Fundraising Letters

Sample Fundraising Letter 1

When I was a little girl, my father, Sylvester, used to dance me around our kitchen. We would twirl over the tiles; 4-year-old me standing on his feet, him leading.

In September of 2007, just two weeks after he received a devastating cancer diagnosis, we shared another memorable spin around the floor: the father-daughter dance at my wedding. He cut the rug that day in his signature style.

Fifteen months later, we lost our leading man to esophageal cancer.

On August 1, I will join more than 5,000 other cyclists in the 30th Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a bike-a-thon that raises money for cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. This spectacular event raised more than $35 million last year by donating 100% of all rider raised funds to the DFCI. The PMC holds the promise of helping eradicate this disease which affects millions each year.

I will be riding an 84-mile route from Wellesley to Bourne. To take part in this event I need to raise a minimum of $3,000 and am asking for your help in achieving this goal. Donations are tax deductible and may be made online at

If you prefer to write a check, please make it out to the PMC, The Jimmy Fund or Dana Farber Cancer Institute and mail them to me. I have until October 1 to complete my fundraising efforts.

If your employer has a matching gift program, get the form from HR, and follow the process for matches.

Any contribution you can make toward my ride would be most gratefully appreciated. The PMC is a way for me to honor my father who met his battle with high hopes, unshakeable faith and a buoyant spirit of determination. Like anything else he did in life, he gave it his very best. "Life is worth living," was his message to others. Please help me help others continue to dance. 

Sample Fundraising Letter 2

Many of you have heard from me before. This year I am in earnest as the cause has hit home.

I was moved to ride my first PMC in memory of a young friend, Erika. When Erika was 5 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was an inspiration to everyone who met her. I watched in awe as she and her family fought their battle with incredible grace, courage and faith.

I now have a much closer view of this devastating class of diseases called cancer. In late February 2009, my husband, Greg, was diagnosed with a very rare form of blood cancer. It has infiltrated his lungs. We're shocked, shaken, and deeply affected by the diagnosis. We've been going along in our lives quite comfortably. Our three children are nearly grown; the oldest off on his own, one married, and the youngest in college. We were enjoying finally being a couple again. And now our lives have changed in a moment.

The blessing is that we have this gift of time; time to make decisions about what is important to us, our family and our friends. Time for practical things like finances, and taking care of ourselves and each other. Time to choose to live each day to its fullest. This diagnosis has brought life vividly into focus.

In all his relationships, at work, in his volunteer work, and in his friendships, Greg has always been incredibly generous. He has always felt an obligation to help others, as he was able. He was an EMT for 15 years, starting in Tyngsboro and then continuing in Westford when we moved here in 1985. He has been a hospice volunteer for the past 5 years and will tell you how much more he gets from this work than he gives. He is not used to being on the receiving end and has been overwhelmed by the love and support we have been shown since learning of his diagnosis. We feel blessed to have received so much love from our friends and family. We thank you all for that.

Riding the PMC for three years now has been an amazing experience. Every year, I feel the support of the staff, the volunteers, all the other riders and my sponsors. I ride because I can. And because riding the PMC is a positive effort that combines with the positive efforts of thousands of other riders and creates something much bigger than all of us. In the face of a disease that leaves me feeling so helpless, riding the PMC gives me hope. This year will be my first Sturbridge start. That means that my first day will cover 110 miles as opposed to 84 miles with the Wellesley start.

After using their services, I am more pleased than ever that this is where my money is going. Dana-Farber gives a level of care that is unsurpassed. 100% of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I am more determined than ever to help raise money to wipe out this killer. Please give what you can. So many lives are stake.

To donate, you can send a check to me, payable to PMC, or to donate on-line, go to: If there is someone special to you that you would like me to ride in honor/memory of, please let me know and his or her name will be included on my jersey.

I thank you in advance for your kindness, generosity and prayers.

Riding for Greg, with love & hope,
Marcia Dana 

Sample Fundraising Letter 3

Dear friends,

Cancer does not rest. It doesn't do a warm down at the end of a bicycle ride. Cancer doesn't sleep at the end of the day. It doesn't flee the cold for warm weather during school vacation. Cancer is relentless, showing no favorites and taking no prisoners. Wealthy or poor, educated or illiterate, young or old, it doesn't discriminate. Cancer has no friends, no allies, no comrades. It doesn't need any. It does its damage on its own. It is its own army. It is insidious, creeping into the lives of everyone, leaving a path of destruction and tragedy in its wake.

It is this tragedy that we have experienced and one that we live with every day. Please read our PMC profiles to know more:

But out of tragedy can come inspiration. It can harvest acts, and deeds, and abilities beyond ones expectations. Throughout Jared's battle he grew more determined, more dedicated, more focused, not only on himself and his wish to beat his disease, but on how he could help others. At the Jimmy Fund his attention was always on the youngest children; playing, comforting, assuring. Intent and resolute, for two years, in a wheelchair, he was a Pan Mass Challenge volunteer. Ellen volunteered with him while Adam and I cycled. Then, at the age of 23, the disease took his life.

Jared inspired. For those of you that didn't know him, these words describe him best; compassion, tolerance, imagination, resilience, exuberance, happiness, spirit, and love. He taught us to never give up, to never give in, and to always do something good despite the difficulties that may surround you.

Last year the PMC raised $35 million with every last penny going to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund. Every single penny. To learn more about the PMC please go to On August 1 and 2, Ellen, Adam, and I, and Team Kermit will once again take to the road. We will ride in honor and in memory of Jared. We will be inspired by his humanity, kindness, and neverending desire to do good things for others. We will be powered by his smile, gentle nature, and contagious humility. We will not rest until cancer is a thing of the past.

The PMC is our avenue, our conduit, our means of empowering the army of doctors, nurses, clinicians, scientists, and support staff that are in our hospitals, laboratories, corridors, kitchens, and garages. These are the people on the front lines working tirelessly to make the dream of "no more cancer" a reality. Our Jared Branfman Sunflowers For Life Fund For Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cancer Research is helping to make that dream happen.

Please join us by making the PMC your avenue to making a difference in the fight against cancer. Yes, these economic times are difficult for us all but remember, cancer takes no rest, no vacation, needs no help, and is not slowed by the economy. You may send us a check made out to the Jimmy Fund/PMC or you can contribute online at:

Please contribute generously and help us in our continuing efforts to help wipe cancer off the face of the earth. When you think of us on our bikes on August 1 and 2, your spirit will be with us.

with love and appreciation,
Steven, Ellen, and Adam

PS: I'd like to ask one more favor. It would be so wonderful if you would solicit a donation from one other friend or family member. Just think of how much more money we could raise in our effort to rid our lives of this horrible disease.

thanks again,