Celebrating 35 Years

Event Ideas & Fundraising Tips

We’ve selected a few ideas and tips for those of you who want to make a difference and fund raise for the NF cause!

The following are just some tips and event ideas to raise funds for the NF cause and/or for your Great Steps 4NF team. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. We’re here to help you along the way. What works the best is to do something you know or have a passion for.


The Key To Raising Funds and Awareness is to Ask and Tell (and repeat)!

We know that many are not comfortable asking for a donation, but most people really do want to help….they can always say no or ignore your request.

  • Send an mail, e-mails and social media  out to everyone you know.
  • Ask friends and family to donate to your fundraising rather than buy you a gift for a special occasion, like your birthday.
  • Ask people to give something up for NF such as their weekly night out, lunch money for the week, movie night – and contribute what they would have spent to your efforts.
  • Take your fundraising/story and information on Neurofibromatossis everywhere.
  • Encourage your donors to make donations in honor of, in memory of or in support of someone who has been affected by neurofibromatosis.
  • Ask your dentist, your doctor, you insurance agent…anyone you do business with for a small donation.

Tried and True Events - We've Seen These Done and Can Help You Plan

Create an Event that People Will Pay (Donate) to Attend!

Trivia Nite – There are many ways to do a trivia nite. One of the simplest is to find a cheap or free venue (maybe a church or school) and a DJ that does trivia nites to host it. Sell tables of up to eight people who are all on one team. Have everyone bring their own drinks, food and decorations. It’s a blast seeing what people do and to go around trying each others food.

Bowling Party – Contact a local bowling alley and they can tell you all about these! Consider adding a dinner and raffle to this event. Have couples bowl together as one. It’s less expensive and more fun…especially if you add crazy bowling to one round.

Dance-A-Thon – Participants typically dance for free and acquire sponsors. The longer people dance, the more money they raise. Invite the community to come and watch and encourage donations from them. You can also charge $5 for people to request songs.

Kickboxing/Zumba Party – Lots of people want to try kickboxing or Zumba and instructors are usually willing to hold a special class for free. The bonus is that it’s especially fun with your friends. Simply charge them to attend and let them know the entire fee will go to the cause. Maybe gather afterwards and hold a raffle.

Field Day Competition – Hold a field day or carnival and let the adults act like kids and have some fun and some friendly competition. Some types of games can include: Tug o’ War, Egg Toss, Balloon Toss, Three-Legged Race, Obstacle Courses or create some fun new variations.

Don't Forget Where You Spend Most of Your Time...At Work!

Company Donation or Match – Ask your company to make a donation or to match donations from employees..

Casual Dress Day – Determine if your office will allow employees to dress down in return for a donation to your team.

Raffle a Day Off – Ask your boss to donate a free day off to use in a raffle at work. The winner gets a day off without using his or her sick time or vacation time.

Reduce Stress – Find a masseuse through a health club, training school, or chiropractor’s office. Have them come to your business and provide a 5 or 10 minute neck and shoulder massages for a gift of $10.

Sell Goodies – Sell candy, chips, popcorn, soda, bagels or donuts at the office. You may be able to get the goods donated so everything goes to your fundraising.

Change Your Signature – Most e-mail programs give you the ability to create your own signature at the bottom of each message. This is a great way to let both personal and business contacts know NF is a cause close to your heart. Add a link to your Firstgiving.com page in your email. You may be surprised at the number of people who end up donating.

Lunch In – Ask everyone in your office to donate $10 a week until the event and skip buying lunch to make it up. Bring a bag lunch and eat together to celebrate your effort.

For More Ideas and Tips

50 Fundraising Ideas at SignUp Genius

Do It Yourself Fundraising ideas from Fundraising-ideas.org

People Are Talking

Today I had the chance to get together with a friend that I haven't seen in quite some time, and we managed to talk for three hours about our boys, ages 9 and 12, both with NF1. On my way home, I thought about how blessed I have been and the blessing that has been NF Midwest. My family's lives have been tremendously impacted by the NF Midwest family.  That's truly what they have become to us-family.  Earlier this spring, we had the opportunity to go to the NF Midwest office in St. Charles, IL.  I'm not quite sure what I expected, but there were only three people running this organization that serves NF families in six states! Little did I realize that this visit would lead to the biggest adventure in all of my son 9 years, as he got to go to NF camp in Virginia. Not a day goes by since he came home that camp isn't mentioned. Even more remarkable than that is that those campers’ experiences were made possible by people who just want to make a difference. Making positive differences in the lives of people with NF is ultimately what NF Midwest represents to me. Of course, their contributions to research are extraordinary, and our family has seen first-hand how wonderful camp can be, but I am just as moved when I see a simple message from the staff at NF Midwest offering thoughts and support for someone who is scared and anxious about a test result. The uncertainties of NF can be too much for people to bear and can leave them feeling powerless (yes, I am speaking from personal experience). Our participation in NF Midwest has helped us take some of that power back, and has given us hope.

- NFmom

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