are today? Are you doing this for a specific person? Are you doing this for a specific reason? Connect to yourself, be honest with yourself, show some vulnerability, and openly express your purpose. A well-crafted story, mission, or purpose is going to help you raise money.
After writing your personal story, decide on a goal, one that people can help you achieve or participate in. In my case, I ran 30 miles on my 30th birthday around a track, and I had friends come out and run along with me. So, what is your goal? How can others help you achieve it? Whether it’s a fundraising goal, a specific physical feat, or some other accomplishment. Make sure it’s something that people can help you work toward and that they can feel a part of.
For most people, deadlines aren’t real until it’s staring them smack dab in the face! Most people, even procrastinators, love a good deadline. Whether your fundraiser is going to last a month, a week, or a day, be transparent about it. Nothing motivates people more than a time constraint.
After you write your story, pick your goal, and set your deadline, create shareable content that you can post online every few days leading up to your deadline. The more personal pictures and personal content, the better. Be strategic – I found infrequent, thoughtful posts built deeper engagement. I set up most of my social media posts ahead of time. I even set a schedule for myself as to what posts would go out, over which networks, and when.
Share your fundraiser everywhere you interact with people. I shared mine with coworkers, past colleagues, my extended family, my neighbors, etc. I posted it in all of my group chats on my phone and all of my social media networks. Make sure you ask your friends to support you! They will provide you more exposure than you can ever imagine. This may seem like the scariest part – I was super nervous myself – but I received nothing but support along the way. You’d be surprised just how many people from all walks of life will reach out to you with kind words, warm wishes, and donations.
At the end of the day, gratitude is key. I wrote a mix of personalized and standardized “thank yous” for my social media networks. And I provided an update to all of my donors once my fundraiser was complete. This is, in my opinion, the most important tip because without your supporters your fundraiser wouldn’t be possible so make sure you thank everyone you can at every given point along the way.
Even if you get only one donation, your fundraiser is a success! Even if you have a fundraising goal in mind, don’t feel bad if you don’t reach it. At the end of the day, this is your journey. Be proud of yourself no matter the result.
This strategy helped me generate nearly $9,000 across more than 120 donations over 3 weeks. I hope it helps you too. Good luck, thank you, and we look forward to seeing your fundraising results!
Join the 76K Challenge! The KCA is raising $76,000 for the 76,000 people who will receive a kidney cancer diagnosis this year. In honor of World Kidney Cancer Day on June 17, the KCA is matching all donations, so your impact counts double! Sign up now.