Relay for Life Fundraising with Glow Products

I’ve been involved in the Relay for Life for the past two years, participating as a team member during the relay. If you’re not familiar with what the Relay for Life is, I urge you to visit their website and learn about this incredible event and the cause it goes towards. In brief the Relay for Life is an event where teams participate in an up to 24 hour long relay, where each team member takes turns running or walking around the course, earning donations towards the cause of cancer research, care, and prevention. Two years ago when our team first participated in this event we wanted to see if we could do more to raise funds for this cause, beyond just participating in the relay. We had the idea of trying to sell glow sticks at the event hoping that this would allow us to be able to raise even more money. I’m pleased to say our efforts were well worth it, as we ended up selling out of glow sticks raising $500 within an hour! In writing this I’m hoping that it will encourage others out there to get involved in the Relay for Life, and make it an even more successful event by fundraising with glow products.

Before I get into how we actually sold them, I’d like to share a story that really touched me, serving as a reminder of why we were all out there. Last year we had a little girl come up to our booth and she was pushing a stroller with her baby doll in it.  This girl must have only been 7-8yrs old.  She came to get some glow sticks, and was so excited!  When she came up I had asked her what color she wanted.  She said she wanted a green one, which I thought that was interesting.  I was expecting her to say she would like a pink colored one.  She told me she just got out of the hospital.  She had cancer.  She told me that when she goes into the hospital she always reads the story about a frog, and this frog is ugly with warts and stuff.  And at the end of the story, this frog becomes a princess.  I thought that was the best story ever.  She handed me a dollar and asked for 2 of the glow sticks, one for her, and one for her baby doll.  I gave her two of them, even though she didn’t have enough money.  She then put the glow stick on her doll.  As she left, she said she would wave at us every time she made a lap.  She wanted to walk so all kids can be a princess and that no one has to be a frog.  What a smart and kind little girl!
It were the things like this that made selling glow products at the events such a wonderful experience, beyond the money we were able to raise.

Though I am pleased to say the sale of the glow products was a grand success in itself! To start out with we decided that the best time to sell them would be in the evening, after our luminaria ceremony. All we did was setup a booth made visible by attaching some glow sticks to it, and set our pricing at $1.00 for each glow bracelet and $2.00 for each glow necklace. These prices worked out well for us, but the pricing structure could be anything you want, including making some package deals. Surprisingly enough people would often buy up to 10 glow bracelets or necklaces at a time, so don’t shy away from creating larger package deals.

Something also to consider is what type of glow product to sell at the event. We ended up selling a variety, having glow bracelets and necklaces on hand to sell. We thought these might be the best sellers since they were something people could wear, and as we’d hoped people actually did end up wearing them during their night time laps. After we’d sold out of glow I looked out at the walkers and noticed many had even put glow sticks on their batons to be seen throughout the night.  It looked so amazing and really lit up how much support is out there.  Between the luminaria’s and the glow sticks, the sight was unbelievable, like a magical twinkle reminding me of why I was participating in this event.

So because of this I’d suggest selling glow products that people could wear, though even glow sticks could be attached to batons and the like (might be a good idea to have some tape on hand if people want to do this). As I mentioned we sold out very quickly of glow product, so it’s a good idea to be sure to bring enough to the event that you won’t run out. If you don’t end up selling it all you could always just save it for next time, as according to Glow Granny it has a shelf life of at least a few years. Encouraging people to wear the glow products during the event not only looks wonderful, but I think it also helped to get the word out that we were selling the glow products. To get the trend started it’s a good idea to make sure your team is wearing plenty of glow, so others will see this and want to know where they could get some as well. At our event we didn’t really have to go out looking to make sales for the most part, but as an option you could give some necklaces or bracelets to a team member and have them go out to sell away from the booth itself, when it’s not their turn to be out on the relay.

As for the logistics of selling glow products as a fundraiser at these events it’s really quite simple. You don’t have to be fancy about it, just setting up a small booth should be enough. Though if you really want to sell as much as possible be sure to give some thought about the best place to setup your booth, ideally in an area that gets a lot of people passing by. Another good idea is to setup a donation jar on the table where people can make a larger donation if they’d like. Along the same lines you could just sell the glow products for a recommended donation of a dollar or two, which would give people the option of giving more. Quite honestly there is very little too it, and the satisfaction of seeing so many people wearing the glow products, knowing that each one of them has contributed to help eliminate cancer, really is a wonderful thing to experience.

Selling glow sticks has reminded me of why we work so hard throughout the year to raise money for cancer.  I encourage you to start selling glow sticks at your event.  You may not have a little girl and her baby doll, but you have the luminaria’s on the track and you have the people walking. What better way to remember what we are walking for?

But it’s my hope that glow products might end up taking on an even bigger role at Relay for Life events, since I believe they really do add an extra bit of magic to an already inspiring event. As the sun sets and the luminaria’s light up, I think it’s important for the walkers to be glowing as well. Whether they are cancer survivors or those working to save those with cancer it helps to remind us that we are all in this fight together, and it’s only together that we can win it.