Advice from the Pros
Pro Tip: Put your passion to use for PD! "After my best friend was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 33, I knew I had to do something to raise funds to help end Parkinson's. With the PD Smokeout (a barbecue competition), we are not only raising funds, we are also spreading awareness in our community and shedding light on what Parkinson's really is and how devastating it can be. You can do it too, by taking your passion and putting it to use for PD." PDF Champion Robert Morphew of Evansville, IN, knows you can have fun raising funds, so he uses his passion and business expertise for the cause.
Donate, host a fundraising event or attend one in your community. Let others know about our urgency for finding new treatments and a cure.
Here are a few tips:
- Get Back to Basics
- Get Creative
- Challenge Your Student Body
- Be Sporty
- Use Business to Benefit the Cause
For many people, “fundraising” sounds intimidating. Yet, there are simple ways to bring your community together in a positive way to benefit Parkinson’s research.
And remember, every single donation makes a difference. In fact, last year supporters of PDF raised nearly $200,000, but most of the gifts making up this total were $25 and under.
What You Can Do
What are you passionate about? Sports? Art? Food? Take that passion and turn it into a PD fundraiser.
In recent years, PDF Champions have hosted pizza parties, sold potholders, played softball tournaments, run multi-day four-wheeling adventures and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! Here are some tips to help you get started, most of which come from these PDF Champions themselves.
Most importantly, do not feel limited by this list. If you have an idea, go with it!
- Put together a community fundraising walk.
- Have a neighborhood lemonade stand or a bake sale each Saturday during April.
- Host a Helping Hours with PDF! These signature events invite guests to enjoy a post-work cocktail with a small donation to PDF (ranging anywhere from $10 to $125). Contact our team for help finding a venue with happy hour specials and businesses that can donate raffle prizes.
- Gather your musical friends and host a concert. Find a venue or simply use your home or a community center.
- Are you an artist or a jewelry maker? Display your artwork at a library, community center, gallery or restaurant. Sell one or two pieces for a profit or charge for admission.
- Sell pieces of pottery or even small crafts, at local art fairs.
- Host a bake sale during lunch hour.
- Organize a car wash on campus.
- Does your sorority/fraternity have a service requirement? Use it to raise funds for Parkinson’s.
- Run a race, whether it be a 5k or a marathon (if you run for PDF, contact us for a racing jersey!).
- Organize a golf outing.
- Are you adventurous? Climb a mountain, swim across a lake, or cycle a certain distance. In the meantime, keep your supporters apprised of your progress.
- Shop PDF’s Online Store at www.pdf.org/shop.
- Dress Casual at Work! Employees can dress down or wear jeans in exchange for a $5.00 donation to PDF. PDF will provide “Join the Parkinson's Fight” stickers to all employees who participate.
- Own your own business? Find a way to give a portion of the proceeds to a Parkinson’s organization (if you do this for PDF, please let us know in advance).
How To Do It
Your ultimate goal is to raise funds for research, so keep in mind the things you will need to ask for donations. But also remember that asking for support does not always involve money. Your network of friends and family may prefer to “give” in their own unique way. Here are some tips:
- Share your story. Why Parkinson’s? How has the disease affected your life? Let supporters know your personal reasons for fundraising through a webpage, social media or a letter, so they understand why the cause is so important.
- Show potential donors that you are working with a reputable charity. Be sure to share information about PDF (either a general brochure or our website) and let supporters know our status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
- Inquire about gifts-in-kind such as space to hold your event or items from local businesses that can be used as raffle items. This type of support can drastically cut costs, which will allow you to raise more funds.
- Seek support from PDF or the organization you are supporting. If you sign up as a PDF Champion, our team promotes your event on our website and social media channels and even helps you to get media coverage. We can also provide signage, t-shirts and wristbands (limited quantities) for your event.
- Ask for support online. Some friends may not have financial resources, but may be willing to help by simply sharing information about your event on social media. Post an image or link to your event, and ask your followers to repost.
Once you pick your fundraiser, keep these important items in mind.
- The Basics: Who/what/when/where/how will your event take place?
- Fundraising: Set a goal. Set up a personalized webpage (available through PDF and other organizations) or have official donation envelopes on hand. Note that your donors may expect tax-deductible letters and proof of our 501(c)(3) status.
- Budgeting: Estimate any potential costs to hold your event, such as venue, printing costs, food and beverages.
- Promotion: Think through your promotional strategy whether simply word of mouth, posting an event on social media, flyers, invitations, posters, etc. Ask businesses for donations in return for publicity. Ask a local paper to attend and ensure friends and family take photos.
- Event Day: Will you need volunteers to help planning or setting up? Do you need supplies or a registration area?
- Post Event: Say thank you! Update supporters on the success of your event and invite them to attend next year.
If you are fundraising for PDF and would like detailed assistance on any of these, contact PDF Champions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dawn Judson and her company Bikini Offroad host an annual "Shake, Rattle and Crawl" off-roading vehicle event at Hidden Falls Adventure Park in Marble Falls, TX, each April that has helped raise more than $16,000 for PDF.
Nancy Redkey and the Mid-Hudson Parkinson’s Support Group host a three-mile Walk Over Water each April in Poughkeepsie, NY, that has helped to raise more than $80,000 since inception.
Teresa Riffle hosts an annual Walk for a Cure in Circleville, OH, each April in memory of her late father and father-in-law who lived with Parkinson’s.