Doing Good Together

Charity Fundraising Tip: Stay Sensitive

When fundraising for disease awareness, it’s important to be sensitive to the needs of your beneficiaries. Sometimes, you may get so carried away sticking to a particular theme that you end up with event details that your benefactors/beneficiaries may find distasteful. Andrea Torres, reporter, relates this consideration to the Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

During breast cancer awareness month, plenty of pink is expected on nightclub invitations featuring sexy women for the 20-something crowd. Event organizers will be hosting parties after marathons and 5-K events for healthy young professionals. There will be fundraising dinners and elegant galas galore.

Some will host dinner parties for the breast cancer survivors in their families. Others will host reunions. If survivors and patients are expected at any of these events, there are some sensitivities that hosts may want to consider.

Gathering the insights of breast cancer survivors and fighters, Torres enumerated some recommendations to keep events in check and preserve their sensitivity to the people they will benefit. For instance, you should do away with anything that could be potentially inappropriate, like cakes, party décor, or favors shaped like body parts, since some may find this offensive to their body image or femininity. Remember that there’s a time and a place to be silly, but your charity fundraiser is probably not it.

If you’re planning an upcoming charity fundraising event for the health awareness themes in November, you also need to be sensitive to your benefactors/beneficiaries for a positive event outcome. In addition to avoiding things that people with the disorder or their relatives may find offensive, you can also come up with ideas that they will truly appreciate. Here are some of the things we celebrate in November and some suggestions for your events or auctions:

National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

You may choose to sell diaries that people can use to journal their unique experiences, so that, in the future, they can look back and revel in their most precious memories. The proceeds can benefit programs for Alzheimer’s patients, such as reminiscence therapies.

Since this observance coincides with National Family Caregivers Month, why not auction tickets to a spa getaway or a vacation to benefit family caregivers of Dementia patients? Generous individuals can bid for and award the prize to a chosen caregiver.

American Diabetes Month

Put together the best recipes for diabetics and sell them online through our eBay Giving Works platform. You can also come up with other ideas on fundraising for charity, such as auctioning lifetime memberships to a local health club, or any other campaign to fuel diabetes research.

(Source: Breast cancer survivors' sensitivity tips for October awareness fundraisers,, September 29, 2014)