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Competing for Charity

CDO Place recently featured the article And the Grant Money Goes to… about the Council on Foundation’s spin on traditional fundraising, the Philanthropic Challenge on Economy & Finance. Today, another unique and exciting way to fundraise is shared: The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Jimmy Fund’s second Big Ideas Contest, to be held in June of this year.

According to the article Dana-Farber Holds Competition to Spur Fundraising Ideas in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Dana-Farber is “taking a cue from the ubiquitous television reality shows” by holding the competition, named after the institute’s fundraising arm. The first event was held in 2013; there are two years between contests to allow enough time to test winning ideas, according to Sue Paresky, Dana-Farber’s Senior Vice President of Development. One winner from the 2013 challenge: “Cheer for Dana-Farber,” during which high-school cheerleading squads competed to see which teams could raise the most money. For each $1,000 a squad cultivated from August through November, it received raffle tickets to attend a “cheer clinic” with New England Patriots cheerleaders followed by a pregame Patriots performance at Gillette Stadium. “Cheer for Dana-Farber” raised nearly $70,000 in 2013; donations grew to more than $80,000 last year.

This year, the judging panel of 13 local business leaders look forward to a new crop of fundraising concepts. “We need to look at raising money from new constituents in addition to repeat business. We also wanted to highlight nationally known local business and community leaders who have supported Dana-Farber as board members or donors. And we wanted publicity for the Jimmy Fund,” said Paresky,

According to The Jimmy Fund website, winning ideas for 2015 will:

  • Have the ability to raise $100,000+
  • Engage thousands of dedicated and new supporters of the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber
  • Consider all logistics—costs, planning, marketing, and volunteers
  • Be possible to replicate annually

Prize packages include “once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, free Friendly’s Ice Cream for one year, an iPad Air, $500 in gift cards, and more.”

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