I have always judged Foggy's success on the amount of money raised but that is going to change. I had an epiphany this week. All M.E fundraising efforts are asking for donations from the same M.E community pool. I fully appreciate that times are hard and that many M.E families are barely getting by on disability benefits. I'm sure we can all think of at least 15 M.E fundraising efforts currently asking for donations. People with little money can't support them all. I get that.
Without doing a statistical study, I would guess that 15% of Foggy's donations since Foggy's birth have come from non-sufferers. The rest have all come from the M.E community. I include carers and support networks within the M.E community. 85% has come from people who have personal contact with the illness. In fact, Foggy's first World Tour in 2014-15 was greatly helped by very generous donations from the family of one severe M.E sufferer. You know who you are and if you are reading this I am so, so grateful for your support. £300 ish was raised on Foggy's launch night. So, since then I have raised just over £200...that was 2 months ago. Heart-felt thanks to each and every person who has ever donated to Foggy's fund...£1 is just as important as £1000.
My brain can't compute why, when Foggy has over 6000 followers on social media, so few people
If you are following Foggy, you will have seen that I am using every opportunity to reach as many non-sufferers as I can. I am still trying my best to get on to the Ellen Show. 1 million+ Americans are affected by M.E/CFS and so going on the biggest TV chat show in the world will help to spread awareness in Ellen's home country. This week, I tried to get on Davina McCall's new show which talks about life stories. I have joined my local Rotary group (new online social group), this will help me to raise awareness to a much wider audience. My School of Social Entrepreneurs work will add to my ability to reach a hell of a lot more people. See? Work, work, work. I am doing as much as I can. Which is why I get so upset when donations just don't happen.
I think that raising awareness to a much wider audience will, in the long-term, lead to many more donations. Why would non-sufferers donate to something they don't understand? A key message to get across is that M.E does not discriminate. Without scaremongering, it could happen to anyone at any time. Maybe once Joe Public understand that, they will understand the desperate need for M.E research funding.
I have created a Go Raise account (Link) specifically with M.E sufferers in mind. I have so many emails from people saying they would love to donate but can't afford to. As I have said many times before, I completely understand that. However, if you shop online already - groceries, presents, Ebay, car maintenance etc etc, retailers that you use will donate for you (You just need to specify that MEFoggyDog is your chosen cause). It doesn't cost you a penny extra. 3000 retailers in the UK have signed up. If you use a PC, Go Raise gets added to your browser. You automatically get notified if the retailer you are using is part of the scheme. It also tells you how much of your transaction (%) will be donated. It is VERY EASY to set up. If you shop using your tablet or phone you will have to access Go Raise before you purchase anything and then access the retailer from the site. Please use the opportunity to add money to Foggy's fund. 5 people have signed up so far. I know, for sure, that at least 200 of you buy your groceries online for home delivery - because supermarkets are soooo bad for causing M.E symptoms to flare. We are missing the opportunity!
Foggy is currently travelling first class surrounded by bubbles (post/jiffy bag) and will be cruising around Europe on board the Queen Elizabeth Cunard liner next week. How exciting! It is possible to track his progress on the Q.E's website. I'll share the link on Tuesday. It'll be a bit like the Santa tracker! Thank you Lizz Lipscombe/Elektra for taking Foggy with you.
(I haven't checked spelling etc, apologies if it's rubbish...brain fog today)