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Relay for Life Fundraising:
The Ultimate Guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about fundraising for Relay for Life.

Plus tips for successful fundraising!

Chapters

“You believe in the cause, and you’re ready to dive into the fundraising process head-first.”

CHAPTER 1

Fundraise Smarter

You’re fundraising for Relay for Life because you’re passionate about raising money for the American Cancer Society and its research. You want to honor and remember those who lost their battle with cancer and support those who are still fighting. You believe in the cause, and you’re ready to dive into the fundraising process head-first.

We’re here to help. At Rada Mfg. Co. we believe in the Relay for Life cause, and we’ve seen the passion of the people involved. Each year we help over 18,000 fundraising groups raise money; many of these groups are Relay for Life teams from all over the country.

Our experience with helping fundraising groups since 1948 has given us a lot of knowledge on the topic – we know what goes into hosting a successful fundraiser, and we want to share those tips with you. This guide will feature tons of Relay for Life fundraising ideas, plus tips to make your fundraisers even more successful.

If you’re looking for even more information on hosting fundraisers and generating profit, you can check out our Ultimate Guide to Fundraising. It provides more details on the general fundraising process and offers other non-Relay-specific fundraising ideas.

In this Guide, You’ll Find

  • History of Relay for Life fundraising
  • Fundraising ideas
  • How Rada can help
  • Stages of a successful fundraiser
  • How to select a leader
  • How to calculate your profit
  • How to motivate your team members and supporters
  • How to promote your fundraiser

We want you to have the best fundraiser possible. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to pick a unique, fun, and successful fundraiser for your team. Your team deserves to reach its goals. So don’t spin your wheels – fundraise smarter. Dig in to this guide, get excited and start raising funds for this worthy cause!

”All kinds of people from all
different backgrounds take part
in Relay for Life fundraising.”

CHAPTER 2

Overview of Relay for Life Fundraising

Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk held in warm weather to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Teams of people camp out around a track in the community and members take turns walking around the track while food, games and entertainment are provided. All Relay for Life events feature a Survivors Lap, a Luminaria Ceremony to honor those who have fought cancer and continue to fight, and a Fight Back Ceremony.

All kinds of people from all different backgrounds take part in Relay for Life fundraising. We’ve worked with families, groups of friends, hospitals, pharmacies, health care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, banks, schools, churches, and businesses that have formed teams for Relay.

Most teams consist of 10-15 people, but can be any size. The rule of thumb for fundraising is that each person raises at least $100, but many teams fundraise as a group and turn in much more.

So how do they do it? There are tons of options for Relay for Life fundraising. If you’re looking for ideas for your team, you’ve come to the right place.

”See which kind of fundraiser will be
best for your team’s strengths.”

CHAPTER 3

Relay for Life Fundraising Options

Outdoor Fundraising Ideas

Bark for Life

Bark for Life events recognize how much our furry friends help us out during tough times. They can be organized as a pre- or post-Relay fundraiser or as a team fundraiser for the entire community. At the event, participants can donate to play doggie games, compete in dog dress-up contests, and see demonstrations by special dog guests like therapy, police and rescue dogs.

Garage Sale

If your team pools all the stuff the’’re willing to sell, you’ll have a large sale with a variety of items that will easily draw customers from around your community. Weekends are usually the most successful garage sale days.

The Purple Toilet

For $25 the Relay team will put a purple toilet on the yard of a person you pick. The “lucky” recipients can pay $15 to have it removed or pay $10 to have it placed on someone else’s yard. They can also purchase “Potty Protection Insurance” for $25, meaning the toilet can’t be sent back to them.

Bean Bag Tournament

Schedule a Saturday bean bag tournament in a public park or a store parking lot. Pre-register teams and create a single or double-elimination bracket. Charge an entry fee and have a local store donate a prize for the winning team. You can add to the fun (and funds) by having a food and beverage tent, a DJ, and a best uniform/team flag contest with a small entry fee.

Rose Bush Memorial

Buy rose bushes from a local nursery. They should cost around $16 a piece and you can sell them for $32 as a living memory for people who have been lost to cancer and those still battling. You can sell the rose bushes at the Relay event or before.

Purple Bows

Sell purple bows for a small donation to cover the community with bows. This is a great way to raise awareness of the upcoming Relay event as well as raise funds.

Freezin’ for a Reason

Write an article about what your group is working on for your city newsletter.

Promotion on own website

Teams hold a four person golf scramble in the winter where each team member gets one golf club to share and play 18 holes with one club.

Pump Gas

Ask a local gas station to support your team by letting you pump gas at self-serve pumps. Ask for free-will donations in exchange.

Food Fundraising Ideas

Restaurant Night

Work with local restaurants to dedicate one night each week where they donate a percentage of their sales to your Relay team’s fundraiser.

Double Your Dinner

If you work in an office with plenty of busy moms, this fundraiser is perfect for you. You can double the dinner you cook at home the night before and take half of it into work the next day to auction off via email.

Dinner is Done

Team prepares casseroles which can be pre-sold and picked up at a nearby school.

Combo Lunch/Bake/Craft Sale

Host a combo lunch fundraiser with a bake/craft sale at work. Charge $10 per plate. Ask your company to donate the lunch to the effort and have all employees bring bake and craft sale items to the cause. This means there’s virtually no cost for the fundraiser!

All You Can Eat Hotcakes

Everyone loves breakfast for dinner! How about all you can eat hotcakes? Some groups work with their local McDonald’s to provide a large community breakfast for dinner.

Spaghetti Dinner

Hold a karaoke dance and a spaghetti dinner to raise money for Relay.

Community Fundraising Ideas

Kiss a Pig

Get well-known people in your community to volunteer themselves to kiss a pig in public in exchange for donations toward Relay for Life. Make it a competition with multiple people involved. Whoever gets the most donations has to kiss the pig!

Pub Crawl

Contact local bars and see if you can do a fundraising crawl for Relay for Life. Negotiate with the bars for a certain amount of the proceeds to go toward Relay for Life if customers mention that they’re there to support the fundraiser.

Pumpkin Patch

Create your own pumpkin patch and sell pumpkins in your community around Halloween.

Turkey Raffle

Talk with local grocers to see if they will donate a turkey to be won by a lucky customer around Thanksgiving. The cashiers can ask for a dollar donation toward Relay for Life in order for the customers to be entered in the turkey raffle. Customers can leave their name and phone number so the store can call them if they’ve won the raffle.

Little Black Dress Night

Host an event where all women attending can wear a little black dress and create and sell tickets to the event.

Work Place Fundraising Ideas

Office Auction Hotline

Set up a special voicemail at work with weekly messages sharing auction items. Update the recorded message daily, announcing the highest bids to date. Each Friday, announce results for the week and the next week’s items. Ask co-workers to donate items or services to be auctioned.

Jeans on Monday

Everyone loves casual Friday, so offer your co-workers the chance to pay to wear jeans on Monday.

Cupcake Bar

Have a few people in your office bake cupcakes, and have others donate icing, sprinkles, candies and other toppings. Co-workers can pay to create their own cupcake. If you provide plenty of options, most people will buy two because they can’t choose between two great flavors!

Car Window Washing

This can be done at any business with a drive-up (bank, fast-food, pharmacy). Set up with towels, squeegees, buckets, access to water, and window-washing soap. Let the drivers know you’re accepting free-will donations for Relay for Life.

Waiting Room

If your company allows this, decorate your waiting room or sitting area with Relay themed colors and posters, and signs saying your company will match any donations made by customers. When customers are paying their bill, simply ask if they’d like to make a donation to Relay for Life.

Youth Fundraising Ideas

Paper Chains

Students can sell individual links to make a paper chain that can be hung in the classroom. The links can be sold in honor of or in memory of someone, or they can include information about The American Cancer Society’s work on them.

Pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny

Work with a local grocery store, Walmart, shopping center, or mall to get permission to set up a photo opportunity for pictures with Santa, the Easter Bunny or a Halloween character.

At Relay Fundraising Ideas

Lap Beads

Sell a piece of string and starter purple bead for $2-$3. Each time a participant walks a lap, they can take another bead from your table and add it to their necklace for free. White beads mark a mile. These necklaces become a sort of competition and souvenir for participants.

Balloon Pop

Team members collect prizes and donate their own goods or services as prizes. Before filling each balloon, put a note inside with the name of the prize. Then sell chances to pop a balloon!

Bowling Chance

A $1 donation gets you the chance to throw two toy bowling balls. If you get a strike, your name is entered into a drawing two times for a prize. A spare equals one entry into the prize pool.

Cakewalk

Have each team bring a cake to the opening ceremonies. Schedule the cakewalk at the peak time of Relay when several hundred people will be in attendance, and ask for a minimum donation of $5 to play.

Dunk Tanks, Inflatables, Climbing Walls

Use these activities as on-site fundraisers. Just make sure to check that the operator is properly licensed and insured, and that your facility will allow it. Create $2 tickets and sell them, charging one ticket per activity.

Root Beer Floats

Call them “Hope Floats” and sell them during Relay as a cool, refreshing break from walking.

General Store

Make yourself a resource for people who forgot something for their campsite. Have supplies like toothbrushes, toothpaste, extra socks, toilet paper, flashlights, bug spray, sunscreen and baby wipes for a donation.

Glow Gear

Sell glow sticks, necklaces, glow in the dark and light-up toys, reflective clothing and anything else you can find that glows in the dark. Once the sun sets, participants will be excited about joining the glow party.

Popsicles

SGet a local grocery store to donate Popsicles or other frozen treats and sell them at Relay for a suggested donation.

Miscellaneous Fundraising Ideas

Salon Tip-A-Thon

Salons conduct an ongoing Tip-A-Thon from mid-March up until the Relay, asking their clients to make donations.

Radio Station

Work with a local radio station to create an hour or more in which listeners pay for requests, with the money earned going toward Relay.

Zumba-Thon

Host a Zumbathon (2 hour Zumba party) at a gym or in a team member’s home. Charge a participation fee and explain that all the proceeds will go toward Relay for Life. Offer participants the opportunity to be “sponsored” by friends and family to dance for a certain amount of time.

Prescription Bottles

Challenge everyone you know to fill empty prescription bottles with change. Quarters in an average-sized bottle usually equals $12. The next smaller size holds about $9. Donate the money raised to your Relay team’s efforts.

Write Letters

It might seem old-fashioned, but sometimes the most influential fundraisers are the simple ones. Write letters to friends and family requesting donations. Explain in the letter why you “Relay” and make a personal connection.

Sell cookie dough, jewelry, TupperWare, Scentsy, candles, Rada Cutlery

Pick a catalog or home party fundraiser that fits your team and community and sell their products, putting your profits toward your Relay for Life team.


To find more fundraising ideas or to share your fundraiser ideas with other teams, visit Relay Nation.

With all these options for great fundraisers, it can be difficult to narrow down which fundraiser will be best for your team. Check out Chapter 8: Fundraiser Selection Considerations of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising, to help you make your decision. This chapter features a flow chart which asks you questions about each type of fundraiser, allowing you to make your way through the chart to see which kind of fundraiser will be best for your team’s strengths.

”Rada Mfg. Co. offers a fundraising program with a history of success since 1948.”

CHAPTER 4

How to Fundraise with Rada Cutlery Kitchen Products

If you’re looking for a simple fundraiser that can help your team raise a lot of funds without a ton of time and energy, then you’ve come to the right place. Rada Mfg. Co. offers a fundraising program with a history of success since 1948. Last year alone, Rada helped over 18,000 fundraising groups raise money for their causes. These groups made a 40 percent profit from their sales of Rada Cutlery and other kitchen products (all items 100% American Made).

Selling products from a catalog makes the fundraising process simple and organized, but selling the right product for your audience is crucial to your success. That’s where Rada comes in. Rada offers cutlery, utensils, gift sets, stoneware, cookbooks and delicious food Quick Mixes. These are products anyone can use and enjoy. The products are practical, but also make great gifts. They make sense at any time of the year. Plus, they have a reputation of quality.

If you’re interested in fundraising with Rada, keep reading to find out more about how the program works. If not, just skim past and you’ll find even more info about Relay for Life fundraising and get stellar tips for your next fundraiser.

Benefits of Selling Rada

We don’t want to brag, but the list goes on and on. We’ve condensed it down to the most important stuff, the stuff that’s really going to make the difference between an awesome fundraising experience and a not-so-awesome one.

So here goes:

  • All products are 100 percent USA-made.
  • We care about the environment and use recycled materials.
  • Our customer service is the bomb – seriously, call us at 1-800-311-9691 if you need anything!
  • Fast delivery – all products ship within two working days of receiving your order.
  • You receive a 40 percent profit from your sales.
  • If you sell over $1,000-worth of products, we’ll sort and package your orders for you.
  • Rada Cutlery is made from surgical-grade stainless steel. We don’t skimp on quality.
  • Rada products are a great value, which makes them easy to sell.
  • We offer an online fundraising option, which is perfect for distant friends and family.
  • When you work with Rada, you’re working directly with the manufacturer, so there is no middle-man to bump up the prices.
  • Kitchen products are extremely useful and practical and make busy lives easier.
  • This isn’t the same cookie dough fundraiser everyone has seen for the last 20 years – Rada offers unique fundraising products that everyone needs!
  • These products are perfect for parents, grand-parents, neighbors, friends, co-workers and anyone who needs to cook or loves to cook.

Fundraising Options

Once you’ve collected all your orders there are several convenient ways to submit them. You can give us your product orders via phone, mail, fax, or online. Whichever is easiest for you. It’s that simple. Learn more at www.radacutlery.com/fundraising/ordering.

Promotional Materials We Offer

Rada also has a huge selection of promotional materials you can order to help make your fundraiser a success. Whether you’re selling from stock at a school or church function or just handing out catalogs to friends and family, these materials can help. Rada offers posters, table runners, display boxes, t-shirts, a CD of product images and much more. Find the promotional materials you need on the Rada Cutlery web site. www.radacutlery.com/fundraising/selling#materials

Tales of Rada and Relay Success

So we’ve talked a lot about how awesome Rada is, but what you probably really need at this point is proof. Well, we’ve got that too. Just check out these quotes that were provided when requesting fundraising catalogs on our web site:

“I have sold Rada products for several years as a fundraiser for Relay for Life and have had nothing but compliments about your products. Thank you!”

– Relay for Life team in Wyoming

“We have sold Rada before and have had an awesome turnout and people have been requesting we sell it again. Thanks for such a great product.”

– Relay for Life team in Pennsylvania

“We had no problems selling these products because they sell themselves. Everyone can find something they want because there is such a wide selection and great quality.”

– 4-Ever Free Relay for Life team

“We used you as a fundraiser in the spring and had great success. Look forward to a great fall fundraiser. Thanks.”

– BRCC Relay for Life team

“I have owned several Rada knives for years and love them. Our church has a Relay for Life team and would like to use your products to help us raise money to fight cancer. Can you please send whatever we need to get started?”

– Dinuba First Baptist Church Relay for Life team

“Many on our team love your knives and know there are others out there who like them or will once they purchase one. We would like to use them for a fundraiser.”

– Market St. UMC Relay for Life team

“I have found this to be the best fundraising because of the quality of your products and the reliability.”

– Relay for Life team in Kentucky

“I think this would be a fantastic fundraiser for our organization. Something different from the normal. Thanks!”

– Relay for Life team in Missouri

“We ordered Rada knives last year and everyone enjoyed the knives. We got a lot of positive feedback. Hoping this year will be as good as last year.”

– Spirit of Life Relay for Life team

“Wonderful fundraiser, wonderful product!”

– Norwich Pharma Relay for Life team

“I am looking forward to another successful fundraiser. This is my third time using your company. Thank you so much.”

– Cross & Flames Relay for Life team

“I have had these since I got married 43 years ago, so I know people will be getting the last knives they ever need to buy. This should be an easy fundraiser. Thanks for producing a great product!!!!”

– Relay for Life team in Georgia

A Great Team

Rada and Relay for Life make a great team. We love providing a resource that helps teams exceed their fundraising goals.

If you’d like to fundraise with Rada, order a catalog today! Call 1-800-311-9691 or visit the Rada Cutlery web site to request a catalog. Learn more about the fundraising program at www.radacutlery.com/fundraising/ideas.

”No matter what fundraiser you choose, taking the time to go through each of these stages will be beneficial to the fundraiser.”

CHAPTER 5

Stages of the Fundraiser

It’s important to take steps toward success during each stage of the fundraising process, and to not skip or rush through any of the stages. We’ve identified the six stages involved in most fundraisers, along with a few tips for each stage. No matter what fundraiser you choose, taking the time to go through each of these stages will be beneficial to the fundraiser. Below, you can find overviews of each stage of the fundraising process. If you’d like even more information on each stage, follow the link at the end of each section to get a more in-depth explanation from our Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

Step 1: Selection

Are they creative and outgoing?

First, gather your team and discuss what kind of fundraiser you’d like to have. Consider your team’s strengths. Are they creative and outgoing? Think about hosting an event in the community. Are they good at organizing and selling? Maybe doing a catalog sales fundraiser would be good for your team.

Take time to weigh your options and consider what the community would be most excited about. Do they like attending events to support causes or would they be more excited about being able to choose what they receive for their donation to your cause? Find more information about the selection process at Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 1 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

Step 2: Goal Setting and Planning

Once you’ve selected a fundraiser, you can start the planning process. Create a detailed timeline for your fundraiser, with tasks for each team member or group of team members on it. Setting due dates for reaching out to contacts or setting up a venue will help keep team members on task and ensure you’re ready to start your fundraiser on schedule.

This is also a great time to set goals and KPIs. KPIs are Key Performance Indicators and they help you determine if your goals are being accomplished. If one of your goals is to raise awareness of Relay for Life in your community, the KPI for that could be increased likes on your team’s Facebook page. Make a timeline for your goals and KPIs as well, checking on their progress periodically or at team meetings.

Find more information about the planning and goal setting stage at Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 2 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

Step 3: Promotion

Will they see promotion online or around the community?

Now that planning is complete and goals have been set, you can begin promotion for your fundraiser. Think about how to best reach your audience. Will they see promotion online or around the community? Try multiple forms of promotion if you can, and have a team member or group specifically dedicated to promotion. Start a few weeks before you plan to begin your fundraiser to give people time to spread the word and continue to promote your fundraiser through its completion.

Pick a few of these methods of promotion to raise awareness of your fundraiser:

Methods

  • Radio guest appearance
  • Poster/flyers
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr)
  • Email promotion
  • Newsletter
  • Newspaper press release
  • Promotion on own website (blog posts, banner update)
  • TV appearance
  • Mini-event
  • Flash mob
  • Announce fundraiser at events
  • Direct mail piece
  • Advertising and Radio guest appearance

Learn more about the promotion stage at Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 3 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

Step 4: Execution

Your fundraiser has begun; enjoy the process and have fun! People who will be participating in your fundraiser will feed off of your enthusiasm. Remember that you can’t control everything, so just relax and go with the flow. You’ve done great planning and goal-setting, so your fundraiser is bound to be a success. Continue promoting your fundraiser through the execution process, and keep track of how everything is going so you can see what worked and what didn’t for next time.

Visit Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 4 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising to get more information about the execution stage.

Step 5: Ordering

If you’re doing a catalog and order form fundraiser, he next step is ordering the products you’ve sold. While this step doesn’t take long, it’s very important that you order the correct products and the correct amount. If you provide your customers with the accurate products and amounts the first time, they’ll appreciate your professionalism and want to participate in your future fundraisers. Take your time during this process and compare totals throughout.

Get more information about the ordering stage at Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 5 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

Step 6: Distribution

You’ve received your products; now it’s time for your team to meet, sort them and distribute them to your customers. If your products are large and your team can’t handle distribution on its own, let your customers know a time and place where they can meet to pick up their products. If you haven’t received payment from all your customers, make sure your team members collect this from them before they receive their products.

Visit Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 6 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising to learn more about the distribution process.

Step 7: Summary of Profits, Notes for Next Time

Take notes about how successful the fundraiser was.

Your fundraiser is complete! This is an exciting time, but you’re not finished with the process quite yet. It’s time to calculate your profits from the fundraiser and see how close you are to meeting your fundraising goals as a team. It will likely take multiple fundraisers for you to reach your goal, so take time after each one is completed to evaluate where you’re at in the process and how much time you have left before the Relay.

Take notes about how successful the fundraiser was. Compare your goals for the fundraiser with your results, and think about what went well and what could have been better for next time. Collect contact information that your team received from their customers and use this to send thank-you cards to everyone who contributed. You can also use this information to send out notices about future fundraisers.

While this stage is meant to be an opportunity for learning, make sure to focus on the positive aspects of the fundraiser so your team feels excited about the next one. Have a party to celebrate the completion of the fundraiser and consider giving out awards to recognize the top sellers or promoters on your team.

Learn more about the profit summary stage at Stages of the Fundraiser, Section 7 of the Ultimate Guide to Fundraising.

”It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to selecting a fundraising leader. ”

CHAPTER 6

Selecting a Fundraising Leader

For every team effort, it’s important to have strong leadership – and to think outside of the box when it comes to selecting a leader. The leader of your fundraising efforts doesn’t have to be your Relay team captain – in fact – it might be beneficial to split up the responsibilities to avoid a work overload or burnout, especially if you are planning an elaborate fundraiser. The captain can focus on getting everything organized, registered and set up for the Relay while the fundraising leader can focus solely on the fundraising efforts.

It’s important to select a fundraising leader who is motivated and has the right characteristics for positive leadership.

If you have a rock star captain who wants to take on both responsibilities and has the time, they should go for it. But it’s important to consider all your options. Good fundraising leadership doesn’t necessarily translate to the oldest or most experienced person on the team, and this doesn’t mean that the brunt of responsibilities fall on them. It’s important to select a fundraising leader who is motivated and has the right characteristics for positive leadership. It’s also essential that your team has a fundraising leader to represent the group and make final decisions, but work must be spread out to avoid burnout for the fundraising leader.

So how do you do it? We’ll show you what to look for in a fundraising leader and what responsibilities the leader might have.

Leadership Traits to Look For

The fundraising leader you select for your group doesn’t have to possess all of these traits, but having a majority of them is a good sign they’ll be an effective leader.

A few traits to look for:

  • Communicator
  • Strong listener
  • Researcher
  • Delegator
  • Calm
  • Keeps whole group in the know
  • Seeks opinions of group
  • Monitors members’ work but doesn’t micromanage
  • Encourager
  • Organizer
  • Flexible
  • Persuader
  • Decision-maker
  • Motivator
  • Multi-tasker
  • People person

If your group decides to have a Relay captain and a fundraising leader, it is important that they get along and are able to clearly communicate with each other, since they’ll be working together a lot.

Potential fundraising leaders for your group could include members with past fundraising experience, members with marketing, promotion or sales backgrounds, highly motivated and excited members, members who go the extra mile and volunteer for tasks, and members with many connections in the community. Anyone with these attributes, even if they haven’t participated in Relay before, could make a great fundraising leader. These backgrounds could aid your fundraiser and the success of your whole Relay team.

Duties of a Fundraising Leader

The fundraising leader will have several responsibilities. It’s a big role, but not something to get overwhelmed by. This position is fun and meaningful, so if your group chooses you, get excited!

As a fundraising leader, you’ll be responsible for making the final decision when selecting your fundraiser, leading the creation of the goal, KPI, and planning timelines, assigning mini teams to tasks if necessary, communicating with your fundraiser supplier and distributor, ordering materials for the fundraiser, checking up on goals and KPIs, keeping track of profits, rewarding your team for its success, leading thank-you note writing, and dealing with any fundraiser issues that may arise.

Having a fundraising leader will give your team a unified fundraising front with a consistent, cohesive message in the community. As long as your leader is able to manage and isn’t left with all the work, your team will be very effective. And by effective, we mean raise a ton of money for cancer research!

”Understanding how fundraising profits are calculated can help you decide if a certain fundraiser is right for your team.”

CHAPTER 7

Fundraising Profit Calculations

When deciding what kind of fundraiser your Relay for Life group will do, it’s helpful to understand how your fundraising profits will be calculated. This will help you figure out how much your team can make with that fundraiser and set goals. Understanding how fundraising profits are calculated can help you decide if a certain fundraiser is right for your team.

Most product selling/catalog fundraisers calculate their profits like this:

Product price wholesale price = fundraising profit

To determine the percentage your team will be getting, use this equation:

Fundraising profit / product price = profit percentage

A company may guarantee a certain profit percentage, but it’s important to know that not every product will result in that profit percentage. Some will produce a slightly lower profit percentage and some will be a little higher. Usually, the average of your sales will equal the profit percentage that the company advertised.

When choosing your fundraiser, it’s important to not only understand the potential profit percentage you’ll be getting, but other costs that could take away from the end profit you’ll be able to receive too, like shipping, catalogs and display sample prices.

If you choose to fundraise with Rada, your team will receive a 40 percent profit for your sales. There are other great benefits of fundraising with Rada too. The Rada Order Takers ask each supporter of your fundraiser to put $0.50 toward the shipping of their products. This usually equals more than the total shipping cost of your products, and adds to your fundraising profit. Our fundraiser allows for 10 free catalogs a year for your team. Plus, if your order totals over $1,000, the catalog charges are waived.

Relay for Life teams should have checks made out to the individuals who are fundraising so they can make sure they cover the cost of their fundraising expenses. The individuals can pay for the Rada products and then turn in the fundraising profits to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. This covers them for the expenses and tax purposes; because they’re getting something in return, the entire donation can’t be written off as a tax deduction. For instance, if someone writes a check for $25 and the actual cost of the item is $20 their donation/tax deduction is $5.

”There are plenty of ways to motivate them as well as motivate your community and supporters to contribute to your fundraiser.”

CHAPTER 8

How to motivate your Sellers and Supporters for an Amazing Fundraiser!

So you’ve put together a Relay team, you’ve selected a fundraiser and you’re nice and prepared... now what? As a leader, you could just send your team members, or “sellers,” off into the world and hope for the best. Or you could get them super pumped about fundraising! (We suggest the latter.) There are plenty of ways to motivate them as well as motivate your community and supporters to contribute to your fundraiser. Implement these tips and you’ll get the results you want. Plus, it’s much quicker than reading your team hundreds of inspirational quotes.

Pump Up Your Sellers

Ask them to think about who they’re honoring.

People join Relay for Life teams because they care about the cause. It’s not hard for these people to get motivated about what they’re doing. But even people who love Relay for Life and everything it stands for can get a little burnt out from the fundraising process, especially if they’ve been doing it for years. To help your team focus on why it started in the first place, have people speak about why they Relay at every team meeting. Ask them to think about who they’re honoring. If you can bring these thoughts back into your team members’ minds, the fundraising process won’t seem so tedious.

Another way to get your team members excited about fundraising is to let them know right from the start that how much they sell will be recorded – and they’ll be rewarded if they meet a certain selling goal. This can be part of your goal-setting/KPI/timeline development process. Report each team member’s progress at meetings so everyone knows where they’re at. Your team members will be striving to hit a certain fundraising mark, meaning they’re likely to keep pushing the fundraising pedal to the metal until they reach those goals. Reward your top sellers at the completion of your fundraiser with a small gift and thank-you. Make sure they’re recognized for their hard work in front of the rest of the team.

Your sellers will be more motivated if they feel like experts when it comes to the fundraiser you’ve chosen.

Before the fundraising starts, take some time to educate your team members on the products and forms they’re working with and how profits will be calculated. Your sellers will be more motivated if they feel like experts when it comes to the fundraiser you’ve chosen. Orient your team to the products and any samples you’ve received so they can better describe the products to potential customers. Offer contacts in the community for your sellers to reach out to if they seem lost as to where to start. The more doable and fun you can make the fundraiser, the more motivated your team will be.

Get Supporters to Buy In

Whether you’re reaching out to potential supporters in your physical community or in your online community, uniquely promoting your fundraiser is the key to motivating potential customers. Still, basic promotion won’t do it unless you can explain the reason you’re fundraising. Encourage all of your team members to share their personal stories about why they Relay to potential customers. Connecting with people emotionally is the best way to get them to believe in the importance of your fundraiser and their contribution.

Show your potential customers how their donation will make a difference to the cause you’re fighting for.

Show your potential customers how their donation will make a difference to the cause you’re fighting for. Pull up the “Why We Fundraise” tab on Relayforlife.org (www.relayforlife.org/learn/whywefundraise) on your phone or computer and show your supporters what their money will be going toward. It’s a lot more motivational when they can see the impact they’ll be having right there in front of them.

Another idea to consider is getting awards and thank-yous for your top supporters, too. This is a great way for your team to show their appreciation of supporters who contributed a lot to your fundraiser.

Seller and supporter motivation all boils down to your reasons for taking part in Relay for Life. Reminding yourself of those reasons and expressing those reasons to others will help you motivate yourself, your team members and your supporters. With a little extra motivation on top of your already incredibly worthy cause, there’s nothing that can stop your fundraiser from being a major success.

”There’s promotion and then there’s promotion that gets you results.”

CHAPTER 9

Promoting your Fundraiser

Here’s what you need to know: There’s promotion and then there’s promotion that gets you results. We’re interested in the second option, so we’re going to give you tons of promotion ideas, as well as tips for how to make your promotion efforts work better for you. It’s not just about getting your message out there; it’s about reaching your audience with a message that will inspire them to get involved in your fundraiser. Since you’re passionate about Relay, it won’t be too difficult.

Audience, Consistency, Timing, Community

If you take care of these four things, you’ll be golden. The first step toward great fundraiser promotion is to consider your audience. Everyone can find a connection to Relay’s cause and a reason to donate. However, the people who actually participate in Relay are more likely women in their late twenties and up. Reach them where they’re at with the promotion methods they’ll respond to. They’re likely involved in the community, so they’ll see posters and flyers around schools and local businesses. Most of them are on Facebook, but the older section of your audience might not get engaged with social media promotion. Focusing on your audience helps you figure out which promotion methods are worth your time and effort. Think about who would be likely to buy the products you’re selling or attend the event you’re hosting and concentrate your efforts on reaching them.

Another way to boost the effectiveness of your promotion is to keep all of your different methods’ messages consistent. Use the same fonts and colors on different posters, flyers and signs. If you’re using a tagline, keep it the same across the board. Include your team’s name and message on all of your materials. Whether your team is funny and laid-back or serious, create a message that reflects that and keep it consistent. This will help potential customers recognize your team and their efforts. They’ll be more likely to remember you and your message.

When it comes to promotion, timing isn’t everything, but it’s pretty close. You can’t expect to get very good results if you promote your fundraiser once when the start is six months away and never again. The same goes for starting a week before the big event. Plan to start your promotion methods two to three weeks before a traditional sales fundraiser and four to five weeks before an event fundraiser. Give your community some time to get word-of-mouth going and continue promoting throughout your fundraiser.

Support other Relay for Life teams’ fundraisers.

As you promote your team and its efforts, don’t forget to lift up the rest of your community in the process. Support other Relay for Life teams’ fundraisers. Talk about them and other local fundraising groups’ causes on your social media. The more love you spread, the more you’ll get for your fundraiser in return.

Promotion Ideas

Try a few of these methods based on what you think your specific audience will respond to.

Ideas

  • Press release
  • Advertising
  • Posters/flyers
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr)
  • Email promotion
  • Direct mail piece
  • City newsletter
  • Promotion on your own website
  • Mini-event
  • Flash mob
  • Announce fundraiser at local events
  • Radio guest appearance
  • Newsletter
  • Newspaper press release
  • TV appearance

”Focus on your passion for Relay and enjoy the process.”

CHAPTER 10

Go Forth and Do Great Things

You did it! You powered through the entire Ultimate Relay for Life Fundraising Guide. And you know what? You’re going to do better because of it. Armed with bunches of Relay fundraising ideas (including the amazing Rada Cutlery), a better understanding of stages of fundraising, how to select a leader, how to calculate your profits, how to motivate your sellers and supporters, and how to promote your fundraiser with the best of them, you’re a regular Relay fundraising guru! Take a moment to bask in your own glory.

Ok, now it’s time to go to work.

We hope you’re feeling motivated and excited to get started. Refer back to this guide for fundraising inspiration, tips and advice any time throughout your process. Relay for Life is an incredible fundraising opportunity. No matter how much you raise, you’re going to do great things.

If you’d like to fundraise with Rada, please click here to go to the Rada Cutlery web site to request a catalog. Check out www.radacutlery.com/fundraising/ideas to learn more about the program or call us at 1-800-311-9691 for help with your fundraiser at any time.

It’s time for you to raise a whole lot of money for cancer research and support. Focus on your passion for Relay and enjoy the process. Good luck with your fundraising!