Fundraising: It Takes a Village

After a recent diagnosis of Retinoblastoma and optical nerve cancer, Ayden’s extended family realized his parents could use financial help due to mounting health care costs, time off of work and travel expenses. Without extra help, Ayden’s father had to stay home while Ayden was away for treatment.

Ayden’s uncle, Adam, spearheaded fundraising efforts for the family, organizing a team of eight to ten core members who help with coordinating and coming up with ideas.

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The team has raised $6,000 through a variety of different fundraising efforts. Ayden’s uncle and parents began share their tips for fundraising success.

Don’t be afraid to ask. And, remember no event is too big or too small.

  • is a great way to involve friends and family, especially if they live far away.
  • Restaurants will often work with you to raise funds and awareness by:
    • Having you work at peak times busing or waiting on tables to raise tips or receive a portion of the proceeds
    • Letting you utilize their space for events or fundraising dinners
    • Displaying a donation box.
  • Sell raffle tickets.
    • Local businesses might be willing to help with donations and ticket sales.
    • They may even offer a prize for the winner!
  • Sell awareness wristbands and bracelets.
    • “Ayden’s Battle” sold bracelets to raise awareness and funds.
  • Cook a meal and ask for donations instead of putting a price tag on the food. Oftentimes, you will make more from donations than you would from pricing the meal.
  •  Call local event organizers and ask to be part of an upcoming event. They might donate a booth, advertising space or part of the proceeds.
  • Organize your own special event.
  • Create a store registry of items that are needed. This makes giving easy for donors who want to contribute products.
  • Collect change at convenience stores or other high-traffic businesses.
  • Before donations begin to come in, you’ll need to: Set up a business bank account.
    • Anyone can make a deposit to “Ayden’s Battle,” plus it provides a more credible way for businesses to donate.
  •  Set up a post office box to ensure all donations go to one location.
  •  It is important to keep everyone updated on your progress. Create a blog, Facebook page or other online site to keep people informed and to advertise events and fundraisers. Ayden’s family started the Facebook page “Ayden’s Battle” to communicate about his treatment and fundraising events.

Be sure to tell your story at each event or location. Your story will help boost donations and spread the word beyond family and friends.

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