Mary’s Walk is a community-driven walk to honor and remember Mary Kerry Libby, and to raise critical funds to help reduce the burden of cancer in Maine. Participants are not required to fundraise, but we encourage everyone joining Mary’s Walk and the Kerrymen 5K to try fundraising. You will be surprised how easy it is to raise $50 or $100, just by asking friends, family, or coworkers.
100% of funds raised stay in Maine to Maine to support cancer prevention, screening, and access to care programs. Your donation will make a difference in the lives of your neighbors and communities around Maine. We have lots of fundraising prizes to reward you along the way - the deadline to earn prizes is Sunday, March 19, 2023.
Fundraising can seem intimidating if you don't know where to start, but it's easier than you think to hit your goal. Everyone has been impacted by cancer, and everyone will be moved by your commitment to do something about it. Remember that when you ask people to support you, you are asking them to support the fight against cancer in Maine. Here are some good tips for fundraisers, whether it’s your first event or your 50th:
1. Donate to yourself.
Start off by making a small donation to yourself. Not only will it "get you off the starting line," it's a lot easier to ask friends and family for a donation when you can say, "Can you join me? I donated $20!"
2. Make it all About Them!
Remind them that we ALL know someone affected by cancer – each of us has a relative, a friend, a neighbor, or a co-worker who is battling the disease right now. Let them know where the dollars go: 100% of funds are invested in Maine, to provide grants for cancer prevention, early detection and screening, and access to care. Explain to your friends and family how the work of Maine Cancer Foundation impacts them. Reinforce that every dollar donated helps – we can all make a difference. No donation is too small, and every dollar counts.
Here's an awesome fact to share with the people you ask for a donation: 100% of their gift will go directly to Maine Cancer Foundation’s grant programs. The event costs have been covered by registration fees and sponsor contributions!
3. Personalize your fundraising page.
Tell a story! Each athlete has a unique fundraising page on the event website that accepts credit card donations and handles all the processing. You can personalize your page and share it with anyone you like.
Everybody loves a story. Spend a few minutes to add a custom photo and a paragraph about why you're participating and you'll see donations increase. Explain your reasons for participating: you might be raising money because of a friend who is dealing with cancer, or a relative who has survived the disease, or in memory of a loved one who lost the battle to cancer. Tell your donors how you're turning 40. Or 80! Or, you're going to lose 25 pounds. Or, you're a cancer survivor! Or, you're a lunatic bent on winning her first 5K! Anything goes. Don’t just tell them you joined the event- tell them why. And then, share your page with friends, family, co-workers, anyone who might want to contribute. And remember: Customized pages get 20% more donations on average than pages with the generic text.
4. Aim High(er).
Set a personal fundraising goal. Then double it. That will be the number on your fundraising page. If your goal is too low, people stop giving. If your goal is high, they will help you meet it. Everyone loves the person who is trying hard for a cure.
5. Email everyone in your address book, even those you don’t expect to give.
You'll be surprised at who responds. Also make sure to email your request more than once. Send emails out to everyone in your contact list and let them know your fundraising goal and give them a link to your fundraising page. A picture is worth a thousand words! Check back frequently and send follow up emails. Let people know how your training is progressing, so your follow up emails will be a welcome note while reminding people who forgot to give.
Remember: Email generates the lion’s share of all donations. We recommend asking once and sending a reminder about a week later. You will be amazed at how many people will be excited to donate to your fundraising effort, not just close friends.
6. You Probably Have to Ask More Than Once.
Don't get discouraged! Everyone is busy and most people think, "Whoops! I meant to send a donation!" Two or three gentle reminders are just fine. Half of those who donate to you won’t do it on their first visit to your fundraising page. Don't feel bad! Everyone is busy and a reminder or two are usually appreciated. (But try to avoid spam - asking four or more times is unlikely to work.)
7. Get Your 15 Minutes of Fame.
Consider using your computer camera or smart phone to record a one-minute video of yourself. Upload your video to YouTube, to your Facebook page, or to your Instagram account. Explain what your goal is and how people can help. Link it back to your fundraising page and share it far and wide.
8. Facebook & Social Media.
Not everyone uses Facebook, but if you do, it can really help. Do you tweet or Instagram, or use other social media? Make sure all your friends on social media know about your race and your fundraising goal. You can add a link directly to your fundraising page. The more you spread the word, the more success you’ll have. Post updates to your own page and share the word with the Maine Cancer Foundation Facebook page.
Note: Facebook is responsible for 90% of social donations. Most Facebook users are on in the evening, so that's the best time to post.
9. Matching Gifts.
Many employers are willing to offer matching gifts for charitable events. Does your business have a matching gifts program? It never hurts to ask. Send your employer to the Mary’s Walk and Kerrymen Pub 5K website – who knows? They might even want to become a sponsor!
10. Do What You Do Best, and Be Creative!
We all have special skills. Tap into your best talents to support your fundraising. That could mean: throwing a benefit dinner or party, having a bake sale or a raffle; or hosting an event at your local watering hole or eatery. Many local restaurants or retailers will work with participants to donate a portion of sales for a day or evening towards your fundraising. We can provide carry letters for this purpose.
Bottle drives, talent shows, you name it! Think of something fun you enjoy doing and invite your friends and family to join you, and make your fundraising goal a team effort! Remember – you are not asking for money for yourself – you are fundraising for Maine Cancer Foundation, and we are changing the story of cancer in Maine.