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Allen Yeh
07-17-2007, 06:22 AM
My wife and I are trying to figure out how to raise the money for her surgery and all the related costs and we came up with the idea of having some type of fitness event related fundraiser. Anyone have experience with setting up a fundraiser event? I'd also like to use the event to raise awareness for her conditions since it seems that most doctors, neurologists and nuerosurgeons we have encountered know very little about it.

Any information is appreciated. Thanks!

Mike ODonnell
07-17-2007, 08:03 AM
Not sure about a fitness event....but alas...sigh....all those 5k and 10ks always bring a ton of people out...and all you need to do is provide a road. You could always do some sort of educational seminar on health and fitness too and charge.

Allen Yeh
07-19-2007, 04:42 AM
Thanks Mike I figured that an running event would be ok since that's all people think about when it comes to fundraising is marathons and walk-a-thons.

Anyone else helped set one up before or arranged it?

Rick Deckart
07-19-2007, 05:05 AM
Sad to hear that you have to figure out a way to raise the money for surgery...

I once participated in a fund raising run, the format was as follows:

Every participant collected a number of sponsors who would guarantee in written to pay a certain amount, ranging from pennies to several Marks, per kilometer the participant would run.

For example if I would guarantee 5 Dollar per Kilometer and my sponsored runner would cover 10 Km I would have to pay 50 Dollars.

That was a highly successful event. The top runner did 53km back then (he could not finish the last round...) and got something like 3000 DM together, as he had over two dozens sponsors. Several state ranked marathon runners used the opportunity for a test run, which also had the nice side effect to give the run a sort of 'competitive feeling'. I know of several participants (me included) who did longer runs than originally planned...

There was the course (5km) some water-stations, and a time limit, I think the course was open for 8 hours. If somebody wanted to split his run (AM/PM) this was also no problem, for every round they got a
mark and in the end some written paper with the km they did. Participants would then contact the sponsors etc.

Not sure if this helps...

Allen Yeh
07-19-2007, 05:17 AM
Sad to hear that you have to figure out a way to raise the money for surgery...


I get "good" health insurance through my job in the United States compared to many other plans and it's still a lot after the insurance pays their portion. 30% of a lot is still...a lot. On top of the surgical costs there were all the tests to get her to surgery, then all the medicine.

The U.S. health care system is so broken, but no one knows how to fix it. When I was younger I read some article that stated "In the U.S. a middle class family is only one major medical crisis away from bankruptcy" and I was thought to myself "that's a load of crap!!" I know better now though!




Thanks for the suggestion Peter.

John Seiler
07-19-2007, 08:37 AM
Hi Allen,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I'll keep you and your wife in my prayers.

A friend from high school's sister has cancer. They set up a site on http://caringbridge.org/ . Essentially, you set up a site for your wife and it allows you to update everyone on how things are going. There are also places to volunteer and donate. If you have time you might be able to set up a charity for donations. When people go to your site, they register. When you update the site, it sends everyone emails to let them know.

Allysa's site and her volunteers did a fabulous job of mobilizing everyone for the run they did in conjunction with a local 1/2 marathon. People really came out of the woodwork. I wouldn't be surprised if the owners of the individual CaringBridge sites have a forum. I'm sure there would be a lot of ideas on fundraisers in that community. If there isn't a forum, maybe individual sites will give you some ideas.

Robb Wolf
07-19-2007, 09:04 AM
I think upwards of 60% of bankruptcies in the US are medical bill related. If you ever see a veterinary medicine bill THAT is the real costs of medical care. 10-20x less than human care. Reason? HMO's/insurance IMO. If we could just en-mass cut ourselves out of that whole mess and do cash-n-carry medicine we would all be a better off.

Allen-
if there is some way we can help, let us know. There are several Cf affiliates that lurk around here. We might be able to coordinate something and if each group could get something going...additively it might be a big deal.

Derek Simonds
07-19-2007, 09:28 AM
I think upwards of 60% of bankruptcies in the US are medical bill related. If you ever see a veterinary medicine bill THAT is the real costs of medical care. 10-20x less than human care. Reason? HMO's/insurance IMO. If we could just en-mass cut ourselves out of that whole mess and do cash-n-carry medicine we would all be a better.

Good point Robb. My bro-in law is a vet and my sister is a peditrician. She told me if she had it to do all over again she would be a vet. The insurance she pays is staggering and she practices in TN. I have decent health insurance through work but I pay through the nose almost $900 per month for the family so I agree our system is jacked up. I joke about it but I call my bro-in law my primary care practioner, in fact I really go to see him for a lot of stuff.

Allen keep me posted on what is going on. I have my flight into BWI for Sunday evening.

Yael Grauer
07-19-2007, 09:41 AM
I've never done sports-related fundraising, but I've helped organize a lot of events that were fundraisers. The ones that had a bigger turnout had media attention--so if you have any connections that would be good. Most papers will list just about anything in the "calendar" section if you send in good press releases ahead of time. They may even do an article, depending on how busy things are. You may be able to find local organizations (chiropractors, trainers, etc.) to be sponsors. Ask them to place ads in your program or if they can donate prizes or anything else you need. Any sponsoring organization can provide free advertising and put promotional material in their office, etc. Especially if they are going to be speaking, they'll want their clients to know. About a month or two before the event, see if your local government channel can put up a public service announcement. And don't pay for anything--get free photocopies, free food on the day of the event, everything... It's out there. You should also be recruiting as many volunteers as you can so it won't take over your life.

If you don't have a 501(C)3 that makes it harder, but sometimes an organization will let you use their number if you give them a small cut of the tax-deductible donations.

There may also be grants out there for this type of thing; let me know if you want details on that.

Good luck!

Yael Grauer
07-19-2007, 09:42 AM
If you ever see a veterinary medicine bill THAT is the real costs of medical care. 10-20x less than human care. Reason? HMO's/insurance IMO.

I always thought it was because dogs and cats were less complicated to fix up than humans...hmmm...

Dave Van Skike
07-19-2007, 09:56 AM
I always thought it was because dogs and cats were less complicated to fix up than humans...hmmm...

Nope....I had my German Shorthair hit by a car two years ago, ruptured a disc and paralyzed him...

Emergency care, X rays, Comprehensive MRI and Spinal surgery....good as new. $6k. Try to get that rate at your local nuerologist. (oh yeah, go ahead and give me shit for spendign that kind of money but I love this dog, he's part of our family)

Best medical care I have ever gotten was in S America..... got lab work, doctor visit, antibiotics and pain meds.....$40 bucks...I wasn't sure whether to tip.

Robb Wolf
07-19-2007, 04:26 PM
I always thought it was because dogs and cats were less complicated to fix up than humans...hmmm...

Nope...anything that is left to normal market forces will get CHEAPER as technology increases. Telecommunications, computers...pretty standard economic trend. This is similar to the inefficiency/cost of the military. Enormous bureaucracy and inefficient centralized planning. The Hoover Digest is a great publication...it talked about his at length in the Milton Friedman tribute published about 6 months ago.

All that is interesting but does not help Allen much. Does anyone know how CFHQ has conducted fundraisers? Is it a WOD with collections at the door? I'd contact them but most folks close to HQ still have some squirly idea I'm on the Gym Jones payroll. I wonder WHERE that "confusion" arose from...

The idea of being able to tap into a non-profit status does make it much easier to coerce people to donate...rigging up an online system similar to the muscular dystrophy fundraiser I pestered you all with is helpful as well.

Steve Liberati
07-19-2007, 05:47 PM
Just Ask!

You might be surprised at how much support you recieve just by asking. I'm doing the same thing myself right now and just based on my limited experience alone, I can tell you that having the guts to just ask as many people as you can is what will determine whether your campaign is a success or not. Of course hit up family, friends, and acquitances first and foremost.

Don't even bother with companies in the beginning. Instead go after individuals!! The best thing you can do as a fundraiser is build up that strong individual base from the start. I took the route of having some events. With my peers, those being 25-35, I knew this was the best way to get them engaged. Events also help you get the word out about what you are doing. Have a cocktail hour at a nice restaurant, a dinner party at your home. I also sent out a letter to my friends and family requesting donations and asked them to send out to 5 of their friends and family. Starting from scratch really does mean “every dollar counts”

Another thing you can do is throw a party. It will energize your community, give you a megaphone for your cause, and media gets behind events so you can get some PR too.

Above all, get out there and hit the pavement as soon as you can. Don't fall into the trap of thinking there is a foolproof plan out there to raise awareness and money for the cause - b/c there is not! Just start the fire someway and the rest will take care of itself.

Good luck and please keep us updated. If there is any way I can help, please let me know.

Steve

Mike ODonnell
07-19-2007, 07:24 PM
Run an adventure race....those seem to make money with trail running, mountain biking and the likes....some sort of relay...24 hr race where there are teams of 6-8 who do course...lots of ideas on doing creative races are out there...

As for the med bills...they are a crock of ****....seeing how I had to go to the ER, get a Catscan and 10 stiches for a hockey stick in the eye......4 hours....and a $4k bill.....then I found it was a preferred vendor through my insurance carrier...and whoola..my bill is now $2k....funny how that all disappears so quickly. A friend of mine also said he did the following on a like a $3k bill...called the hospital billing department (who I am sure get these calls and refusals to pay all day long....not even going there...) and said you can either get $1500 now and call it a day or take me to court and pay for all the paperwork to try and go through collections after I claim chapter 11 and get money I don't have....what shall it be? He got it payed at 50%.....remember....it's probably marked up 5000% and everything, yes everything, is negotiable...most people don't take advantage of that.....be willing to want to pay something...but never pay what they want you to pay...they will want to get some money and meet you in the middle....they have bigger fish to go after who use the ER like their personal physician for fevers and other boo-boos.....

Allen Yeh
07-20-2007, 03:23 AM
I appreciate every suggestion so far and I'm definitely keeping them in mind.

I'm going to write up a list...because every suggestion so far is better than what lame ideas I had!

Thanks again!

William Hunter
07-20-2007, 09:40 AM
Allen, this may be complete overkill, but if you start leaning more heavily towards a road race there's a website called road race management , www.rrm.com ,that my wife has been checking out recently. She's the parent booster president of my boys' elementary school, and she and the director are planning a half-marathon next spring. They are currently hunting down sponsers, and I'd be happy to have her give any input on what she's learned so far.

Dave, I, for one, will you give you no shit whatsoever about what you did for your dog (Vizsla owner). A good dog will give you whatever its got to give, and deserves our best as well. Not every family can afford that type of vet bill, but my wife and I would sell stock to help any of the dogs we've owned over the years.

Yael Grauer
07-20-2007, 11:24 AM
they have bigger fish to go after who use the ER like their personal physician for fevers and other boo-boos.....

The insurance I'm going to have on Wednesday charges a hundred bucks for ER visits which is waived if you are admitted. lol.

I still think Allen should have a big half-day fundraiser with really cool workshops and a raffle for prizes from big corporate sponsors. We even got REI to kick down some stuff at a fundraiser I did, but that was a long time ago. Oh yeah, and then people could buy raffle tickets online.

Oh and Dave, I make no judgements on how much money people spend on their dogs, either. Except for the panhandlers who have like twelve dogs (more mouths to feed) or people who buy expensive sweaters for their dogs...

Billy_Brummel
07-20-2007, 11:47 AM
Allen,

My wife and I are going on a trip to Mexico City this summer with our church that we normally would not be able to go on.

We wrote a letter that went out to all our friends and family that basically said, "We'd love to go on this trip but we can't afford it. If you would be willing to help us out financially, we would love it. If not, we understand, but we would love to have you pray for us and the work of our trip."

Long story short, we were able to wrangle up $2500 so that we could fly down to Mexico City for a missions trip.

People will definitely suprise you sometimes with their generosity if you just ask. (Not that you need a life lesson from me here) Maybe in your letter you could ask for financial help and/or assistance in planning your event.

Allen Yeh
07-28-2007, 08:08 PM
Thank you everyone to your replies we really do appreciate it. As to what we will end up doing, the whole oxycontin thing with my wife really took over my life this week but I have a fews ideas floating around in my head.