Concentrated, Creative Outreach
There are literally millions of diseases — some fatal, some rare, some affecting children, some other demographics. And behind each of them is a group of people who are passionate about finding a cure. And most of them depend on private donations to fund their efforts.
Many organizations look to the impressive work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a group that has evolved into one of the highest profile and most successful nonprofits in the country. It repeatedly conveys the urgency of its cause by reminding givers that breast cancer is a disease that will affect one in eight women and their families.
“Urgency is the most compelling factor when trying to garner support for causes like breast cancer and other disease-specific causes,” says Allison Blanton, senior development advisor for major gifts at Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Statistically, organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure are united in their crusade to fight life-threatening diseases and are able to raise funds by communicating the significance and importance of donating funds because of the very personal appeal to many of our donors.
“While many organizations are discovering the power of the Internet in fundraising, I come from the school of old-fashioned relationship building. There is never a more effective way to tell the story of an organization than through face-to-face communication where the true emotion of the cause can be heard, felt and seen all at the same time.”
Komen has enabled direct participation from donors through popular events like Race for the Cure or Art for the Cure. It also has made successful product partnerships where people can buy pink products to support the cause — and other similar causes have followed its lead.
“We’ve tried to follow the wonderful trail that has been blazed by [Susan G. Komen for the Cure],” says Jamie Bearse, spokesman for the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. “We’ve started to piggyback on their good work, since both breast and prostrate cancers are hormone cancers, and affect many people. [One in six men will get prostate cancer.] We are sort of the boy version of breast cancer.”