10 Fundraising Ideas for Cancer Patients
CaringBridge Staff | 10.21.21
It’s no secret that the medical costs for cancer treatment can quickly pile up. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, know that you are not alone when it comes to financial concerns. Seeking support from your friends, family, community and caregivers through fundraising is a perfectly viable option for helping with those costs.
Asking for financial support from others can feel intimidating and overwhelming, but have no fear. We created a list of our top fundraising ideas for cancer patients that are both uplifting and effective. Keep reading to learn more:
1. Start a GoFundMe Site
GoFundMe is the trusted leader in online medical fundraising. GoFundMe campaigns are often set up by family, friends or caregivers and can cover everything from medical costs and necessary travel to family support measures and special events.
It’s a secure platform that is easy to personalize and share with your community. Accepting and receiving funds is also simple. CaringBridge partners with GoFundMe to help authors seamlessly create personal fundraisers through their CaringBridge site and mobilize financial support.
2. T-Shirt Fundraiser
Consider running a t-shirt fundraiser within your local community, school district, or neighborhood. T-shirts can be sold by door-knocking, attending events, posting on social media, or via word of mouth. Design your t-shirts to carry an uplifting message and to spread awareness about the specific diagnosis.
To alleviate the stress of organizing an entire t-shirt fundraiser, work with a t-shirt fundraising company to ensure that everyone receives a shirt, and that your money goes towards the right cause.
3. Community Concert
Community concerts are a great way to not only raise money, but to also raise awareness for your cause. Book a venue and work with local artists and musicians to put on a show for the community. Any profits that are made from the concert can go towards the patient’s treatments. Ideally, a venue may offer to donate their space for the cause, but be prepared for any outcome.
4. Luminary Ceremony
Luminary ceremonies are beautiful ways to raise money while also connecting neighborhoods full of people for a night full of light and love. Luminaries are small lanterns, typically made by placing a small candle in a paper bag. These ceremonies don’t have to be grand — Arrange a night (ideally without rain!) where the luminaries are placed and lit along the sidewalks for everyone to see.
To make the event even more thoughtful, you may encourage people to write the names of loved ones on luminaries they know who have survived or are currently battling cancer.
5. Flower Fundraiser
Whether it’s selling flower bulbs or flower bouquets, flowers are a perfect way to lift spirits and spread love while also raising funds for a cause. Visit online flower fundraising sites to choose flowers that represent the type of cancer that was diagnosed. One of the best advantages of flower fundraisers is that they can either be done in person, or completely online.
Do you live near an active, supportive community? Walkathons are a great way to get others involved, while also getting some steps in for the day. The main components for a successful walkathon are a set date, time, and course. Combine your fundraisers by creating a t-shirt fundraiser for the walkathon event.
7. Community Movie Night
Community movie nights are similar to benefit concerts, they’re a perfect way to involve the community and raise awareness for a cause! Similar to a community concert, rent a local venue and choose a date and time for a movie showing. A movie night is another spot to raise some extra money by selling t-shirts, flowers, and other goodies.
8. Sell Homemade Items
Bake sales, handmade jewelry, photography prints, you know name it. Selling homemade items is a low cost way to raise money for cancer treatments. Remember that you don’t have to make these homemade items yourself! If you have a friend or family member who has a special talent, consider working with them to showcase and sell their work to raise money.
9. Community BBQ or Potluck
Hosting a community BBQ is an affordable way to bring the local neighborhood together and fundraise for a cause. Oftentimes it’s possible to find sponsors or donors to provide food and drinks. Set a specific date and time, and sell tickets for entry. There may be an opportunity to share a few words at the BBQ about the meaning behind the event, and what the money is going towards.
10. Start a Prayer Chain
If you believe in prayer, consider starting a prayer chain with family and friends. While this is not a method for raising money for cancer, it is one method some choose to spread awareness about a cancer diagnosis while encouraging others to support in any way they can.
How to Get Financial Aid for Medical Bills
Before planning fundraisers on your own, there are often ways to seek out financial aid and general support through insurance providers, hospitals, and cancer centers:
Speak With Insurance Representatives
If you have health insurance, consider checking in with your representative to see how much of your bills are being covered. If a bill hasn’t been paid by an insurance provider, contact your insurer to make sure it is paid for.
If you don’t have health insurance but want to learn more, remember to do your research before choosing a company. There are many insurance companies that have high quality cancer insurance, and are made with your health and wellbeing in mind.
“Communicate with your insurance on precertifications, claims and payments. Some insurances have reps to help guide you with your cancer care. Check with your cancer center for financial assistance programs, including organizations that offer help. We found there are a lot of good, caring people in this world who will reach out to you.”Anonymous
Check in With Your Doctor
Doctors are a great resource for simply checking in about financial concerns. Oftentimes your doctor may be able to help you find opportunities for financial support. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be able to qualify to be in a trial, or get your treatment paid for through a manufacturer. Remember that doctors are there to help, and that you are not alone in this journey.
“Talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about getting your medicine paid for through the Manufacturer. Or, ask your doctor if you qualify to be in a trial.”Anonymous
Cancer Center Support
While cancer centers may not be able to cover all of the costs associated with a cancer diagnosis, they are able to alleviate some of the stress that comes with finding support. For example, the American Cancer Society offers curated advice for managing payment options, and connects patients with various support programs and services in local areas. Using these resources is a great way to find information and people who can help manage and cover some of the cancer treatment costs.
“Utilize the American Cancer Society and the resources and find an advocate you can trust in.”Anonymous
What Fundraising Ideas Have Helped You?
We want to hear from you! Whether it’s you or a loved one battling cancer, what fundraising ideas have you used to raise money for cancer treatments?
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