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Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

Celebrating Milestones – Unity Walk Style

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

We all celebrate life’s milestones. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, and communions are just a few examples. How we choose to acknowledge those milestones varies with each person. Read on to learn about how a few of our walkers have chosen to make the Unity Walk a part of these milestone celebrations.

Milestone Birthdays

Tim Potter of Team Daddy and his Dopamines was turning 60! His family decided to use Tim’s special birthday as an opportunity to create “60 Reasons to Cure Parkinson’s,” a surprise birthday party that also served as a fundraiser for the Unity Walk. They gathered people from all stages of his life – high school friends, college friends, former colleagues, members of his wedding party, and of course his family. As his daughter, Kim watched him make his way around the room, she commented “His voice was full of not only surprise, but of hope. It has been a long road, and to have so many important parts of his life in one place, he knew that he was not alone in his fight.” The Potters raised $1500 that night towards their team’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Walk.

Wedding Celebrations

Alison Brownscheidle is getting married this October 2014. Her father died of Parkinson’s disease and as a way of honoring his memory, Alison made a donation to the Unity Walk. She asked the Unity Walk to create donation cards that she will place on each table at the wedding. The text and color of the cards can be changed based on the request of the bride and groom. We wish Alison and Matt many years of happiness together and are grateful that her father’s memory (and the Unity Walk) will be a presence at their wedding.

What milestone celebrations do you have coming up in your life? Each and every one is an opportunity to combine the celebration of this milestone with your fundraising efforts on behalf of the Unity Walk. Your creativity is your only limitation! If you have a special celebration coming up and have a few ideas in mind about how to incorporate a fundraiser with it, please let us know if we can walk you through any of your ideas.

Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraising Event

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Are you thinking of creating a fundraiser on behalf of the Unity Walk?  If you have a strong connection to the Parkinson’s community and you’re ready to step up your fundraising efforts, here are some tips to help you create your successful fundraising event.

CheckmarkChoose the Fundraiser That Will Be Fun For You
There is a reason the word “fun” is part of fundraising. Brainstorm with your friends and family. See what appeals to you and to them. Fundraisers typically require a committee who work collaboratively so choose something that will get others on board. Think about what you’ll enjoy planning and take into account the amount of lead time you have, given the complexity of the event.

CheckmarkRecruit Your Committee
When the workload is divided, the rewards will be multiplied. No one person should be planning a fundraiser on their own. Think about the various roles that need to be filled and play to people’s strengths. Some roles include:

  • Soliciting sponsors
  • Logistics/planning
  • Event promotion and PR
  • Day of event volunteers

CheckmarkIdentify sponsors
This may not be indicated for every event but it is well worth considering. Sponsors can cover the expenses associated with your event and if their donations exceed your expenses, then their sponsorship gets added to the amount that you will donate to the Unity Walk.

  • Lay out the benefits associated with various levels of sponsorship and be prepared to discuss this with potential sponsors.
  • Will their company name be listed on a flyer, brochure or t-shirt?
  • Are there opportunities for sponsors that provide support to the Parkinson’s community to share information about the resources that are available?
  • Don’t overlook the value of in-kind sponsors. Some examples of items that may be donated are refreshments, printing, t-shirts, silent auction items,etc.

CheckmarkNail Down the Logistics
Confirm the venue for your event.

  • Will you need approvals of any kind and/or a permit? This is often the case if you’re planning an event in a public setting.
  • Will you need to create a walk or race route?
  • Confirm all required paperwork is taken care of.
  • Are you serving food? Will it be donated or purchased? Will you be offering it at no cost or will you be selling it?

Not the most exciting aspect of the planning but definitely one of the most essential.

  • What’s your plan to raise money at your event?
  • Will there be an admission/registration fee? Is there one level or multiple levels?
  • Will you encourage discretionary donations instead of or in addition to an admission/registration fee?
  • Are you building sponsorship money into your plan?
  • Are there opportunities for additional revenue? Creating a silent auction is just one way to bring in more funds.
  • Plan for your expenses. You don’t want any surprises when you’re in the middle of planning your event.

CheckmarkSpread the Word!!

  • Create your written materials first – flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Use social media to spread the word about your event. Consider creating a Facebook page for your event.
  • Submit your event for inclusion on the PUW Community Calendar. Send your materials to PUW so we can promote your event on the Unity Walk’s social media sites.
  • Prepare a press release and reach out to the media in your local community.
  • Post your event on community calendars – online and in local newspapers.
  • Post flyers around town.
  • Spread the word with emails, mail and phone calls in addition to social media.

CheckmarkThank your supporters

  • Take lots of photos so you can share the excitement of the day with your supporters.
  • Thank your sponsors, donors and participants and then thank them again.

After the work is done at your event, bask in the satisfaction of a job well done. Complete this form so the Unity Walk can include your fundraiser on the Parkinson’s CHAMP in Action page. Share your ideas and success with other walkers. You never know what will create the spark that motivates another walker to create a fundraiser of their own.

The Unity Walk office can help you think through your fundraising events. Please call us and let us know of your plans. No need to recreate the wheel. We have worked with so many walkers and teams on their events and will gladly share lessons learned and best practices. For more ideas, information, forms and templates, check the “Your Fundraising Events” page on our website.

Types of FUNdraisers – One Just Might be Right for You

Monday, September 1st, 2014

If you’re thinking of creating a fundraiser on behalf of the Unity Walk, there’s a high probability that it’s because you have a strong connection to the Parkinson’s community and you’re ready to step up your fundraising efforts. How you decide to accomplish that is another story. There are a wide range of options. In the next few blog posts, we will highlight various types of events that have been held on behalf of the Unity Walk. Whether it’s a local walk, a restaurant fundraiser, an event involving some form of exercise, celebrating a milestone occasion, or any other kind of fundraiser – regardless of the scale of the event – there are some elements that are common to planning for all of them.

So if you are ready to take your fundraising efforts up another level, check out information about how you can plan Milestone celebrations, Restaurant fundraisers, Exercise events, and even planning a local walk in your community — there are so many events to choose from!

The Unity Walk office can help you think through your fundraising events. Please call us and let us know of your plans. No need to recreate the wheel. We have worked with so many walkers and teams on their events and will gladly share lessons learned and best practices. For more ideas, information, forms and templates, check the “Your Fundraising Events” page on our website.

Once you figure out which event type is right for you, make sure you check out our tips for creating a successful fundraising event.

Raising the Bar at Their Local Pubs

Friday, August 15th, 2014

For these teams, local bars are a successful venue for their fundraisers

Based on some of our teams, when young people want to raise funds for the Unity Walk, they often plan something they enjoy and it’s often in places where their friends will want to go—surely if you want ducks, go where the ducks are!  It often includes a drink at a local bar combined with raising money for research.  Teams Ryan’s Hope, Deen’s Day Trippers, Geli’s Piojos, and Las Nenas de Ariel did just that and were successful in raising funds for research on behalf of their loved ones.

Ever since her dad’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, Kate Harmon wanted to plan a fundraiser.  I never really knew what to do until he said, “Do something you enjoy.”  From there she created “Pints for Parkinson.”  All she did was ask her favorite bar in York, PA if they would let her host a fundraiser there and the rest is history!  It was scheduled on April 15th on the night of the tragic bombings in Boston and in spite of that, Kate didn’t let anything stop her event.  She describes it as an unforgettable night where she learned the biggest lesson from the event, “… was that people are inherently good, and we can help to change the world.”


Like Kate Harmon, Jenny Erasmus also explained her cause to a number of bars in her neighborhood and asked if they would be willing to host an event.  As Team Captain of Deen’s Day Trippers, she wanted to plan a fundraiser at a local bar in Brooklyn, NY on behalf of her mom, Doreen, and “… as a way to get extra donations while also celebrating our team,” states Jenny.  She received so many positive responses and had to turn several bars down!  Once her venue was pinned down at Good Co., and a public Facebook event later, “Day Drinking with the Day Trippers” was born!  The word spread and Jenny was, “… absolutely thrilled with the outcome.  We had so much fun and I can’t wait to do this again next year.”

Amy Catano of Team Geli’s Piojos and Ariel Ramos of Team Las Nenas de Ariel partnered to add another element to their bar fundraiser—karaoke!  The result of their partnership was “Karaoke for a Cure,” which turned out to be a successful fundraiser on the Upper East Side of Manhattan!  The two team captains explained that in their cultures, “…singing with your family and friends is a normal occurrence.  Why not incorporate this tradition into our fundraising efforts?  Karaoke is good for the soul!  It’s drinking, it’s family and whether you cheer someone on or have the courage to get up on stage (and maybe fall off COMPLETELY by mistake like I did)—it’s a good time.  So what better way to have some fun while raising funds?”

If you know of similar fundraisers, please comment and let us know.

Ten Tips from Top Team Captains

Friday, June 27th, 2014


PUW’s team captains are the experts who lead their teams in this fight against Parkinson’s disease. We’ve asked these top experts to share their secrets for success. Here they are!

1. Do it! Honestly – just do it! Don’t let fear hold you back from anything. Deciding to be part of this Walk is one of the easiest and best decisions ever.
2. Start team planning and fundraising as early as possible. Get the support of your community.
3. Round up friends early in the process to sign up with you and get them involved.
4. Make it a family affair. Recruit important people in your life to participate. You’ll be glad you shared the experience with them.
5. All you need to do is ask and then ask again. Some people give and some don’t but no one minds being asked. You won’t risk your friendships by being bold.
6. Utilize all the tools on the website (e.g., personalize your personal and team donation pages, send emails from My HQ,) and stay up to date with your donations.
7. Use social media. It’s an easy way to ask friends and family for donations without asking directly. Plus you’ll reach people you don’t have email addresses for.
8. Create a fundraiser in your community. Pick something you’ll enjoy and your team is willing to help plan and organize.
9. Enjoy every bit of the experience – the Walk, the camaraderie, the information, the fundraising, and the beauty of Central Park.
10. Make the day as easy and fun as possible for your team so they will want to come back. And THANK EVERYONE (donors, walkers, and anyone who helped you out in any way).

Take their good advice and learn from their experience — Pledge to Walk in 2015, start planning early, stay the course, and be there as we cross the Finish Line together.

To learn all about fundraisers organized by teams, check out samples of team planned events.