Fundraise for Digestive Health
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead
If you or someone you know has a chronic digestive disorder, you are not alone. Millions of people of all ages know the profound effect a disorder like gastroparesis, IBS, reflux disease and other functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders can have on daily life – on social interactions, on work or school, on the loss of potential or opportunity.
General understanding of these complex medical conditions has markedly improved over the past 25 years. Yet, much remains to be done to ensure that those affected receive a prompt diagnosis and appropriate care. More clinical education and awareness about these disorders are needed, and science and research investments need to continue or increase so that more and better treatments are developed.
You can help.
You Can Make a Difference
You can start a fundraiser online. It’s easy to provide your friends and family with a way to support something that is important to you. Or, you can make a donation to one of the fundraisers listed below.
You can create your own fundraising webpage through Razoo or another fundraising platform. Then send the link to your contacts; let them know you’re raising money to help people suffering with a chronic digestive condition. Keep it simple, briefly tell your story and ask for support.
Then let us know so we can help you spread the word.
IFFGD is a nonprofit health education and research organization founded in 1991. By raising awareness, providing education, and supporting and encouraging research, IFFGD works to help every person with a chronic digestive disorder reach their health goals so they may live life to its fullest.
Suggested Steps for Fundraising:
(IFFGD is not liable for any fundraisers it does not put on itself. These are just suggestions, please make sure you are within the legal guidelines of a contract/agreement wherever you decide to host your fundraiser).
Purpose of Your Fundraising Event: Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Many charitable events have more than one goal. Figuring out the details for your charity event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.
Here are a few questions:
- Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals?
- Perhaps your organization may be hoping to raise money at the charity event, but the main function of the event is to gain publicity or reach out to a new network. Does this fit into a larger effort or campaign?
- Are you focused on a large crowd of friends who do not know much about your cause or a smaller group of familiar supporters and likely donors?
Fundraising Goal: In conjunction with the event host committee, organization staff, and key fundraisers, you must decide the amount of money you plan to raise at the event. If this is truly a fundraising event, everything in the event plan will be geared towards raising this specific amount of money. The amount you choose should be what you hope to net, that is, the amount you plan to raise after expenses are deducted. You should develop a goal based on the team members and tools available to you. Start with a humble goal and an aggressive plan. It is always better to adjust the goal higher than it is to lower it as the event moves closer.
Budget: Every fundraising event plan should contain a complete budget listing of all the expenses that will be required to hold the event. The cost of an in-person event can steadily increase as the number of attendees goes up. Hosting a virtual event can help keep food, space, and material costs from getting out of control and allows for a lower registration fee. Your budget should include staff, print materials, space rental, catering, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success. Your budget should also take into account your fundraising goal, ensuring that you raise an amount of funds above and beyond all expenses. Be sure to leave a little extra room in your budget for unforeseen costs.
- Location of the event:
- Types of food or drinks
- Type of entertainment (music, games, host)
- Attire for the event
- An itinerary for the event Do auction items need to be photographed in advance?
Leadership: As part of your fundraising efforts, your event will most likely have a “host committee” and one or more “host committee chairpersons.” These people are responsible for contributing substantial amounts to the event and encouraging other attendees to do the same. The host committee is composed of wealthy donors, leaders of local businesses, or local celebrities. The host committee and chairpersons are not responsible for running the event but are integral to ensuring that you reach your guest and fundraising goals. The host committee helps with peer-to-peer fundraising and follow-up.
Target Audience for your Fundraising Event: Determine your target audience and decide who will be invited to this event. Who is the target attendee for your event? Is this a general fundraiser where everyone will be invited? Or is this event geared towards a specific group like the local businesses, parents, retirees, or young professionals? Question what type of event and elements are a good fit for the target attendees. While a black-tie gala looks nice in our heads, it can be hard to get the numbers you need for this kind of event. Develop a list of fundraising ideas that work well with your audience and your organization. Some popular ideas are holding a virtual event, in-person event, silent auction, raffle, concert, performance, raffle tickets, games, text-a-thon, speakers, the list goes on and on.
Type of Fundraising event: Develop a list of fundraising ideas that work well with your audience, budget, and your organization. Some popular ideas are holding a virtual event, in-person event, silent auction, raffle, concert, performance, raffle tickets, games, text-a-thon, speakers, the list goes on and on.
Set-Up: Your event staff should plan the event set-up well in advance. The set-up for an in-person event includes but is not limited to:
- Location of the event
- Types of food or drinks
- Type of entertainment (music, games, host)
- Attire for the event
- An itinerary for the event
Virtual events have things to set up as well. Consider the following when planning your virtual event.
- Online service: What fundraising or streaming services do you plan to use?
- Do some supporters need special privileges on the day of the event?
- What graphics need to be prepared.
- Do auction items need to be photographed in advance?
Marketing: Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat registration fee, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be shipped or delivered, and who will be responsible for organizing the incoming information.
Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event. Traditional methods of “getting the word out” include:
- Using your non-profit’s network of friends and supporters
- mailed invitations
- direct mail
- phone banks
- word of mouth
- the event host committee.
Today, the most successful event marketing includes a Facebook page and peer-to-peer social media outreach by the host committee, staff, and volunteers in the networks they are active in, whether it be Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or by email. However you put the word out, try to do it multiple times leading up to the event. Get the word out early and follow up to find out if people plan to attend. It keeps your event efficient and reduces stress.
Sales: Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat registration fee, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be shipped or delivered, and who will be responsible for organizing the incoming information.
Practice the Fundraising Event: While you probably won’t need a full run-through of your event, it is essential that everyone who is working the event know, ahead of time, what their responsibilities are, where they should be during the event, and how the event is going to “flow.” If you are having a large or unusual event, the key event staff may want to have a practice run to make sure that your operation is running smoothly.
If you are hosting a virtual event, plan a dry run with the key people handling the equipment that will be used during the event. If you are using any special tools to auction items, count donations as they come in, or using a chat feature, you will need to have a few people participate as guests from multiple types of devices. If you run into any problems, document the solutions ahead of time and post a troubleshooting link for guests.
Thank You: One of the most often heard complaints from contributors and volunteers to charitable fundraising events is, “They never even said ‘thank you.’” Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff, and vendors. Keep your friends and donors happy… you are probably going to be asking them for another donation sometime down the road.
Download our fundraising checklist
Thank you to InItLive for your assistance with this checklist
Ways You Can Fundraise for IFFGD
Host an “A-Thon”
Walk-A-Thons, Bike-A-Thons, Bowl-A-Thons, Ski-A-Thons, and similar events are fun and popular pledge-based fundraising opportunities. You can ask participants to form teams, such as family or corporate teams. Encourage participants to collect pledges (either a flat dollar amount or per mile or score) and then get walking, biking, bowling, skiing, or whatever your “A-Thon” is!
Start a Letter-Writing Campaign
Share your story of how you have been impacted by a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) illness and why research to broaden our understanding of these conditions and develop new and better treatments and one day, cures, is important. Send these letters to your friends, family members, or co-workers with the request to support research by donating to IFFGD. You can even enlist your family members and friends to write their own letters supporting you to help expand outreach.
Launch a Fundraiser on Facebook
Did you know that you can raise money for a cause important to you on Facebook? Facebook makes it easy for you to set up a fundraiser, identify your goals, and promote to your social network.
Fundraise with Mighty Cause
Mighty Cause (formerly Razoo) is a free online fundraising platform that enables nonprofits and individuals to start fundraisers and share their causes with donors from around the world. Start a fundraiser on Mighty Cause and share the link on social media, with your friends and family, or on your corporate list serve.
Not sure where to start? Check out these active fundraisers from others working to support research through IFFGD.
Other Ways to Support IFFGD