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How a Campaign Works:

A Campaign is simply an organized way to achieve your goals. STF believes that the best source of donations for a patient are found within that patient’s own network—friends, family, co-workers, etc. Many patients find it difficult to solicit donations on their own behalf, especially when stricken with a life threatening disease. A well-organized campaign will allow you to distribute the fundraising burden among those who love you and are willing to devote time to helping you get the treatment you need. This Guide will give you some tips and ideas for organizing your campaign so that your can have consistent success in your efforts.

Starting Your Campaign

Having an organized, dedicated  campaign is crucial to meeting your financial goals. Experience has shown that a patient’s friends, family, and members of their community are the best potential donors because they have the biggest stake in the outcome of your treatment. They care about you and want you to get well. A successful campaign will transform that desire for your well being into actual donations that will help you meet your goals. Here are some steps you should follow in organizing your campaign: .

1)   Set Up Your STF Profile Page

Email mmanning@settingthemfree.org.   Send Your Story to raise awareness on Social Media.  Then share your profile page  with friends and family, and ask for donations. (The profile page is usually up and going within 24 hours)

Donors like to know why they should  contribute to your campaign and support your mission. The profile page will serve as one of your primary vehicles for driving donations to your campaign. 

2)   Choose a Campaign Chairperson

The Campaign Chairperson is someone appointed by the patient to correspond with STF, manage volunteers, and coordinate activities. The campaign chair- person should be someone close to you (the patient) who has the time and organizational skills to devote to raising funds so that you can focus on getting well. 
STF recommends AGAINST the patient serving as his or her own campaign chairperson. The purpose of having a campaign chairperson is to take the fundraising stress off you and allow you to focus on getting well. However, the campaign chairperson should report to you regularly and get your feedback on activities.

Volunteers are the key to any successful campaign. You should identify and recruit volunteers within your own network of friends and family to conduct the campaign within your community and your volunteers’ community. Volunteers will perform such tasks as publicizing and staffing campaign events, soliciting donations from their community, and generally raising awareness about your treatment and progress. You should make a list of possible volunteers that can help you in your campaign. You may want to choose volunteers based on specific skills they may have which may be helpful in your campaign. .

3)   Set Goals.

Before starting your campaign, you should request cost estimates from your medical providers so that you can plan your campaign accordingly. Your goal should reflect the true cost of your care, including treatment, medications, travel, lodging, and any other miscellaneous expenses associated with your care. Before beginning your campaign, you should sit down with your campaign chairperson and determine what your treatment will cost.

4)  Help Ideas

Your campaign chairperson and committee should plan various activities to actually raise donations. STF will provide education and guidance to assist you in where to begin, but the success of your fundraising will depend on the organization and dedication of your campaign chairperson and volunteers. A successful fundraising activity might include anything from a silent auction to a benefit dinner. STF has experience in various activities and will provide you with ideas, but patients are always encouraged to think independently about activities that would be successful in their own communities. .

5)    Solicit Donations.

You may see soliciting direct donations as a rude imposition—don’t. Your best source of potential donors is those that care about you and have a vested interest in the success of your treatment. If they understand the seriousness of your situation, they will not be offended when you ask them to donate. Also, many individuals look for charitable giving opportunities throughout the year to offset their income for tax planning purposes. These individuals will be more eager to donate on your behalf than to a cause which is not as personal. You should emphasize that all donations made to STF (in the patient’s honor) are tax deductible and have a direct impact on patients.

6)   Publicize Your Event.

There are many ways to publicize your event. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) offers effective and free ways to get the word out about your event. You might also have access to community organizations (schools, churches, local community service organizations, etc.) that will provide ways to let people know about your activity. Depending on the event, you might want to publish flyers or hand out personalized invitations to potential donors. . 9)   Make Donating Easy. Some donors might not be able to attend your event, but still want to contribute. You can direct these donors to your personal profile page on the STF website or give them information about how to donate on your behalf. You might consider putting this information on any publicity materials (flyers, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you are using to spread the word about your event. . .

7)   Solicit Donations During the Event.

Once your activity has started, you now have a captive audience to explain the purpose of your campaign and goals. Your campaign chairperson should take a few moments to discuss the purpose of the event and your need, while thanking the donors for their attendance. Depending on your activity, this would also be a good time to request additional donations from your participants. .

8)  Post-Event Thank You’s.

After the activity is done, you and your campaign chairperson should take the time to send thank you  notes to all of your volunteers. Remember— without volunteers, a successful campaign is VERY difficult. A note of heartfelt thanks will help your volunteers feel appreciated and possibly encourage them to help you in subsequent activities. You may also want to send personalized thank you notes to specific donors. This is not necessary, but may encourage subsequent giving as well. .