Have you heard of a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund and wondered what it was — and maybe whether you should have one? Here are the basics, along with how a few families feel about their experience.
Honoring the Memory of Loved Ones
Launched in 2013, St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds offer a special way to fund childhood cancer research in honor or memory of a loved one. Today, there are more than 80 Hero Funds, and in 2019 alone, they collectively raised more than $2.5 million.
While Hero Funds come in all shapes and sizes, the families behind them are united by their passion to conquer childhood cancers and their drive to raise the funds with St. Baldrick’s to make that happen.
Funding the Most Promising Childhood Cancer Research
To help them raise money, Hero Funds have support from the St. Baldrick’s fundraising and event coaching staff, as well as public relations, gift processing, and reporting. Most importantly, they have the benefit of the Foundation’s highly respected scientific review and grant making program, to make sure that every Hero Fund dollar raised gets to the most promising childhood cancer research.
Ensuring Funds are Used Wisely
“We love our Hero Fund because it allows us to focus on fundraising to honor David without the burden of wondering if the funds we raise will be used wisely. St. Baldrick’s provides a level of expertise that nobody else can and we are proud to be connected.” — Susan Heard, David’s Warriors Hero Fund
For many, a Hero Fund offers an efficient alternative to starting their own independent foundation. By making use of the fundraising and grants administration resources St. Baldrick’s has built over the past 20 years, Hero Funds are able to focus their efforts on fundraising, rather than starting from scratch.
“We love our Hero Fund because it empowers Grace. With a Hero Fund named in her honor, Grace can lead others toward our common goals of better treatments and healthy survivorship.” — Rebekah Ham, The Grace for Good Fund
Hero Funds are Customizable
Each Hero Fund has its own special web page where the family can share their loved one’s story, photos and even a video, to inspire their community to support research. On this page, multiple fundraisers can be tied together to create a single total capturing every donation, building year over year.
“We love that our Hero Fund page on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website gives us a permanent home to share Alan’s story! And we love having St. Baldrick’s as a partner in our mission — they take care of all the paperwork and tech support while we work on events that have meaning for our family. Our events are small, local and personal, and having a Hero Fund gives us the support and backing of a national organization — the best of both worlds!” — Judy Sanders, Alan’s Sarcoma Research Fund
Funds Can be Directed to Specific Research Areas
Hero Funds often raise enough money to name or support a grant focused on their area of special interest. It’s a great way to celebrate and recognize their fundraising efforts. Often, Hero Fund families develop a connection with their grant recipient, gaining an understanding of how their researcher’s work is helping to conquer childhood cancers.
“We love our Hero Fund because it honors Holden’s memory and allows us to share his triumphs and tragedies in a meaningful way. We’ve been able to name several grants in Holden’s honor, which gave us something concrete to show our donors so they could feel ownership and see where their contributions go.” – Miriam Gilkinson, Invictus Fund
Hero Funds Unite and Amplify Efforts
Hero Funds hold a very special place within the St. Baldrick’s community. They are made up of not only the family honoring a very special loved one, but also the many fundraising participants and supporters who rally around them.
“We love our Hero Fund because we can share updates on Georgia’s journey with our donors and keep them connected with our team and our mission to conquer childhood cancer. We can also track our fundraising total and watch it grow over the years of our participation with St. Baldrick’s.
We never dreamed when we signed up for our first event in 2010 that we’d ever be able to raise over $175,000, but thanks to our generous donors, we have! We funded two grants and continue to tell Georgia’s story in the hopes that every child can survive and thrive like she has. Being able to show our donors the direct result of their generous gifts is incredibly powerful, and it inspires them to help spread the word about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the critical need for research funding.”
— Courtney Moore, Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund
Learn how to set up a Hero Fund on our Hero Fund page or email Funds@StBaldricks.org.
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