Top 10 Fundraising Ideas for Cancer

Cancer is a disease that affects millions of people every year in the United States. According to estimates, around two million individuals will be diagnosed with cancer in the country by 2023, including breast cancer. In addition to the physical impact, cancer can create emotional and financial challenges for both patients and their loved ones. Dealing with the emotional distress that comes with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and the financial burden can quickly become too much to handle, with medical bills piling up rapidly.

Fortunately, crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful tool for helping ease the financial strain of cancer treatment. Whether you are a patient or someone who wants to help a loved one undergoing cancer treatment, crowdfunding provides a simple and effective way to raise funds quickly to help pay medical bills. The following fundraising ideas for cancer can help you find the financial relief you need so that you can focus on your health.


Multiply your impact and team up against cancer with crowdfunding

Asking for financial support can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that your loved ones want to help you during this challenging time. According to recent estimates, the costs of cancer care are expected to almost double by 2030. To determine your financial needs and establish a realistic fundraising goal for your cancer fundraiser, start by calculating the treatment and healthcare costs, including the hidden expenses. Remember also to consider any out-of-pocket medical expenses when recovering at home while setting up your fundraising page.

  • Assess treatment costs. Understand your cancer treatment plan, including costs such as co-payments for hospital bills, prescription drugs, chemotherapy, and doctor visits. Consult with healthcare providers and your insurance for a detailed breakdown of anticipated expenses and what’s covered.
  • Account for non-healthcare costs. Don’t overlook non-medical expenses like rent, utilities, transport, and childcare. These can contribute significantly to your financial burden.
  • Research funding options. Look into financial assistance programs, grants, or insurance coverage that can help with medical treatment costs. Medicare, Medicaid, and nonprofits like CancerCare and Family Reach provide financial support in different ways. This information will help you identify any gaps in meeting your financial needs.
  • Use online cost estimators. Several hospitals provide cost estimators tailored to cancer treatments on their websites. For instance, the Mayo Clinic has a tool that can give you a rough idea of the potential expenses you might incur. These tools could help determine the situation’s financial magnitude at the outset.

While some financial help for cancer patients comes from the government and organizations, it’s rarely enough to cover all expenses. It can be tough to ask for help, but listing all of your expenses will give your donors an understanding of your financial situation and why you’ve chosen your fundraising goal

One of the best, low-pressure ways to reach out to your network is through a fundraising letter. You can encourage people to visit your fundraiser by sharing a small portion of your story in your email, then telling them to “click my fundraiser link to read more and find out how to help.”

Crowdfunding for cancer patients

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money to help a friend or family member fight cancer. Donations can be raised for a personal fundraiser, or you can start a fundraiser to raise awareness around cancer and donate the money you raise to a worthy organization. You can raise money quickly and safely online, and funds can be deposited directly into the beneficiary’s bank account. 

Here are a few other advantages to creating an online fundraiser to raise money in your fight against cancer and help your fundraising efforts:

  • Easily share your fundraiser and news about offline fundraising events to social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and email.
  • Creating a fundraiser helps frame your purpose and passion for the cause with a story, photos, video, and fundraising updates.
  • Crowdfunding lets you gather all of the funds raised in one place that’s easily managed and accessible.

Setting up a successful cancer fundraiser 

1. Find an advocate

Creating and managing a fundraiser takes time and energy, so our team has gathered some helpful fundraising tips for cancer. You will receive the most support by sharing your own fundraiser frequently with your community. We know it can be a challenge to focus on other tasks while in treatment—so this is when a fundraising team comes into play.

A trusted friend or family member can take point on managing your fundraiser and assembling a fundraising team that can help spread the word about your cause. To keep everyone organized, your crew of supporters can also help you create a fundraising plan. Additionally, GoFundMe offers Team Fundraising which provides powerful tools for groups of people to efficiently raise money together.

2. Write a compelling fundraiser story

Your written fundraiser story is critical to fundraising success. It allows potential supporters to connect with you and get to know your history. People love it when you’re clear and honest, so try to answer these questions when crafting your story:

  • How will these funds help you?
  • What treatments will you be going through?
  • What are the expected costs of everything?

If you aren’t able to work on this yourself, a friend or family member may be able to help you put your thoughts into writing.

3. Let others know your needs

Besides asking for financial support, consider asking your friends and family to help in other ways within your fundraiser description. For instance, someone may be able to help you run errands or drop off weekly meals on the fundraiser page. If you need a hand coming up with the right words, try one of our fundraising email templates that you can personalize.

4. Post frequent updates

Sharing any news or progress on your fundraiser will keep supporters engaged and encourage continued support. Share the highs and lows of treatment or recovery in your fundraiser updates. Your supporters want to know what you’re going through, whether it’s good or challenging. If posting updates is too overwhelming during treatment, you can always ask a friend or family member to help you.

5. Enhance your fundraiser with education

If you want your fundraiser for cancer treatment to stand out and get more shares, you can include educational content about your journey and cancer awareness. This is a great way to engage and inform your donors. You can share insightful information about the specific type of cancer you are facing, explaining its nuances, potential challenges, and treatment options.


  • Break down complex medical terms into understandable language to give your donors a clearer understanding of your journey. 
  • Illustrate the impact of their contributions by highlighting how funds will be allocated, whether for medical bills, medications, or supportive therapies. 
  • Share the personal side of your experience and the challenges that come with treatment.

Educating donors empowers them to make informed decisions and foster a deeper connection to your cause. Regularly update your fundraising page with progress reports to maintain transparency and demonstrate the tangible impact of donor support.

Top cancer fundraising ideas to meet your goal

Organize a walk-a-thon or bike-a-thon

If team members have the availability and energy, walks and races to fundraise for cancer awareness come in all shapes and sizes. Plus, they allow you to meet with your team in-person to collectively come together to spread awareness and raise money for cancer treatment or cancer research. Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society have online resources that make finding an event near you simple.

If you’re participating in a cancer-related race, walk, or bike ride, there are several things you can do to raise donations before the event.

  • Share your online fundraiser on TikTok so that they know you’re prepping for your race and why you’re doing it.
  • Ask friends and family to donate to support your cause.
  • Share updates on your training progress so supporters stay involved and invested in your race.

Teammates who can’t participate in the race can still help raise money at the start or finish line. Here are a few different ways they can get involved:

  • Take and share photos of the event as it progresses to keep donors involved and updated, or go live on Instagram to show your progress.
  • Add the name of your fundraiser, team name, and hashtag to the photos they share.
  • Wear a team shirt with the URL or QR code to your fundraiser printed on the back, encouraging people to make donations.

Sell homemade items to bring in more donations

While some financial help for cancer patients comes from the government and organizations, it’s rarely enough to cover all expenses. It can be tough to ask for help, but listing all of your expenses will give your donors an understanding of your financial situation and why you’ve chosen your fundraising goal. Don’t forget to account for any out of pocket medical expenses when setting your fundraising goal.

Host a trivia night

Ask local businesses or restaurants in your community if you can host a trivia night in their establishment where a portion of the proceeds go toward your fundraiser. Raise money by charging a suggested donation for teams who want to play. To get as many participants as possible, advertise your trivia night to friends and family and on social media far in advance. 

Choose a fun and interesting variety of questions for a successful trivia night. Create a method to efficiently collect responses from each team to keep the game running smoothly.

Get together for a yoga class

Exercise and raise funds simultaneously with a relaxing and fun yoga class. Whether hosted at a local studio or in your backyard, choose a location in your local community. Ask a friend or someone you know if they can lead the class in different poses or find a sponsorship. Raise funds by charging a small admission fee for cancer treatment. Consider adding an additional yoga mat with a donation jar or flyers linking to your online fundraiser so people are able to make extra donations during the event.

Set up a tree planting event

Organizing a tree planting event can be a meaningful way to honor cancer fighters you know. The event can take place at either your home or any suitable location in your community. You may set up a table with saplings and sell them to people interested in supporting the cause. Encourage the community to plant these saplings in their backyards. It’s vital to be open with your guests about the reason for the fundraising so that they understand where their money is going. You may also choose to set up an additional table for guests to make extra donations or purchase snacks and drinks to raise more money.

Let others help you in your fight

Remember that you’re not alone on this journey. Your network wants to help, and GoFundMe gives them the tools to rally around you and offer financial support. Whether you decide to raise funds on your own or work with a team, we hope that the above cancer fundraising tips and ideas are able to help you raise more money to fight cancer and fund research. Setting up your fundraiser is easy. Get started building your online fundraiser today.