Fundraising Advice: The Importance of Sharing Stories


As Fundraising and Event Ambassadors for Team LIVESTRONG, we constantly emphasize to our fundraisers the importance of sharing their story. After all, when people give to LIVESTRONG, they are really giving to people. Donors are giving to help people affected by cancer who need our support and services. They are giving in memory of someone they lost or in honor of someone who is fighting cancer now. They are giving to their friend, coworker, neighbor, or loved one who is participating in a ride or run or tri to support them.

As an event participant, the easiest way for you to gather that support
and appeal to your donors
is by sharing your story of
why you joined Team LIVESTRONG and why you want to fight cancer.

whyHowever, what we hear all the time is something along the lines of “I don’t have a good story,” or “I don’t really know anyone who has been affected by cancer.” First of all, it is wonderful if you haven’t been deeply affected by this terrible disease, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a powerful solider in the fight against it. And this disease has affected you because it threatens us all as members of the human race. Cancer has hurt each of us in someway, and you don’t need to necessarily tell your personal connection to tell a powerful story about why you want to end it.

You can share Lydia’s story, an amazing cancer survivor who has been helped by the LIVESTRONG community and who is using her blog to express herself throughout her cancer journey. You can tell Phil’s story or Liz’s story, Team LIVESTRONG participants and cancer survivors who don’t let their disease keep them from “living strong” every day. You can tell stories about families that have been helped by Camp Kesem, survivors who have gotten back on their feet because they used the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, and new mothers who didn’t think they would be able to have kids because of their cancer.

Just check out the “Inspiration” tab in the LIVESTRONG Blog and you can see hundreds of stories from all different kinds of people who have been affected by cancer in different ways. I would encourage you to find one that speaks to you, and share it with your donors. Make your donation ask less about the money and more about the face of that person that your donor can help.

Not only will people be moved to give or get involved because of the story you tell, but it can also be extremely therapeutic for you to reflect and share. We hear from participants all the time that it was writing out their story or talking to people about why they are participating that made their event so meaningful, or helped them cope with a loss, or helped them find purpose in their training.

As one of our Chicago Marathon participants Ryan said before his race, “To me, LIVESTRONG means building a community. A community that believes speaking out about cancer is imperative. If we let cancer pick us off in silence, without screaming as it takes the people we love, without protesting at the top of our lungs as more and more of us are affected, nothing will change.”

Let’s start screaming OUR story from the top of our lungs, as Team LIVESTRONG and as a community standing together against this disease. Let’s keep talking and keep focusing on the people who need our help so that one day, our story can be one of victory against cancer.

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