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60 Agencies Provide Fundraising Help


This article is from the Organ Transplant FAQ, by mike_holloway@hotmail.com (Michael Holloway) with numerous contributions by others.

60 Agencies Provide Fundraising Help

What do you do when you need to raise $10,000 for a bone narrow transplant,
but have no fundraising experience? Some BMT patients have turned to groups
such as the Organ Transplant Fund in Memphis TN or the Children's Organ
Transplant Association in Bloomington IN for help.

The Organ Transplant Fund (OTF) was founded in 1983 to raise funds for
organ transplant recipients. Since its inception, the group has
orchestrated more than 500 successful fundraising campaigns including 100
for bone narrow transplant patients. On average, $200,000 is raised per
patient, says national director Suzanne Norman.

Initially, a staff person from Organ Transplant Fund meets with the family
to identify a fundraising chairperson, and to set up a committee of local
volunteers. "We then meet with the volunteers, help them develop a
fundraising plan, and show them how to tap into resources in their
community quickly and effectively. We provide them with a fundraising
packet and ideas for events, as well as access to low-cost products they
might want to sell to raise funds such as cookbooks, candy bars, etc."

Funds raised through OTF are used solely to pay transplant-related
expenses. OTF controls the funds and administers payments directly to the
health care provider. In the event of death, funds remain in the patient's
account for up to one year to pay transplant-related bills. Thereafter, the
funds are transferred to a general account that provides emergency grants
and support services for future patients.

"Since contributions to the Organ Transplant Fund are tax-deductible.
working with us expands the universe of potential contributors," says
Norman. "Large corporations, for example, will simply not make a
contribution to an individual but they will contribute to a tax-exempt

Fundraising guidance is not the only help Organ Transplant Fund provides.
'"We offer our families a multitude of support services such as arranging
for lodging and transportation to the transplant center, identifying BMT
centers that do transplants for their particular disease, negotiating a
reduced down payment at the BMT center so the transplant can begin quickly,
etc." says Norman.

Organ Transplant Fund retains 5 percent of the funds raised to cover
administrative costs. "Many patients have told us that our support
services, alone, are worth the price," says Norman.

The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) also provides
fundraising assistance to organ transplant patients, both children and
adults. Founded in 1985, the group has conducted more than 150 fundraising
campaigns on behalf of organ transplant patients, approximately half of
which have been for bone marrow transplant patients, according to COTA
executive director David Cain.

"The amount of money varies according to the number of volunteers working
on the fundraising campaign and the size of the community." says Cain.
"Typically, $75,000-$100,000 can be raised in a period of 60-90 days."

Like OTF, COTA asks families to identify a network of volunteers who will
orchestrate fundraising activities in the community. "We provide them with
a fundraising kit, ideas for events, and help with publicity," says Cain.
"Depending on the amount of money to be raised, COTA staff may meet with
the family or simply provide guidance over the phone."

All contributions are deposited in a tax-exempt COTA fund and are used
strictly to pay medical expenses. "It's important that the public have
confidence that their contributions will be used only for necessary medical
expenses," says Cain. "Having the funds controlled directly by COTA rather
than the family provides that assurance."

COTA's administrative expenses are covered by the interest earned on the
accounts into which funds raised for patients are deposited. All funds are
invested in government securities, says Cain.

"Our goal is not only to raise funds for transplant patients, but to get
the community educated and involved in the process," says Cain. "Our
emphasis is on having friends and neighbors help each other."

To contact the Organ Transplant Fund, phone 800-489-FUND. To contact the
Children's Organ Transplant Association, phone 800-366-2682. Life-Core
(Oregon), 503-366-9125, also provides fundraising assistance.


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