Why do you fundraise?

Last week I attended the third ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ event in London and listened to 19 fundraisers each speaking for 7 minutes about the fundraising idea they wished they had thought of.

If you missed it, you can check out a storify of the event to get a taste here.

As you would expect from a collective of passionate fundraisers, we heard about beating targets and seizing opportunities. There were tears as we listened spellbound to beautifully told personal stories. There was also a good healthy dose of swearing.

One thing that didn’t resonate strongly enough for me was the difference each of the fundraising campaigns made. What was the impact? I only recall one specific reference to the difference made, that because of the £8million raised through #nomakeupselfie, CRUK can now fund an additional 10 clinical trials.


And whilst that is excellent news, what do those 10 clinical trials actually mean?

Is it hope for thousands of people whose lives are affected by cancer that they might get to spend more time with people they love? Is it that Ben’s mum gets to see her son blow out the candles on his 5th birthday cake, or that Sarah’s dad can walk her down the aisle or that Joan gets to hold her first granddaughter Evie?

Isn’t that the point?

We fundraise, and we raise as much as we possibly can in order that we can achieve our mission, to help more people, or animals or the environment. The money we raise, and the reason we raise it are essentially about the same thing. If we focus on the fundraising mechanism without truly connecting to why it is so vitally important to raise the money, if we do not show the difference our fundraising can make, something within our fundraising is lost. For us, for our supporters and for the causes we exist to help.

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