Do What You Want

Get Creative with a “Do What You Want” Fundraiser

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 26, 2019

Head-shaving events have been a core part of the St. Baldrick’s fundraising experience for nearly two decades. Today, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $258 million in grants for childhood cancer research, with much of that money raised through head-shaving events. The research and clinical trials funded by these events have saved kids’ lives.

But we need more money to fund research to save lives. Cancer continues to rob kids of their childhoods and, in too many cases, their lives. We simply cannot accept that, worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes and that, in the U.S., one in five of those kids won’t survive.

Whether you’re new to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation or a seasoned fundraising pro, we know that our signature head-shaving events might not be for everyone. Did you know there’s another way to join us in the fight against childhood cancer, that doesn’t require you shave your head?


DWYW: Customizable St. Baldrick’s Fundraisers

The “Do What You Want” program – or DWYW for short – is a DIY option that can be used to maximize fundraising goals, start a Hero Fund, or simply raise funds for a great cause. It’s perfect for people who still want to support the mission, but in their own creative way!

Want to know more?

On our website, we’ve organized our DWYW fundraisers into four categories:
• Athletics
• Celebration
• Sales & Giveback
• Other

What happens after I register?

Once you register, our dedicated DWYW support team will reach out and help you organize an incredible fundraiser in your community. Whatever category you choose, your activity will have its own customizable webpage that you can use to interact with supporters. You’ll be able to create a fun name and personalize the URL link, upload photos, and share your reason for supporting the St. Baldrick’s mission.

When that’s all set, you’ll gain access to the St. Baldrick’s Resource Lounge, which provides you with tips, tricks, advice, and useful guides for making your fundraiser a big success.

You’ll have the ability to monitor donations before, during and after your fundraiser takes place as well as send a thank-you note to those donors.

If you’d like to honor a child, now’s the time! We can even see if it’s possible for an honored family to attend your fundraiser. And don’t forget, the team is ready to answer any questions and address your concerns.

Collage of images from various Do What You Want fundraising events.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at what supporters like you are doing!


Run, walk or even cycle your way toward better treatment options and cures for childhood cancers. Athletic events motivate community members to rally together and cheer each other on.

After shaving his head at St. Baldrick’s events nearly 10 times, Geoff wanted to do something a little different. So, he decided to “Escape from Alcatraz,” and complete a two-mile swim from San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz Island, home to the infamous prison. Geoff helped raise more than $3,000 for childhood cancer research and he didn’t get eaten by sharks. Bonus!

If swimming off the shores of San Francisco Bay isn’t your thing, you can choose something that suits your personal interests best! Organize a high school 3-on-3 basketball game, golf tournament for the office, or complete an obstacle course in honor of a local family.

You can also join popular and pre-existing events like your local Tough Mudder or New York’s Five Boros Bike Tour. Can’t find one nearby? Check with us about creating your own!


Childhood cancers present kids and families with many difficult challenges. When a child’s cancer goes into remission or they’re declared cancer-free, it’s a reason to celebrate. “Cancerversary” parties are a special way to come together and honor incredible milestones.

When six-year-old Honored Kid Von was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, his classmates at Major George S. Welch Elementary School in Dover, Delaware, responded by organizing a ninja-themed celebration with treats, activities and a trivia-filled scavenger hunt. In the end, they raised over $20,000 for kids’ cancer research! Von currently has no evidence of disease but the school continued raising funds for a little girl recently diagnosed.

Have a birthday, anniversary, or graduation coming up? Take this opportunity to party with a purpose: Rather than asking for gifts, request people attending to help fund the best childhood cancer research by donating instead. From ladies’ night out to staying in, what better way to celebrate than giving kids long, healthy lives.

Sale & Give Back Fundraiser

Interested in fundraising at work? No problem! You and your coworkers could hold a “Pie the Manager” on Pi-Day (March 14) or better yet, host a bake sale to raise money for St. Baldrick’s.

The bake sale by IHS Markit Singapore was connected to the IHS Markit 24-hour Shave-A-Thon. The Singapore office added selling sweet treats to their head-shaving event and sold a smorgasbord of tarts, cookies, and other delicious baked goods. In just a day they raised $500 for St. Baldrick’s!

In addition to the old standbys, there are plenty of different options. Are you an independent consultant? Dedicate a day or special product! Have an eye for photography or talent for art? Donate your commission! Love going to your local restaurant? Ask if they can host a St. Baldrick’s night. A portion of the proceeds can go toward funding childhood cancer research.

Not Sure Where Your Idea Fits?

“Other” fundraisers give our volunteers opportunities to think outside the head-shaving box. From trivia nights to concerts to podcast-athons, our volunteers never fail in the creativity department.

Organizers of the “Flashes of Gold” fundraiser used photo booths – complete with a wide assortment of fun props – to raise money in memory of St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid David, who died of neuroblastoma in 2011 at 10-years-old. The night was a big success, raising over $3,000 for St. Baldrick’s!

While there are many types of activities that fall under the categories listed above, we can’t cover them all. We’re happy to work with you to support our mission.

Head-shaving might not be for everyone and it doesn’t have to be! The DWYW program is designed for volunteers who want to lead the way in raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research.

Ready to join or just want to learn more? Email us at today and one of our DWYW team members will be more than happy to connect with you.

Join the fight against childhood cancer.