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Putting Wind in the Movement’s Sails

  • July 23 2013

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    Putting Wind in the Movement’s Sails

    Advocate Leslie Richter shares how she supports the movement to double lung cancer survival through Community Fundraising. To find out how you can organize a fundraiser of your own, visit our Community Fundraising page, where you’ll find everything you need to get started!

    You organized a very creative fundraiser; tell us about it!

    The Robert Moore Memorial Regatta was held on February 16, 2013 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, CA.

    Over 120 boats participated—that's more than 500 people. We provided trophies, hosted a guest speaker and a band. We also designed and sold event t-shirts and beer glasses.

    Overall, we raised about $25,000, with all proceeds going to the National Lung Cancer Partnership.

    What inspired you to fundraise for the movement to double lung cancer survival?

    The Regatta honored my late husband, Rob Moore, who died of lung cancer at the age of 58 one year earlier. He was a much loved and respected member of the San Francisco Bay sailing community—as a journalist and as a sailor.

    In the weeks before his death, we discussed endowing a new regatta in his memory; a fun yet competitive race that would continue his support of the sport he loved. I envisioned it as a fundraiser for lung cancer since the local sailing community has shown a great ability to support similar, highly successful events.

    As you organized your event, why did you choose to fundraise for the National Lung Cancer Partnership?

    From the moment of Rob's diagnosis, I was his advocate. As a former researcher I was up to the challenge of learning everything I could about lung cancer, and treatment options. That work led me to the National Lung Cancer Partnership, and their Advocacy Summit, where I gained invaluable information on lung cancer biology, treatment options, and the need for awareness and funding.

    The Partnership impressed me for many reasons: It's well-managed; the board and advisory board comprise an accomplished group of people from the medical and patient community; it has a national reach; they provide substantial funding to lung cancer research; and they have a tremendous awareness and outreach program, with tools and information for patients, family, caregivers, and physicians. The Partnership is also highly rated by GuideStar.

    How do your fundraising efforts make a difference in the movement to double lung cancer survival?

    The money we raised—$25,000—can fund one researcher for six months. That’s half a year of critical research that’s giving patients and their families new options for lifesaving treatment and care.Robert Moore Memorial Regatta

    Why should others join your efforts and fundraise in their own communities?

    It’s not just about fundraising—it’s about raising awareness. Grassroots fundraising can tap into new sources of funding—you never know who has been touched in some way by lung cancer, and it’s astonishing how much people will help when they’re asked. Look at your community and seek out new opportunities that have the potential to target the giving community in a new and compelling way.

    What are some lessons you learned from your fundraiser?

    Start early and put together a solid team!

    Understand your expenses and revenues. The goal is to raise money, not fund a big party.

    Define your target sponsors and use all your networking skills to connect with them. We prepared a sponsor packet that listed sponsorship levels and marketing opportunities—that made asking for support easy

    ASK!  If you don't ask, you don't get donations. I usually don't like asking people for money, but it's easier when it's a cause and organization you are committed to.

    You can organize your own fundraiser to help double lung cancer survival! Visit our Community Fundraising page to get started.

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