Any professional fundraiser will tell you that you should utilize social media channels in your efforts, but let’s not forget about the power of an email. And people in public relations, like myself, will tell you that a story is more powerful that straight facts.
On Sunday, March 16, I emailed about 25 family members and friends. I told them the story of Riley and how much she and her family have impacted my life. I knew when I started working here that I would fall in love with the mission, but I was worried that I wouldn’t have as much patient interaction as I did when I worked as a writer for a health care system in Florida – where I interviewed probably four patients a week, managed photo shoots with them, and even nominated one for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I developed such positive relationships with these people – without crossing any boundaries of course (I declined their Facebook friend requests and kept all my social media channels totally private back then). Here, my role is different but fortunately I still get to meet some amazing patients and their families.
Riley’s story might be sad to some, but to me, it’s inspiring and hopeful. Apparently I made a few people cry, but that wasn’t my goal. I wanted everyone to understand WHY I’m running 3.1 miserable miles on April 19. I wanted everyone to understand WHY it costs money for me to have the privilege of running for Dana-Farber. I also wanted everyone to understand that I’m not asking for money – I’m encouraging you to donate to Dana-Farber in honor of my run next month.
Every hour that ticked by on Sunday after I sent the email made me nervous – no donations were coming in. But by early evening, they started to trickle in. By lunchtime on Monday, I met my $500 goal. I’m now at $620 and decided to raise my goal to $750. I’m confident I can hit it because there’s almost a month left.