Online Cancer Fundraising Campaigns





Following are two more examples of how social media is being used very creatively to raise money for a cause:

Blame Drew’s Cancer Fundraising Campaign

Fall 2009: Twitterer Drew Olanoff, who is currently being treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma, has started a social media fundraising effort for Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong campaign. How it all started: When Olanoff realized that he was blaming everything that went wrong in his life on his cancer, he encouraged his friends to also blame their problems on his cancer and make it known via Twitter by attaching #BlameDrewsCancer to their tweets. From there #BlameDrewsCancer grew into a huge movement.

Drew’s Twitter name is simply @drew. With short Twitter names being highly sought after, Olanoff saw an opportunity to raise money and decided to auction off his Twitter name for a minimum of $10,000. The auction is running until November 9th, 2009 and will take place on Twitter using the merit system: anyone can place their bid on the @drew Twitter name using the #drewbid hashtag. All money will go to the LiveStrong foundation.

Shortly after the auction started, The Price is Right host Drew Carey placed a bid for $25,000. He then promised that he would pay $100,000 if his current account, @drewfromTV, exceeds 100,000 followers by November 9th, 2009. Since then, Carey has raised his offer even more to donate up to $1 million to the LiveStrong campaign if he can reach 1 million followers by year end!

Beat Cancer Everywhere Fundraising Campaign

Fall 2009: The Beat Cancer social media fundraising campaign experiment was launched (and completed) within a 24 hour period. From Friday, October 16th at 9 am (PDT) and lasting until Saturday, October 17th at 9am (PDT) people all over the internet were asked to send tweets, Facebook status updates and blog posts including the #BeatCancer hashtag. Besides raising money for charity, the goal was also to set a Guinness World Record.

Sponsors to this campaign are eBay and Miller Coors. According to Radian6, the official online monitoring company, the phrase #BeatCancer did set a Guinness World record with a total of 209,771 mentions on Twitter, Facebook and blog posts within a 24 hour period. This translates into an estimated number of impressions (during this 24-hour period) at over 100 Million! Total proceeds for this campaign so far are about $70,000, which will be donated to non-profit cancer organizations SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer), Alex’s Lemonade, Bright Pink, and Spirit Jump. (All are 501 (c)(3) organizations and accredited by The American Cancer Society.) The official site for this campaign is at BeatCancerEverywhere.

What can we take away from this?The possibilities for raising funds on the internet are endless! But we’re still in the beginning stages of figuring out what will actually work well. Adding a creative aspect to your campaign seems to be key for getting noticed and partnering up with another person or group will also help greatly.

Obviously having the support from celebrities or large companies doesn’t hurt, but even without a celebrity or large corporate support a worthy cause can raise substantial money through social media channels on the web. Case in point EpicChange’s Twitter fundraiser. (Read about more online fundraising campaigns here.)

Do you have an idea for a social media fundraising campaign? Or have you already tried one? Let us know in the comment section below.



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  1. Posted by 2009 Recap: New Challenges, New Ways To Raise Funds | Fundraising Ideas 23rd December, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    […] way; with Twitter and Facebook being the most popular social media sites this year. (Read about @blamedrewscancer, #BeatCancer, and the latest campaign to raise awareness and funds for the global clean water crisis, a climb up […]

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