Q: Do I have to be a Chapter member to plan an event?
A: No, anyone can plan an event to raise money for the Huntington Society of Canada. Please contact HSC for guidance and event planning toolkits to get involved.
Q: What will be done with the event money I raise?
A: The money raised by your event will be put into action in two critical ways: investing in innovative research as we search for a treatment and cure for Huntington disease and providing excellent care and direct help to families affected by HD. Every dollar counts and your contribution will make a difference!
Q: What do I need to consider when selecting a venue?
A: When choosing a venue, there are three things you must consider: suitability of location, price, and liability. It is important that your location is accessible, easy for your participants to get to (is there ample parking, is it in a convenient location if using public transit, etc.), appropriate for the event, and has room for growth of the event to avoid having to change locations from year to year. When pricing a facility, be sure to tell the facility manager that the event is a charity event. Some organizations/institutions will reduce the rental price for charitable events. Be aware that some venues may request liability insurance. In most cases, HSC can provide a Certificate of Insurance.
Q: How should I plan for unpredictable weather?
A: It is important to always have a Plan B and come prepared with flexible arrangements. You may explore the idea of an alternative indoor space should the weather not cooperate or plan on putting up tents to provide some shelter. Alternatively, you can decide in advance to schedule a rain date if moving indoors to provide cover is not an option.
Q: How many people should be on my event committee?
A: A typical committee size ranges between three to seven members.
Q: Why is forming a committee important when planning an event?
A: It is suggested that you form a committee made up of one chairperson and additional committee members to help distribute the tasks needed to make your event a success. The committee roles may include, but are not limited to:
- Logistics and setup
- Acquiring prizes, gifts, and sponsorship
- Arranging for and/or preparing food and drinks
- Advertising & social media presence
Q: Where can I recruit committee members?
A: Committee members can be recruited from schools (colleges, universities etc.), local HD Chapter members, friends and family.
Q: How do I recruit participants?
A: HSC has recruitment tools developed for your use that you can access by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-998-7398. These tools include save the date postcards, posters, and brochures. HSC can also coordinate email bulletins and mailings to your local HD community. Be creative when trying to recruit participants by visiting high schools, libraries, and other local community facilities. There are many ways to encourage participants to bring additional people along – perhaps you can offer a prize for the biggest team, or if there is a registration cost, offer a multiple person discount.
Q: What do I need to know about having auctions, raffles and prizes at my event?
A: In almost all cases, a license must be obtained to conduct a raffle. If you are interested in holding a raffle at your event you must contact the Huntington Society of Canada to get the corresponding license. A license is not required to have a silent auction or give away door prizes. Door prizes and small giveaways for participants (available from HSC) are a simple way to provide participants with a ‘take home’ that will continue to remind them of your event!
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The Chapters of the Huntington Society of Canada host numerous fundraising events that raise approximately one million dollars every year for the cause. This amazing feat is accomplished in part by participants utilizing an online fundraising system for a number of these events. The system is a great way to connect with donors, keep donations organized, and track your progress. We chatted with a few of our most successful fundraisers about their online practices to put together tips and tricks on how to make the fundraising experience simple and successful!
It is important to personalize your fundraising page. Inserting a photo of yourself or your family can have an impact on potential donors. Many of our fundraisers also include a write up about their personal connection with Huntington disease and why the HSC mission is important to you. Feel free to share as much or as little of your personal story as you are comfortable with.
It is also helpful for donors to understand how their donations are being used. Adding a sentence or two about HSC’s efforts in providing care for HD-affected families and funding cutting edge research can also make donors feel confident about their gift.
Reach out to your friends, family, co-workers, and others that you know. You can include some of what is on your personal page, your fundraising goal, and other information relevant to the event. Many of our participants have experienced generous donations from peripheral contacts who were unaware of the disease, or their connection to it. Some fundraisers have found that they have regular donors that they can rely on year after year. These fundraisers receive positive feedback, thanking them for updates and expressing their excitement for the upcoming event.
The right timing for emails is also very important. If they are sent too far in advance, people may forget. Two to three weeks before the event has proved to be a good time, but you will know what is best for your contacts. Don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email. Some really appreciate the reminder!
Remember to email the donors right away to thank them and always send a follow-up email with photos of the event and the fundraising total. This is important to maintain a good relationship and show how much their support meant.
The Huntington Society of Canada will be introducing a new fundraising system this summer and will be supplying materials to help you learn the new system and succeed in your fundraising goals. Stay tuned for more information and thank you for all the hard work you do to raise money for those affected by Huntington disease.
*The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) recognizes that some individuals at-risk for HD may choose not to share their personal stories, as genetic information is not protected in Canada. Genetic test results can be used to the detriment of an individual by insurance companies and employers in Canada. The Society is advocating for genetic fairness in Canada, however, at this time, protection is not in place. Choosing to share for the purpose of fundraising is a personal decision. If you have questions concerning this topic, the Society encourages you to reach out to our National Office at 1 800 998 7398.