Cancer fundraising – how to write a fundraising story

how to write cancer fundraising story

If you are struggling with the costs of cancer, you may decide to start cancer fundraising for your treatment or additional costs you are dealing with. The first step to begin effective cancer fundraising is writing a good fundraising story.

6 steps to writing a cancer fundraising story

Always remember that your goal is to create an interesting and unique story which will encourage donors to contribute to your fundraiser. Not everyone is born a great writer, but don’t be scared, we know from experience that stories which meet the following guidelines arouse greater interest and enable to raise larger amounts of money for cancer expenses.

Step 1 – describe your type of cancer

Donors often want to know as much as possible about who they are helping and what that person is struggling with. Therefore describe what type of cancer you are fighting against and what your situation is like. You don’t have to describe the entire treatment process in great detail, but include basic information:

  • what type of cancer you have,
  • how long you have been ill,
  • what treatment you have had/are having/are going to have,
  • what side effects of cancer are you having to deal with.

Step 2 – describe yourself

Writing about yourself in your cancer fundraising story is a must. Show that you are not only a cancer patient, but also another person.

Many donors choose who to support based on similarities between themselves and the person in need. We asked people who had donated to Alivia’s Beneficiaries to state what made them support that particular cancer patient. Many donors answered that the same place of living, age or job was often the main deciding factor.

Therefore don’t hesitate to write about your family, friends, career, hobbies, successes, future goals or anything that will enable possible donors to get to know the real you. Describe your life before cancer, your life now, and write why you want to fight for your future.

Step 3 – why are you fundraising for cancer? What is your cancer fundraising goal?

The information about your disease and personal life is important to convince donors to support you financially, however the most important thing donors want to know is why you are fundraising for cancer. Nobody wants to throw their money away, especially when so many people around us are looking for financial help. So make sure to include answers to these questions in your cancer fundraising story:

  • Why are you fundraising for cancer?
  • What will the funds be spent on?
  • What is your fundraising goal?

Be as precise as possible! Include the answers to any “why” questions a donor might have! For example:

  • if you are fundraising for non-reimbursed treatment or drugs – state why you need exactly that treatment,
  • if you are being treated far away from home and need funds for transport – state why you have chosen that medical centre, not one closer to home,
  • if you need additional private consultations or diagnostic examinations – state why you need to have them.

When writing, put yourself in the shoes of a donor – imagine you want to support someone, but you want to know exactly what you are contributing to and how your money can help.

Step 4 – write your fundraising story outline

A detailed outline is key to writing an organised, interesting and captivating fundraising story. It also makes the whole writing process much easier and quicker.

Start by jotting down rough ideas for your cancer fundraising story. This will help you complete the next step, which is creating the outline. You can arrange information in many ways, so decide what order suits you best.

Once you have a basic outline, you can start adding more details to it. Think carefully what you want to include in your cancer fundraising story and write everything down in points in the relevant parts of your outline. Make sure you have included all the information described in steps 1-3.

Step 5 – write your cancer fundraising story!

Once your detailed outline is ready, you can start writing your fundraising story. If you put your heart and soul into creating the plan, writing your story shouldn’t be very difficult. However, if you’re having problems, you can find some inspiration here.

After your cancer fundraising story is finished, leave it for some time and revise it later. This should help you find any unwanted language errors.

Step 6 – make your cancer fundraising story more attractive

Include feelings and emotions

Emotional content arouses greater interest than mere facts. During our survey, a large number of our donors stated that they had helped a given cancer patient because they had been greatly moved by their story. Therefore, if you feel comfortable with doing so, you can describe:

  • what you felt after hearing your diagnosis,
  • what emotions you felt/feel during treatment,
  • what you feel now,
  • what is the most difficult during cancer,
  • what you are afraid of the most,
  • what gives you the strength to fight against cancer.

Include visual content

Each day people are bombarded with masses of content on the internet. Try to make your cancer fundraising story stand out, make it personal and unique. You can do so by adding photos – informal ones always make the best impression on donors.

Pay attention to detail

Pay attention to orthographical, grammatical and stylistic correctness. Texts with mistakes do not impress because they suggest that the author did not put enough work into writing a correct text.

Use varied vocabulary and synonyms, as well as different and captivating sentence structures. This should make your cancer fundraising story more appealing and engaging. Remember – the better your story is, the higher your chances of meeting your cancer fundraising goal.

how to write cancer fundraising story

We hope this guide will help you write your cancer fundraising story. However, remember that fundraising is much easier when you’re not alone – join the Piggy Bank Programme and let us help you raise money for your cancer treatment and expenses!

Written by
Małgorzata Korzeniewska