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Archive for July, 2007

It is a great feeling to be almost at my fund raising goal. I am planning to continue fund raising up to the date of the walk. The next big fund raiser will be at the Bell’s Ferry Wal-Mart in Woodstock, Georgia. I will have pink rubber bracelets and key chains as well as free educational materials.

Fund raising takes a lot of time. The organizing, making calls, filing paperwork, preparing signs and materials… all this work has to be done above and beyond any time actually spent talking to the public.  I do not get paid or reimbursed for my expenses. It is all part of sharing and creating awareness of Breast Cancer.

Now I will be able to focus more of my attention on training. My mileage for weekend walks is increasing steadily. It typically takes about 2 hours on a Saturday for me to reach my walking goal for the day. Soon it will be three, then four hours.  If I had to spend more time focused solely on fund raising, I would be in bad shape for the walk. So, if you are doing a walk or other athletic activity for a charity, get as much of the fund raising done as early as possible.

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I held a fund raiser outside a local Wal-mart this past weekend. I learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t. I’m fund raising for breast cancer awareness, so people know what to expect, which helps. If you are planning a fund raiser and need  some direction on what to do (and what not to do) here is what I discovered:

Make really large colorful signs that briefly explain What you and fund raising for (the cause) and Why.

Start talking to potential businesses about fund raising spots as soon as possible. The Wal-marts in my area book months in advance. I signed up in April for a spot in July

As the business what is and isn’t allowed.

Most people just want to donate. They don’t want literature, they don’t want a lecture.

If you are person directly affected by breast cancer yourself, it helps to have someone who is booth sit with you. People will welcome an excuse to come up and talk to both of you. It also makes potential donors feel you are more trustworthy. Now this may sound harsh or even exploitative. It’s actually a great chance to connect and share with the community on a more intimate level, in a personable way.

Have water or drinks if it is hot, but unless it is really hot, they probably won’t bring in much, so be sure to look for a good deal or have the items donated.

Rubber bracelets or keychains are pretty inexpensive and make great on the spot donation thank you gifts. Several people donated and selected bracelets for family members.

A big decorated donation jar does the talking for you. Make sure it has a wide mouth so people can easily drop money in.

The better times of the day tend to be 11am – 2pm on weekends at most shopping centers.

Stand out in front of the booth and say hello to people and ask them to help.

Talk to people going in. They will have time to think about you and get change if they don’t have any.

Have any documentation about your agreement with the business ready in case someone from the business comes by and has a question

Clean up after yourself

Don’t take refusals to donate personally.

Have business cards with your basic contact information and any donation site you are using. Most charities provide forms you can fill out or there are cheap business card deals on the Internet.

I was surprised that most people did not want the breast health awareness literature, but it was nice to have it. It was a freebie we could mention and gave us additional ammo in case someone had an in depth question.

If the business offers them, apply for a matching grant.

And the most important tip is… do it! Don’t invest a lot of money the first time. Borrow a table if you have to, use an old sheet you have lying around… be creative.

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I am creating a series of Modern Muses for a calendar to benefit breast cancer. This the first in the series, “Patience”. The original was a donation gift to an old and dear friend of mine. When I have at least twelve done, the calendar will be available on Lulu.com.

Patience, the lady moon

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Walking the walk

The longer walks have begun. Every weekend now I have to walk at least 8 miles one day, and about 5 or 6 miles the next. I have found it is easier to walk with company. Sometimes I push my son in his jogging stroller, and other times my husband comes along with us.

My favorite times to walk are early in the morning or late evening, unless it’s raining. The rain and overcast skies are a great change from the constant glare of the Sun. I did manage to get a funny oval sunburn on my chest while walking while it was cloudy. I should know better.

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