Philanthropy, or more simply, raising money for a good cause, has existed for all of written history and probably longer than that. The word philanthropy means ‘love of humankind’ and nonprofit organizations perform great works every year with the generous donations from individuals and corporations alike.
Schools often promote a variety of fundraisers for their sporting teams, such as selling merchandise, discount cards, and food products to raise money for needed equipment and training activities. Event-based fundraising is on the rise as well, taking the form of banquets, galas, auctions and style shows. In the last several decades, fundraising events have evolved into other focuses such as sporting events, tying health and fitness into the good causes that fulfill needs in communities that may otherwise struggle.
Organizing an Awareness Event
Events like 5k runs, bike rides, golf outings and awareness walks are common. However, other sports are taking notice and developing fundraisers with their own twist. They are creating a fun new way to support those organizations that most desperately need funding to perform research, provide services to people in need, and do good for the rest of the country and the world.
Need inspiration? Choose a non-profit that your passionate about, like the American Cancer Society, and integrate it with a well-planned event like a softball tourney. Then ask the participants to wear sports socks inspired by the nonprofit organization’s main cause or theme, such as the ACS Relay for Life. Combining the Relay for Life event with Relay for Life Socks from MadSportsStuff, you’ve got yourself a fun, fitness event that can raise awareness and some major funds for a worthy cause.
Why Should We Donate?
As individuals, or as a group, why should we donate? Why give our hard-earned money away? Why ask for contributions from our friends, family, and neighbors? Oftentimes it’s easy to fall into the mindset that we’ve worked too hard for our money and can easily lose motivation to give back. When we see the world around us, however, it becomes obvious that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ Giving doesn’t have to be a lot - in philanthropy, every dollar helps.
- Giving helps others who need our support. In a perfect world, everyone would have everything they need; food, shelter, clothing, employment, a stable family life, good health and joy in their life. We all know, however, that very few ever attain that level of perfection during their life. Most of us get by pretty well, some more than others, but some really struggle with some of those basic human needs.
There are hundreds of organizations whose sole purpose is to research health in our community, from public health to diseases like cancer. These organizations serve to not only help those afflicted with the health conditions but also to provide support to family members of those affected. One of the most well-known and well-respected non-profit health organizations focuses on cancer research, treatment and prevention. The American Cancer Society raises money through several avenues, but most notably through their signature event, Relay for Life.
The research done through funds raised by the relay event benefits all of us, as well as those individuals suffering from cancer. One of the tools most successfully used is the team format. Groups of individuals come together to raise money as a team and then walk as a relay team on the day of the event. Sports teams already work well together on the field - capitalize on that and have the team come together to raise money for a good cause! By raising money or donating to events like Relay for Life, we help others in need.
- Giving allows you to decide where you want your contributions to go, rather than the government selecting the organization. That’s how taxes work. Our elected officials use their best judgment to pool part of our tax payments into money that is then granted to organizations to conduct research and other community-service minded activities. Government-funded grants are very important, but many individuals instead enjoy selecting the organizations they are passionate about and give to those groups.
The American Cancer Society depends on the government for part of their operating budget, but in order to maximize its potential for leading life-saving research, the organization depends on fundraising events like Relay for Life to further their important mission. The American Cancer Society depends on approximately one-third of their private donation budget to come from Relay for Life events - Relays raised over $258 million in 2016 alone. That significant sum wouldn’t be possible through government-funding without increasing taxes.
- IT FEELS GOOD TO HELP OTHERS. Plain and simple, when you have the means to give of your time, talent and treasure, it feels amazing to help others. You don’t have to be a billionaire to give either. Every dollar helps. And if you can’t give money, by contributing time toward planning a fundraising event, you are making just as big of a difference as someone who gives money. Planning a fundraising event can be a great team-building exercise that’s fun and impacts the community in a positive way. When you’re raising money for something you feel strongly about, like cancer research, developing a well-organized fundraiser like Relay for Life can give you and your team the satisfaction of doing something good that will benefit so many individuals.
What Kinds of Fundraising Event Should We Do?
By jumping on the bandwagon of health and fitness initiatives, organizations can develop fun and exciting events where healthy activities are at the forefront. Recruiting donations can be hard work, but by developing a unique venue that excites people about a particular organization, gathering those important donations becomes easier.
But don’t fall into the trap of planning yet another 5k race. Be creative and think outside the box. Own a kickboxing gym? Plan a kickboxing tournament and encourage attendees to dress in the color that matches the charity or cause. Those participating can ask their contacts to sponsor them with donations, and each individual who participates should, of course, make a personal contribution toward the fundraising goal. Lead a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop? Develop an event where kids and adults alike can work up a sweat together, working toward a common goal of supporting a worthy cause.
Most schools encourage activities that encourage community outreach, so plan a tournament or wacky-ruled version of your sport and encourage community attendance and donations. And if it’s a team thing, you know you have to match to support the charity, so look for uniform items like these Breast Cancer Awareness Socks from MadSportsStuff to show your pink ribbon support. The Relay for Life website also has some great ideas and tips for planning a fundraising event.
Donating to Relay for Life
There are thousands upon thousands of nonprofits in the United States, and new ones are established every day. There are nonprofit organizations for every cause under the sun - health initiatives, schools, churches, poverty, disenfranchised populations, children’s issues, animals wild and tame, human rights, arts and culture, and the list goes on. Top Nonprofits lists the top 100 nonprofit organization to help you select the one that will utilize your donations most effectively.
Search online for ‘cancer nonprofit’ and you’ll find hundreds of organizations boasting their work in the fight against cancer. Ranking as one of the top 100 nonprofits and one of the most respected nonprofits, is the American Cancer Society. There are so many different kinds of cancer to contribute towards - you can develop your fundraising event around cancer in general, similar to how the Relay for Life works, or narrow it to a single cancer initiative, like breast cancer.
Cancer Awareness Attire
You can use the well-known and well-loved pink ribbon icon to help your team raise even more money for your charity. MadSportsStuff has Featured Breast Cancer Awareness Socks that are a great way to show your team and fans your support of the deadly disease affecting so many loved ones. You’ll want to sport these fun and meaningful awareness socks even off the field to show your support. So no matter what cancer awareness event that you’re attending you can proudly support the cause.
MadSportsStuff has you covered for both Relay for Life Socks and Breast Cancer Awareness socks. The Relay for Life socks offered by MadSportsStuff come in purple and white with an awareness ribbon across the shin and the word HOPE written down the calf. These Relay for Life socks are made in the USA with high-performance fabrics. And, they come in accurate shoe sizes from small youth sizes all the way up to men’s XL. They are perfect for Relay for Life events, football, lacrosse, volleyball, and more!
Know You’re Making a Difference
We all have unique talents we can share with others, and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably done some amazing work as a coach, team member or volunteer in some way. Giving isn’t just about contributing money - philanthropy comes in many forms. By creating a tie between fitness and philanthropy, you create a link between the individual who is working on bettering themselves and the cause. And by working with what you know, you can be creative in developing a unique, fun and inspiring event to raise money for a great cause. Whether it’s Relay for Life or any other nonprofit that you choose. Philanthropy for any organization helps us all, so know that no matter which organization you choose, you have chosen to make a difference - for the love of humanity.
Don’t forget your Relay for Life Socks from MadSportsStuff for your next cancer awareness event!