Campus FAQ's: How to Start Fundraising

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1.       Registering for Relay is easy! First find your event and then click the purple “join this Relay” button in the top right of your screen. You can pay registration fee by credit card, check or cash.

2.       Share your story! You can customeize your personal Relay landing page by clicking “my dashboard” and then clicking the purple crayons to edit pictures and the “why I Relay” section.

3.       Also in your dashboard you can click the button “share my page”, which will link directly to your social media pages for easy sharing, or you can copy your personal page’s url and post on social media. 

4.       Within the dashboard you can send pre-written emails by clicking the button “ask for donations” all you have to do is select the template you want to send and input the emails. It’s important to add your own story in the email as well. Make it personal!

5.       Download the Relay Fundraising app on your mobile phone and sign into your Relay account. You’re able to send a template text linking directly to a donation page to anyone in your contacts! You can also invite survivors or others to your event.

Need a tutorial on your Relay dashboard? Watch this video!

Campus FAQ's: Virtual Survivor Programs

Do you Relay for a Survivor who cannot make it to your event because of health, distance, or other constraints? Did you know they can still participate in your event as a Virtual Survivor? Download the Virtual Survivor Sheet to share with your event!

What is a Virtual Survivor?

A Virtual Survivor is a person that has been diagnosed with cancer but cannot physically attend a Relay For Life event  due to distance, time, illness, or any other constraint. These are the people in our lives that we CELEBRATE at Relay For Life, whether or not they can be with us at the event.

How does it work? 

If you have a loved one who is unable to join us at the Relay For Life Opening Ceremony, you can still pay tribute to them by walking in their place.  By creating an 8.5x11 poster, you can honor them throughout the night.  In addition to carrying this poster, you can honor them by decorating the back of your event t-shirt.

Why Should I Participate?

Relay is all about Celebrating Survivorship.  We all Relay for someone special and the Virtual Survivor program allows you to CELEBRATE the life of your loved one when they can’t be with you at Relay.  Have your Survivor register at (your event name) as a Survivor.

If your Survivor does not have an email address but would like to sign up for an event, there is an easy process to get them registered, without having scan a form. They can call the National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) at 1-800-227-2345 option 2 and tell the Income Support Specialist (ISS) that they would like to register as a survivor for an event, but that they don’t have an email to use or wish to share. A NCIC representative will ask them a few questions to understand the level at which they’d like to participant and register them. They will also explain how to update their registration if they want to actively fundraise online or update their personal fundraising page, which will require an email.

Campus FAQ's: Relay Myths

Is your favorite part of Relay For Life is asking people to Relay with your event and hearing a whole bunch of excuses that they can’t participate?

It's not?

Then your actual favorite part must be having to explain and re-explain and tell the same stories over and over again in response to the same old “Relay myths.” 

Not that either?

I agree with you. My actual favorite part about Relay is seeing so many people all gathered together for one reason: to finish the fight against cancer – and more importantly, knowing that one day we will be successful and eradicate cancer once and for all. That’s why we need everyone to Relay with us – and here are some ideas on how to make your Relay For Life event accessible to everyone.

Some of the most common “Relay myths” that are heard at the Relay For Life of the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) and Rockhurst University are common at campus and community Relay events everywhere. 

1)    “I’ve heard you have to put in like 3000 hours per week and I’m taking so many credit hours and I have a family and have to study and, and, and…”
2)    “I get what you’re trying to do, but Relay doesn’t really apply to me. I haven’t had cancer.”

At the Relay For Life of UMKC/Rockhurst, the first “Relay myth” is overcome by making it possible to be involved in the event with any schedule or desired involvement. Participants can walk in on Relay night with their registration and any donations they have or they can be involved from the very first committee meeting and develop a detailed plan for the event – and anywhere in between.  Even while encouraging participants to get more involved, the event leadership is honest and up front about the time commitments at any recruiting events. 

The second “Relay myth” is easier to dispel. CANCER SUCKS – and we all know it. One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, so at some point in their lives, everyone will be impacted by cancer in some way. Bringing the mission to possible participants or committee members through survivor stories, as well as other videos about the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) mission, are ways that the Relay For Life of UMKC/Rockhurst bridges the gap between the organization and the real survivors that are helped by ACS.

Changing the information that people have about Relay is a great way to get more people involved and in a position at Relay that fits them best. Getting people to Relay is sometimes a whole different fight for all types of events: big schools and small schools - a school with a brand new Relay or one that’s had Relay for years – recruiting challenges are real and can be a big headache when planning your Relay. 

The Relay For Life of UMKC/Rockhurst has several big recruitment campaigns, all revolving around person-to-person contact. This Relay focuses these campaigns around friends of people already involved. The committee brainstorms a list of the other campus organizations that the committee have connections to…or the organizations that their friends are in…or the organizations that their friends-of-friends are a part of. Through this type of outreach, the current Relayer’s passion is shown to the possible-new-Relayers and makes Relay more personal than “just another campus organization.”

Blog by Tristen Caudle - West Region Campus Leadership Team

Campus FAQ's: Caregiver

What The Heck Is A Caregiver, Anyway?

Blog By: Colleen Eccles & Alex Pfadenhauer, North Campus Leadership Team

Welcome back for the 2016-2017 Relay season! With the start of the new season and the semester, we have some great information to help you connect your committee and relayers with what it really means to be a caregiver. Within the college market caregivers are everywhere, yet no one knows what it really means to be one. There are two forms of caregivers: informal and formal. A formal caregiver is someone who is paid to provide care such as nurse, therapist, social worker and home health aids. College students working toward a degree within these fields will begin to identify within these specifications post graduation and be able to help families and patients. An informal caregiver is someone who is doing it out of love, respect and friendship. Most college and post college relayers will be able to find themselves identifying within this type of caregiving title. Being an informal caregiver can mean anything from sending a text, helping with transportation or just giving your time. 

What is a caregiver?

“A caregiver is a family member, friend, loved one, or other support person who lends physical, emotional, or other support to someone at any time during the cancer journey and continues to do so for those who have lost a loved one to cancer.“
-American Cancer Society

Here’s a fun little exercise that can be used at committee meetings, at your event, etc. to help explain to other Relayers who a Caregiver truly is! (If using at a Relay event, skip the first step)

  1. Have the group brainstorm who a caregiver is:

    1. Use sheets from a flipchart and place them around the room, then divide the group up into small teams and let them work individually before bringing it back to the group

    2. Consolidate all of the groups’ ideas, and write them on the whiteboard

  2. Next, poll the group on what caregiver duties they have performed recently, by asking them to raise their hand or stand up as you call out each action

    1. First, start with the ideas from the brainstorming session. Use ‘formal caregiver’ actions first, then transition to more ‘informal caregiver’ actions. (If you are confused by formal vs. informal, see the CDC resources for caregivers!)

    2. Once you have exhausted the brainstorming ideas, transition to the list provided below. Make sure to hit the majority or all of the points on it!

  3. Now, explain what truly makes a caregiver:

    1. Explain that every single thing that people raised their hand for makes them a caregiver! If you raised your hand at any point, even if only once for calling and checking on someone, you are still considered a caregiver!

    2. Present the definition of a caregiver to reinforce that even the smallest efforts matter! (For example, use the CDC resources to explain formal vs. informal, and show that everyone ….. )

    3. Use the resources below as well as other information to demonstrate the role and importance of caregivers.

  4. Call to action! Now, you need to utilize all of this new caregiver energy!

    1. Obviously, make sure they have registered and are fundraising for your event

    2. Encourage them to get their survivor or other caregivers involved

    3. Recruit them to lead the caregiver lap or volunteer at the survivor tent/meal/etc at your event

    4. Remind them to spread the word about what it means to be a caregiver! There are so many people who have no idea they qualify, but if we start spreading the word, it will

You are a caregiver if you…

  • Drive them to or from treatment

  • Make (or buy) them meals

  • Send them a text checking in

  • Help with yardwork

  • Hold their hand during treatment

  • Pick up groceries for them

  • Help with personal care

  • Help out with household tasks

  • .... Do anything to support a survivor or their family physically, emotionally or spiritually.

Additional Resources

(Material partially obtained from the American Cancer Society Eastern Division Relay For Life Survivorship Chair Guidebook and the American Cancer Society California Division Relay For Life Survivorship Handbook)