Creating A Fundraiser for Fibromyalgia Awareness

So you’d like to raise awareness about fibromyalgia in your community and raise some money for the NFA in the process. How do you go about putting on a fundraiser in the name of the National Fibromyalgia Association? We have some pointers, guidelines and ideas that can help you make it a success.

FIRST Submit the NFA’s External Fundraising Event Application Form and get the organization’s approval before you distribute any promotional materials that bear the NFA’s name or logos.

What is your event? Are you walking, holding a rally, a fashion show, giving an educational lecture, or something else? Think about what you are passionate about and how you can use your talents to create a fun event that makes a huge impact on your community.

Why are you doing this? What is your main objective? Your event may be focused on getting information out to the community to raise awareness. It may be focused on fundraising. Or it could be a combination of both.

Where will you be holding your event? Things to consider for a walk/run: access to restrooms; distance/difficulty of the course; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility; places you want to visit, such as city hall, a FM treatment clinic, or a support group headquarters; areas you want to walk by, such as a river, or historically significant location. Once you have an idea of where you want to walk, then make a plan to talk to your local community center and parks and recreation department to see about permits or street use requests.

For other types of events, consider the number of people you expect to attend and seek out venues such as community centers or event centers that offer special discounted rates to nonprofit organizations that will accommodate the size of your crowd. Will the venue handle refreshments, such as water, coffee and tea if you decide to offer them to your guests? Do they have special equipment to project your presentation on a big screen if you need it? These are just a few examples of the many things that must be considered when planning an event.

We also strongly suggest you read this very informative booklet written by Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California called “Sound Advice for Functions & Events” for some very important points to consider concerning planning, safety and incident response.

Who will be coming? Who will receive special invitations? It is great to get your community together to share information and raise money. Are there more who could be involved? Ask yourself if there are support groups in your area you can invite? Are there doctors around who would like to participate? Make a list of the groups you want to invite and maybe even collaborate with for your event. Now is the time to get as many people to help as possible. This is also a good way to start estimating how many people may come. Also think of who might be willing to sponsor your event. Many doctor’s offices, for instance, would consider paying $100 or more to have their name on promotional items. This could be a great way to pay for banners, flyers, and T-shirts before the start of the event.

When will you have your event? It may be a good idea to choose a few dates that work for the majority of your community. If you plan to talk to a lawmaker, you’ll want to contact their staff long before to identify their schedule around May12th for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

How will you organize and fund this event? Make a list of the resources you have. Many people will help when given a specific task.

Here is the link to our CrowdRise page to begin fundraising:

This is a great way to raise money for the NFA. Start by creating a fundraiser on CrowdRise, and then talk to your community to join under your effort. Simply click on the purple button that says “Fundraise for this Charity,” then click “Start a New Fundraiser,” and then follow the instructions from there. CrowdRise offers a host of tips and resources that will guide you through sending effective emails to your friends and family asking for donations to posting compelling messages on social media to get people to join your fundraising team.

Another idea that has worked for the NFA in the past: if you want to print T-shirts for your event, you can cover this cost in the form of a registration fee from each participant.

Remember to ask for help, delegate, and pace yourself. It is easy to get overwhelmed, which can result in a flare up, anxiety attack, or worse. Your health is important. And breathe. This event can be as big or small as you like.

Thank you again for all you do for fibromyalgia awareness. We appreciate you.