Friday 15 July 2011

Reflections on Fundraising and the TEAM DYLAN Pub Night

Fundraising. To many it's a nuisance, and for some it's not even a consideration. But for those of us affected by diabetes, or any other disease, it's really a necessity. Why? Because I believe that I cure is out there, we just haven't found it yet. And as long as to continue to hope that a cure for type-1 diabetes will be found, I will continue to fundraise to support the cost of the research required to find that cure.

Over the almost 6 years since my son was diagnosed with diabetes, I have raised, along with the tremendous help and support of friends and family, just under $50,000 for JDRF and diabetes research. At first, it seemed easy to raise money, but as time has gone on, it has become more and more difficult and I find myself asking why. More competition? Maybe. Burnout from some of my donors? Perhaps. Less effort from me? Possibly. Repetitive ideas? Likely.

Last Saturday, July 9th, TEAM DYLAN hosted their third annual pub night to raise funds and awareness for Type-1 Diabetes research. When we hosted the first one in 2009, it was a massive success. The pub was standing room only and we could barely keep up with the demand for balloons, 50/50 tickets and auction bids. Not a bad problem to have. Year 1's pub night raised just over $6500 during the 3 hour event. Last year there were less guests, and slightly lower valued items in the Silent Auction, but we still raised $3500. This year, our guests dwindled substantially and the end result was $1800 (which is actually pretty darn awesome considering how many people were there!!)

So why the change, I keep asking myself? Timing, yes. Year 1 was in April, year 2 in May, year 3 in July, and in Vancouver, that's a big difference weather wise. For last weekend's event, it was a stunningly beautiful day. The first hot and sunny Saturday of the year in fact. The other problem, I think, is the repetitiveness of the event; maybe people are getting bored of doing the same thing 3 years in a row. So definitely for 2012 I will take a break on the pub night idea and maybe I'll try something else instead.

Which, of course, leads me to the question, what else can I do? What other good fundraising ideas are there? What have you done, or attended that works? I am asking people to share their thoughts on effective fundraising, via a comment at he end of this post, or a quick message to me directly.

And for those of you who supported our event last weekend, thank you again.We WILL find a cure for type-1 diabetes, and with your support we are now one step closer. It means so much more than words can say.

And if you missed last weekend's event, but still wish to support our efforts, click here to donate to JDRF via my Cyclebetes National Relay campaign.

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