Don’t be Freaked out About Fundraising!

Ok, so you’ve signed up for Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Reach and Raise event being held on May 15 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You went online, registered, and then here it comes, Time to Start Fundraising!

Let me share some fundraising tips from what my home studio, Pink Lotus Yoga in Swedesboro New Jersey, is doing. Currently, we’re promoting a donation-based class series. The first class was a chanting, meditation and gentle/restorative yoga class. We then offered a “Move to the Groove,” where we practiced an energizing vinyasa accompanied by acoustic guitar. The third class offered was a self-care/compassion workshop lead by an art therapist.

pink.lotus.teamWe also sent an email asking for assistance to create raffle baskets. Our powerful community responded with amazing baskets filled with products that we displayed in the studio. People loved having the opportunity to purchase tickets for a chance to win.

How can you create something equally inspiring resulting in generous donations? It’s really not that difficult, you just have to be mindful.

Pink Lotus Yoga is an amazing community filled with beautiful souls containing a plethora of talent and resources. This was my starting point. I reflected on what was available to me. We have a lovely instructor who has a beautiful voice. She plays guitar and has a network of friends who practice kirtan. They all came together to lead a restorative yoga class with several other instructors specializing in mediation and restorative yoga.

Our studio also has an instructor whose husband plays guitar. She teamed up with a dynamic vinyasa instructor to create “Move to the Groove.” Lastly, one of our clients is an art therapist. We simply asked her if she would like to offer her time, talent and compassion to our studio. This was a no-brainer for her – absolutely! Our studio set a price for these classes and our clients were more than willing to generously give and at the same time participate in a mindful, purposefully planned class.

Tips on becoming mindfully and creatively inspired:

  • Reflect on the resources that are available to you. Use these resources to your advantage. Brainstorm with talented friends/studio owners and instructors.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask. Come right out and say, “Is there someone willing to donate his/her time, talent and energy to hold a donation based class?”
  • Think! Can you do something a little extra to entice people while they are having fun being blissed out with an open wallet? You can start with a basket raffle.
  • Know the source that you are fundraising for. Share your experience with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, its amazing yoga event and valuable resources benefitting those affected by breast cancer.

Now you have nothing to be freaked out about, right? I hope I got your wheels turning and your creative juices flowing on ways you can ignite your network and start fundraising. I hope to see you on the steps May 15!

Written by Peggy K. Dyer, Reach and Raise Team Captain for Pink Lotus Content Warriors.

Confessions of a Non-Yogini: Celebrating 15 Years of Reach & Raise

team.dreamsLong-time Living Beyond Breast Cancer support and Reach and Raise: Philadelphia Team Captain Dorel Shanon writes about what the annual event means to her.

The very first year of Yoga on the Steps it poured in Philadelphia – the only time in 15 years the event had to be rescheduled. It had been a long year for me: three surgeries, several months of chemo, and radiation still ahead. I hadn’t taken a yoga class in many, many years and wasn’t sure I would be able to move my body in any way resembling event co-founder and instructor Jennifer Schelter’s poses. What do I remember most about that first gathering? The deep sense of peace, connection, well-being and hope I left with that day.

I’ve been to every Reach and Raise since then (except once, when I was forced to stay home with a fever). Some years it’s the only yoga class I take; others it’s one of many. For the past 8 of those 15 years, I’m there as co-captain of Team Dreams with my daughter, Ari. She launched Team Dreams as part of her Bat Mitzvah project, to give back to an organization that was my lifeline during my year of treatment and beyond. We’re joined by about 15 to 30 friends and family members each year and most years, Ari, who’s now in college, still comes to support me and the team, as do her friends who are in town. Each year I am beyond grateful to experience one more morning of yoga on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, surrounded by friends, family and – now- thousands of strangers who are part of my community of those touched by breast cancer.

team.dreams2Enough time has gone by that I don’t know answers to questions like: How long did it take your hair to grow back? Or, Did you have a hard time with radiation? But I never forget the amazing community of people who stood by and supported me through that long year, friends who cooked and drove my children everywhere, my husband who had faith even when I didn’t, doctors who – with compassion and caring – guided me through this parallel universe of cancer, strangers who shared scars and stories of their own treatment experiences…and the staff and volunteers at LBBC, who made sure I never felt alone on my journey.

I also never forget the feeling of joy, connection, gratitude and peace I experience every single year on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum as Jennifer and countless other yoga instructors guide us through a loving and hope-filled morning. A friend who came to Reach and Raise for the first time told me that she knew she was contributing to a cause she believed in by coming but hadn’t realized how much she’d be getting herself. She called the morning “a gift to herself,” something that has stuck with me ever since.

Being at Reach and Raise is a moment to pause and experience the gratitude I feel for LBBC, for this amazing community, for my incredible team of health care providers, for my family and friends, and most of all, for the life I’ve been able to live so fully and deeply this past 15 years. I cherish that moment and look forward to many more years of joining others on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum for this inspiring and life-affirming morning.

I hope to see you on May 15. You can join my team, start your own or make a donation to support Living  Beyond Breast Cancer’s mission of connecting people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support.

6 Tips for Reaching Your Team Fundraising Goal

Does your Reach & Raise team need some fresh ideas for fundraising this year? Team Bee-Yond Breast Cancer has some exciting ways to expand and maximize your efforts.

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Lavender eye pillows, bracelets and necklaces that we sold.

 

1. DIY: Get out your glue gun, beads, sewing machine, or cookie sheets and get creative. Our team fundraising has been energized this year with several handmade items being sold by team members. Some examples are jewelry, homemade cookies and lavender eye pillows. Ask your yoga studio if you could sell the items in the studio, and advertise your items on social media.

2. Independent Consultants: If you are an independent consultant or have a friend who might be willing to get involved in a good cause, the options for in-home or online parties are almost endless. Once you have a contact, ask if they would be willing to donate a portion of their earnings from a party. Then, host a jewelry, candle, bag, or make-up party with a predetermined percentage of the sales to be donated.

3. Dine for Dollars: Many local and chain restaurants are willing to hold fundraising nights. Invite the team as well as their friends, families and coworkers to enjoy a relaxing night out to raise money for LBBC—and no dirty dishes!

4. Barefoot Ball: The Barefoot Ball is our team’s favorite fundraiser. It’s a donation-based yoga class. The team enjoys a night out as a community. It’s also a great night for new faces to come out to give yoga a try. It offers an opportunity for mini-fundraisers the night of the event (basket auctions or sales of DIY items). Best of all, donations from the evening go directly to the team total.

team.beyond5. Spread the Word: Share the link to your team or personal page on social media to ask for donations from online supporters. Talk about the vision and mission of LBBC. Send out some personalized emails asking for contributions. Place a jar in the break room at work with some information about how the funds are used to support those with breast cancer.

6. Grow Your Team: As your team grows, the potential to reach or exceed you goal increases. Encourage team members to recruit friends to join the team. Promote your team as family-friendly (children ages 5-18 can register for only $10).

These are just a few ideas to get your Reach and Raise team moving in the right direction–toward achieving its goal. What other ways has your team found to successfully reach its goal?

Written by: Laurie McGuire, member of Team Bee-Yond Breast Cancer and Instructor at Bee Inspired Yoga.

Healing With Yoga: One Step at a Time

headshot.deb.copitWe’re marking the 15th anniversary of Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Reach & Raise on May 15 this year atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We asked one of our biggest supporters Debra Copit, MD, director of breast imaging for Einstein Healthcare Network, about her experience with one of the largest yoga events in the area.

How did you get involved with Living Beyond Breast Cancer?
I got involved with Living Beyond Breast Cancer over 20 years ago when I came back from completing my residency in Dallas. I wanted to get involved in a local organization and LBBC is so dedicated to what happens after diagnosis. They do something unique and they do it really well. As a radiologist, I often see the before and after but LBBC helps a lot of women throughout their diagnosis.

Your relationship with LBBC got even more personal for you in 2011. Can you share?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. I caught it early. I went through radiation and took Tamoxifen for five years. LBBC does so much for others in my situation – especially for those who don’t have the support around them like I did.

Will you be participating in our Reach & Raise yoga event in Philadelphia on May 15?
Yes! I have participated at least 10 times. I’m excited to mark the event’s 15th anniversary this year.

What does the event mean to you?
Over the years the event has taken on a different meaning. Prior to my diagnosis it was a day of connecting to other women and a celebration to honor people who were diagnosed, fighting the disease and people who are no longer with us.

It is also a morning of beauty and calmness. Just being there with all those people in the city where I grew up is magical.

After my diagnosis the event became even more of a celebration. It’s a milestone and a very positive, uplifting morning.

You’re this year’s guest speaker at Reach & Raise. What do you want to impart on the thousands of participants?
I think the most important thing I want people to realize is to relax, remember why we’re all there and take in the humanity that surrounds the disease at such an important event; enjoy the moment and celebration.Yoga on the Steps - 2015 (Joe Longo High Res) (221)

Do you practice yoga on a regular basis?
Yes. It’s definitely a source of calmness in my life. I really do find that I release a lot of stress and tension both when I’m doing yoga and afterward. While yoga is good for your body I do it mostly for the mental benefits.

Your employer, Einstein Healthcare Network, is this year’s presenting sponsor of Reach & Raise. How does that make you feel?
I feel extremely proud and grateful that they understand the importance of this event and the work that LBBC does. I’ve been at Einstein for almost 24 years. To have the two organizations that are such a big part of my life partner together is wonderful.

What would you say to those thinking of participating in Reach & Raise for the first time?
Don’t miss it! You’ll be more than pleasantly surprised to see how it makes you feel and it will be a great memory for years to come. It’s an all-levels class so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never done yoga.

Plus, the money raised at this event goes directly to LBBC’s programs and services that help so many people affected by breast cancer. It’s absolutely yoga for a reason!

How have you benefited personally from LBBC’s programs and services?
I really knew that if I had a question or needed support that I could go to LBBC. The staff is so caring and supportive.

As a radiologist I am often the person who has to tell someone they have breast cancer. In that regard LBBC has been a tremendous resource for me. I am able to recommend an organization that I trust and know can help those affected by breast cancer. That means a lot to me.

You can hear Deb speak (and probably see her Downward Dog) at Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Reach & Raise on Sunday, May 15 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. To register or to make a donation, visit philly.reachandraise.org.

Get [on brand] with us. (Part 3)

Lisa Weinberger is the founder of Masters Group Design, a full-service visual communication studio with comprehensive strategic branding capabilities. In the first and second parts of her contribution to Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s 25th Anniversary Blog Series, Lisa explained how her agency has helped define and strengthen LBBC’s brand identity through her team’s amazing use of design and graphics. Here’s the wrap-up to her series.

MGD was excited to lead the Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s rebranding process leading up to their 25th Anniversary. Like all things LBBC, it was a collaborative effort that engaged the community at large, volunteers, stakeholders, staff and management. Everyone had a voice. Through meetings, surveys and branding exercises. we broadened our understanding of the power and impact of the organization and the logo that represents it. We also learned about the need to more effectively communicate the unwavering and essential characteristics of LBBC: trusted, supportive, inclusive and compassionate.

For weeks, a prolific and intense concepting phase was underway at MGD’s studio. It yielded many options, including some that referenced LBBC’s longtime butterfly icon and others that sharply departed from it. Threading together the entire creative process was a focus on LBBC’s distinctive character and on creating a logo that could inspire hope.

What emerged was a matured identity for the organization.

New Picture

The new logo is a symbol of connection—connection to a community, to expert information, to a network of support. The graphic shapes embrace one another in a trusted grip, communicating the reliable nature of LBBC and their partnership with those they serve. The graphic is accompanied by a name that boldly stands in all uppercase letters, with an emphasis on “Living Beyond” to communicate hope—that people are more than a breast cancer diagnosis.

The logo was released at the start of 2015. Since then, we’ve been hard at work—first to define a strong and cohesive visual identity, and then to deploy that identity across all LBBC communications.bbTwenty-five years ago, I came to understand how adrift one can feel when facing illness. Now, as LBBC celebrates 25 years, I have had the rewarding opportunity, along with my creative team, to help them deliver the lifelines of connection, information and support. We are huge cheerleaders for the good that LBBC does, and to be able to help craft that “good” into everything they produce is a great source of pride for us.

25th Badges

Congratulations to LBBC on reaching this significant milestone and for their persistence and passion in serving those affected by breast cancer.

Thank you for allowing us to design with you, for you.


25th Anniversary Mark

All of us at LBBC want to thank Lisa, Vicki and Benjamin, the team at Masters Group Design, for helping us through the years with your time, talent and generosity. You’ve helped make us the organization we are today!

Stories for our 25th Anniversary Blog Series will be published throughout the year.  If you have a story you’d like to share about your history with LBBC that might be featured as part of our series, contact Kevin Gianotto by email at kevin@lbbc.org.

Get [on brand] with us. (Part 2)

This is the second installment (part one can be found here) of a three part piece penned for our 25th Anniversary Blog Series by Lisa Weinberger, founder of Masters Group Design. For 9 years, MGD has played a key role in defining and strengthening LBBC’s “look” brand image.

 

In 2008, I appointed Vicki Gray-Wolfe, Creative Partner at MGD, to lead the design strategy. I knew she could translate LBBC’s needs into an aesthetic that was welcoming and accessible. Her quiet, soft and feminine style was a perfect fit. Key to her initial strategy was employing patterns as a way to signal the diversity of women that LBBC serves. Every pattern was different. The result was a suite of materials that reflected a tapestry of voices and experiences of the breast cancer community. It was a strong acknowledgment that LBBC valued those they served.

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As LBBC’s impact began to solidify, their position as a provider of definition and meaning to so many affected by breast cancer became a focal point of their messaging strategy. Kevin Gianotto, Associate Director of Marketing, described LBBC as “an organization not afraid to redefine definitions.” His idea to create a campaign around this notion was rolled out in the 2011 Annual Report, and shortly thereafter it transformed into a smart new image across their collateral. The definitions campaign reinforced LBBC’s position as an authority that actively expands and reshapes the perspective of living beyond a diagnosis.

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In 2013, big developments were afoot. The organization was growing in terms of programs, services and staff. There was an increasing interest in LBBC, not just from women but also men affected by breast cancer. And their audience of healthcare providers, family members, the medical community and funders was expanding as well. It was time to tweak the materials so that they projected a voice of inclusion and were more gender-neutral. Streamlining the identity in favor of a bolder, more expansive look was also a goal. Simply put, LBBC was bigger and more universal in their appeal. Their design materials needed to address that shift in scale.

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While the integrity of a brand rarely changes, many internal and external factors drive a brand’s visual representation. In 2015, LBBC was planning for a major move to accommodate their growing enterprise. A more responsive website—a critical tool in their suite of exceptional information—was due to launch that same year. And on the horizon was a major milestone.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s 25th anniversary.


25th Anniversary Mark

Lisa’s blog series, Get [on brand] with us, concludes early next week.

 

Get [on brand] with us. (Part 1)

If you know Living Beyond Breast Cancer, then you know the work of Lisa Weinberger and her team at Masters Group Design.  For almost ten years, Lisa and her colleagues have played an invaluable role in defining LBBC’s “look” and visual identity. This is the first part of a three part series Lisa has penned for our 25th Anniversary Blog Series.

Twenty-five years ago, and at the same time that Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) was born, I learned that I had a blood disease. I was 24 years old and shocked by the revelation. I’d never heard of this disease. I couldn’t pronounce it or spell it. And worse, I didn’t know a soul who had ever had it.

My life came to a screeching halt. For months, I rotated through hematologists’ offices—cumulating mountains of lab results, adjusting drug regimens and receiving invasive treatment to suppress the unwelcome stranger in my body. The experience was surreal.

I was faced with a new reality—a world where facts were scarce. There were no support groups or helplines. The lack of easy-to-access information contributed daily to my anxiety. I didn’t have the benefit of today’s robust Internet nor the connection of social media. I would have benefitted greatly if I could have learned from and networked with others who had experienced my illness. But I seemed to be one among a community of none. Never in my life did I feel so alone.

As unexpectedly as the disease had arrived, it miraculously departed about a year later. It did, however, leave an indelible mark on me. I understand the fear that illness brings, the need for information and the desire to live beyond a diagnosis.

In 1993, I launched Masters Group Design (MGD), a communications firm in Philadelphia. We help non-profit organizations crystalize their message and, through design, spread it with maximum impact. All of our clients seek to change the world in meaningful ways. And all of them make my daily work fulfilling. But there are some clients whose work resonates with me in personal and profound ways. Living Beyond Breast Cancer is one of them.

Nine years ago, my company was selected by LBBC to strengthen their marketing and educational materials. I was immediately drawn to and inspired by their mission. I knew that connecting and empowering people affected by breast cancer through information, support and community would offer them three lifelines. And, given their vision of creating a world where no one affected by breast cancer ever felt alone, I knew they understood that for those facing illness, knowing someone is with you, for you, is invaluable.

I was eager to round up the MGD team to amplify LBBC’s voice and help them gain the exposure that their important work deserved.

CreativeTeam1

Janine Guglielmino, then LBBC’s Communications Director, was responsible for guiding the projects assigned to us. I learned from her that the role of design was extremely serious and sensitive business for LBBC. The material we created needed to:

  • Speak to all women, regardless of their age, level of education or background.
  • Welcome and comfort—not intimidate.
  • Acknowledge that breast cancer was not the same experience for everyone.

Janine’s deep compassion and desire to communicate with dignity and delicacy were hallmarks of LBBC.  Her sensitivity to how information gets crafted and delivered inspired our work from day one.


25th Anniversary Mark

Breast cancer IS NOT the same for everyone as Lisa and her team would demonstrate, using design to visually tell LBBC’s incredible story. Be sure to check back for part 2 of Get [on brand] with us, next week.