When I set out on the path of fundraising for brain tumour
and cancer research
I started with a modest goal of £750.00. Little did I know how difficult this would prove. I thought that because it was for a great cause that it would be easy. How wrong could I be. Many were happy to pledge, but when it came to paying up it was a different matter.
It was literally like pulling teeth. I stuck it out though, and our barometer of progress illustrates I haven’t done that bad. I guess there‘s some truth to the saying, “perseverance pays.” It‘s no small achievement either, because with modern day fundraising on social media it harbours such cynicism that you’re up against it from the get-go—you really are.
My research quickly revealed that there were fundraisers for all sorts of reasons, many impossible to establish from fact or fiction. I recall one fundraising effort where someone tried to get money for the release of their father who was an African prince kidnapped for ransom! Strange but true. What was stranger is that it actually raised several hundred dollars before Facebook flagged it. It’s a crazy world.
So taking this into account I was prepared for the worst whilst hoping for the best. My first attempt took blood sweat and tears for I did a sponsored five-mile swim. Have in mind I was semi paralysed at the time due to a mild stroke so I wasn’t sure I’d actually do it. Thankfully I did, and I eventually raised £500 for it, but my presence on social media was almost non-existent at that time, and as I found it difficult to adapt to technology and the social media phenomenon I had no idea how to capitalise on its power.
Cries of concern that the money would line my pockets weren’t uncommon, and I’d be lying if I said this didn’t hurt—I’m human. But I quickly figured out that being transparent was the key. I made absolutely certain that a lesson learnt from some mentors of days gone by was that you could never be questioned if you used care and clarity. It was then that JustGiving
came into the equation.
JustGiving is a well established, trusted autonomous platform that facilitates fundraising without the fundraiser actually touching the money. This meant two things. The foul calling would fall on deaf ears and the funds went directly to the charities. It was a no-brainer. There was one negative though. JustGiving took a cut, I believe about 5% processing fee in the beginning. They’ve since done away with that in the UK which suits me fine, as I’m a firm believer that all monies donated should go where it’s supposed to go, to the charities.
So now that we’d got the logistics of fundraising delivery in place, I only need focus on finding and growing an audience. It was here that social media really did come into its own. I‘d already set up a group revolving my passion for watches and everything horological so my target audience were there. But it wasn’t quite smooth sailing. We’d (Just About Watches
®) quickly grew from a couple of dozen members to thousands, then tens of thousands, many hundreds of thousands across all platforms. We got that big that we ended up asking Facebook to get rid of dead-wood. I’m a believer that numbers are for vanity with activity for sanity.
I’d rather have a group with a hundred active members than a dead group of thousands. But I was more demanding. Not content with a large active group, it had to be respected. Facebook is akin to the wild west at times. Frankly as good as it can be it’s true to say it also harbours pure evil. With success comes its own price to pay. It wasn’t long before the envious came trolling wishing both my wife and myself painful death from our respective illnesses.
I’ve watched my wife lose her hair and womb. That was painful, but nothing compared to the cancerous keyboards that typed messages of hate. But we’d never let that win. We’d been beating cancer for almost ten years that we were hardly likely to let envious spiteful people beat us, it just strengthened our resolve. We are now a quarter of a million strong across the internet and growing by the day. Not all will have the ability to donate to fundraising but moral support is often just as effective.
It’s on that principle that we believe that our brand KG&S will thrive. We’ve fought all odds to get where we are and with grit and determination we will continue with the mindset that we will never stop raising awareness and funds for brain tumour and cancer research. Not until our last breath. Even then we’ll have put contingency in place for others to continue our legacy.
If you wish to donate, please feel free to do so here
. Every penny counts.