Light The Night for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
|Planning Time||3-4 Weeks|
|Group Size||2 - 1,000+|
|Staff #||1 - 5+|
|Event Date||Spring and Late November|
Participating affiliate groups can form teams and sign up to participate in a nearby Light The Night walk location. Your team and team members fundraise between now and then, aiming for at least $100 per participant. By participating in the walk itself, you can show everyone that secular students are here and making a difference. Find out when your local walk is at lightthenight.org.
Most of the actual Light The Night Walks take place between September and late November. Since this event spans two semesters, you’ll want to do planning in stages. We’ve been thinking about it in terms of Spring activities and Fall activities.
This semester (or Winter and Spring quarters) is the time to get people on board and get your plans in place for a great event!
- Build your teams and get registered
- Hold at least one fundraising event (using our tools or your own ideas) and publicize your LTN online fundraising webpage
Depending on when your nearby Light The Night walk lands, you’ll have more or less time during the Fall for extra activities before the walk itself. Here are some things you’ll probably want to do.
- Get incoming students signed up
- Hold another fundraiser event & continue promoting your online fundraising webpage
- Participate in your nearby Light The Night walk!
Once you register your team through the Light The Night website, a local representative will get in touch with your group to assist you with organization, fundraising and more. We have a dedicated representative from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society working with us to help support our affiliates, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have - we’ll put you in touch!
You might reach out to other campus groups to either join your team or to hold competitive fundraising efforts. You can also reach out to off-campus groups for cooperation or competition. You can check out the Foundation Beyond Belief's website for this project, or the project's page on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society webiste. And lots of other freethought organizations are involved (check out the text box over to the right!), so you'll have lots of allies to work with!
When you register your team, a Light The Night representative from your local The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chapter will get in touch with you. One of the things they’re willing to do is come talk to your campus group - for free! This is a great meeting topic and a great event to invite students who aren’t part of your group.
The Light The Night representative will be able to speak to your group about the details of your local walk, share ideas on fundraisers, talk about the research The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is doing and the services they provide, and much more. It’s a great way to get members of your group excited and involved, and can even get non-members participating in your group.
While the details of each Light The Night speaking event will be different, we recommend using our Speaker Event Planning Checklist to make sure you’re putting on an awesome event!
Fundraising Details and Basic Fundraiser Walkthrough
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s goal is to have every walker raise at least $100. At that mark, you get your “fabulous collectible t-shirt” as well as the opportunity to carry a “champion” lighted balloon during the walk. (Hey, that’s where the Light The Night walk name comes from!) If you don’t make the goal, no big deal - you’ll still be able to participate in the walk and have a great time!
The simplest format for a fundraiser is just a big, visible table. A few weeks before the event, your group can hang flyers and posters letting people know the fundraiser is coming up. Then, on the big day, get a table on the quad or in your student union, and ask for donations. Use fundraising thermometers to show how close to your goal you are!
If your group has a good place to display them, you might participate in the paper balloon sale fundraiser. You’ve seen them before - supporters give you a few bucks in order to put their name on a paper balloon that’s then prominently and proudly displayed somewhere. If your group has an office or can secure a wall in the student union, this is a great fundraiser. Your local Light The Night representative can get you the supplies for free, or you can contact us and we’ll send you a kit.
Want something more exciting? Check out our other activity packets for fundraising: Atheists Read Religious Texts for Charity, Soul Auctions, Stone a Heathen or Send an Atheist to Church. For bigger events, you might host a Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner or hold a Benefit Concert.
Don’t forget about the power of individual fundraising. You can fundraise from parents, siblings, professors, people on your dormitory floor, off-campus supporters and many more. Ask your favorite blogger to do a plug for your group’s team page. Get creative, ask your Light The Night representative for ideas, and show the world what secular students can do!
However you raise the funds, you should send in all your donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as soon as possible after the event. You don’t want to sit on a big pile of cash longer than you have to (or risk having it lost or accidentally spent on other projects), so keep in touch with your LTN rep and get those funds sent in! Every time you send in funds, you can work with the representative to determine how to allocate the funds raised between team members.
One of our best resources to find out what works and what doesn't is you - our student leaders! If you've employed a strategy that worked well, let us know about it so other groups can also use that idea. If you've learned a lesson of caution about something we suggest, point out the pitfalls. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!