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Online Resources Make Fund-raising a Breeze

As part of his bar mitzvah celebration, 13-year-old Alan Eidelman chose the Gifts for a Cure gift registry to honor the memory of his aunt, Sandra Perez Milgrom.

It's as simple as "point" and "click." More people than ever before are turning to their computers to advertise events, sign up to volunteer and make donations to the CF Foundation. Whether it's for a gala, a golf outing, or GREAT STRIDES, chapters nationwide are using online resources to make their events a success.

"A key tool for fund-raising is our chapter Web site," said Ann Palmer, senior vice president of field management. "The sites provide easy, accessible ways for busy people in our fast-paced world to take part in and support our mission."

The North Carolina Chapter - Charlotte Office used its site to advertise the Guys & Dolls Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction event, in which 30 young professionals promoted themselves along with exciting auction packages such as an aerial tour of Charlotte and a Vegas vacation to the highest bidders. On the site, guests could register for the event, make donations and survey the event photo gallery after the auction. As a result, they raised $46,000 online.  Event Co-chair Korrie Dibble noted, "Our bachelors and bachelorettes are so accustomed to transacting business online. This demographic found it second nature to use the site for writing solicitation letters and making donations."

For a couple of years now, GREAT STRIDES teams have been encouraging their members to post individual pages, complete with personal photos and messages that urge potential donors to back their walk efforts. In his online message to friends and business colleagues, Grandpa G's Team Leader John Golden, from the Greater Illinois Chapter, simply acknowledged that while we are frequently solicited by well-deserving charities, his 2 ½-year-old granddaughter Marie had CF, Marie's parents were participating in a GREAT STRIDES walk, and any small amount would be greatly appreciated.  His modest request paid off: Team Grandpa G's raised nearly $2,000 in five days.      

The Foundation's most recent donation option in the arsenal of online tools is its Gift for a Cure gift registry, an innovative way for people to celebrate special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays or even marathons, and help people with CF. As part of his bar mitzvah celebration, 13-year-old Alan Eidelman chose the Foundation as his "tzedakah," or charitable project, and invited guests to use the gift registry as a way to honor his Aunt Sandra Perez Milgrom, who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 12.

In a note enclosed with his invitation, Alan noted, "On October 21, the day after my bar mitzvah, my Aunt Sandra would have turned 36... It would be an honor if you could help me raise money for this cause in memory of Sandra's life." Alan reached his fund-raising goal, donating $3,636 to the Foundation.  "I'm proud of helping out my community and all the kids who have this terrible disease."

With a little creative thinking, chapters can find more new and innovative ways to boost the fund-raising power of their events online. One thing is clear: online fund-raising is here to stay and making a real difference.