Using E-mail for Good: A Success Story
By Emily Hedrick
A year ago the Association created an online community called My Cause (http://mycausecfs.kintera.org) to give cyber-savvy Link readers (and others) a tool to raise awareness about CFS and funds to help conquer this debilitating illness. At its one-year mark, My Cause now has 250 online hosts, who collectively have raised nearly $40,000 to support the Association’s services.
As a national, nonprofit voluntary health organization, the CFIDS Association of America depends upon gifts like these to sustain its vital work on behalf of people with CFS. In a typical year, except for government grants for special projects, gifts from individuals like My Cause hosts and their friends account for 83% of the Association’s income. Therefore, donations—both large and small—from this new online source matter in a big way.
It’s a landmark time for the CFS community. Momentum is building in the field of research. The national public awareness campaign is spreading the word about CFS more widely than anything we’ve ever experienced. Public policy advocacy in Washington is producing results. But these efforts cost money to sustain. And that’s where you can help.
The Association’s 20th anniversary this year is a perfect time to make a gift, set up your own My Cause page and then to ask your friends via email to join you in supporting our cause. And in so doing, you are all “helping make CFS history.”
If you’re a little nervous about asking people for money, you’re not alone. But consider this. Studies show that the biggest single reason people don’t give to a cause is they’re not asked. Passion is contagious. It’s human nature to want to help, especially when you know and respect the person who’s asking.
In addition, many current My Cause participants find creating their pages and reaching out to friends and associates a moving and empowering way to share their CFS story with others.
Getting started is easy: Visit the My Cause home page at www.mycausecfs.kintera.org and click on the “Create Your Page” button at the top.
As a My Cause host you may write your own text or choose from templates provided. Likewise, there’s a library of graphics, or you may import your own. This is where you can tell your own story and describe your journey with CFS. It’s your page: Be creative!
Once you set up your page, the next step is to let people in your own cyber-circle know about it, and invite them to visit. To make it easy we've provided templates for your emails. And don’t forget to thank everyone after they’ve made their gifts.
And speaking of thank you . . . THANK YOU in advance for your gift and for making CFS your cause!
Your donations enable the CFIDS Association to fund CFS research, fight for better health policy, educate medical professionals and help families and individuals dealing with this debilitating illness.
Make CFS history! Donate now to support CFS research, education and advocacy.