Donations to CiMB

While I’d certainly appreciate a little help for the operating capital of this site and its idea, I am not a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and won’t be until this thing really starts taking off, so I won’t be taking any kind of donations for awhile.

This is a web site and a shirt to support an idea. This is not a foundation researching a cure or a fundraising operation for fighting cancer and it’s certainly not a hokey viral marketing scam of some sort. All this thing is is one pissed off man who survived cancer and his loving, supportive, patient wife. I have an idea that I want to get into the public and I have a pile of t-shirts and this site to help do that. As such, if you want to donate money to Cancer is My Bitch, please find someone who actually is researching this whole “cure cancer” thing and direct your money to them. If you want to support my little grassroots organization here, that’s the best way to do it – make sure the people who can cure us have a lot of money.

To that goal, I could turn this shirt into a fundraising tactic. I could tack $5 on each shirt, destined for a worthy cancer cause. That’s not gonna happen for three reasons:

  • This message and the Grand Idea behind it is very important to me, and I want it to be spread far and wide. While some people would be more than willing to donate $5 or much more to fight cancer, they might not have that right now. We all know how much this disease costs. So I want the shirt to be as inexpensive as possible so more people can afford it and the message can get farther out there.
  • While I’m a survivor, I haven’t been a survivor for long, and the kind of paperwork that would be involved is beyond my chemo-brain addled mind. Facing off against cancer and beating it was no problem. The IRS however, is a much worse thing than cancer and I do not wanna mess with them.
  • Cancer is a very personal thing. When most people with it say they want cancer cured, what they really mean is that they want their cancer cured. If I were to take donations, I’d want them to go towards beating Hodgkin’s down. If you have breast cancer though, you want that money to go to people beating down breast cancer. You need to keep your money out of my research and apply it to someone researching your cancer.

That last reason led to The Grand Sub-Idea and the way to maybe turn this t-shirt into a fundraising vehicle after all.

The CiMB Purchase Obligation

So this T-shirt I’m selling here is a nice, heavyweight, high quality t-shirt that has been professionally screenprinted. Any store you tried to buy this at would be selling it for at least $25. In fact, it could be more, since at the moment we’re talking limited edition shirts here. Unless this thing really develops momentum, of course – I’ll keep making shirts if people keep wanting them.

So here’s our little agreement. Wander around your department stores for a bit, and get a good idea of prices of really good shirts in your area. Feel free to stop in on the trendy little one-off designer boutiques, since this is a small print run right now.

Let’s say you come up with an average price tag of $35. Go to your bank and take out $35. Order your shirt and send me $13. Then you take the remaining $22 that you would’ve spent on a shirt like this (don’t forget your local sales taxes too) and you find a place to donate it.

Now here’s the part where I ruffle a few feathers: You are not allowed to donate the money to a huge, general cancer organization. They’ve already got a great fundraising system in place and get a good deal of money. Instead, I want you to find an organization that’s focusing specifically on your disease.

Let’s face facts here. Everyone fighting cancer can use our money. But if you donate it to one of the large general organizations, very little of your money will go to help your kind of cancer. Giving that $22 to a smaller organization will make more of a difference that giving it to a huge general organization that everyone’s already dumping money into.

And I’m all about making differences.

You know your cancer. If you don’t know who is working hardest to kill off your particular flavor, talk to your doctors, nurses and fellow patients. Do a little research on the web. Be sure that research is taken with a huge grain of salt, of course. Spend a couple of hours if you have to, and consider that money donated to the cause as well. Heck, I’m building all of this for free on my own time, and daddy likes his electronic gadgets. But I’ll forgo that iPhone if it means we get closer to making sure no one else goes through what I did to get here.

Just one major word of advice/warning – research your potential donee well. There are a lot of shady folks out there looking to profit off of the misery and hope of others. I wish that I could say that everyone out there has honorable intentions towards us cancer folk, but I can’t. Once I get this site more firmly put together, I’m going to do a little research on doing research on organizations. If you happen to know how to research people looking for donations or find any leads in your searching, I’d certainly appreciate a head’s-up on what you’ve found/learned/know. I’ll be sure to pass it along to everyone else as well.

Once you find your place to donate, send me an email. Let me know where you sent your money and what they’re fighting, and I’ll put them on a special donations page so that the next person who has your kind of cancer can send their money there too.

Now that’s a difference!

01/27/07 UPDATE:

A few of my testers pointed out some questions and valid issues with my donation obligation idea. Since I’m still a little swamped at the moment, it’ll take me awhile to hash out all of the specifics and make this a firmer idea. In the meantime, take that $22 and give it to some place that’s helping make cancer patients’ lives easier. I still recommend finding some organization that’s small or local (ask around at your clinic) rather than large, but if you haven’t found that small and local place or don’t have the time/energy to research the options right now, going to a bigger place is okay too – for now. but do let me know where your money’s going when you get a chance, so I can see who might need some more help from us.

01/29/07 UPDATE:

Our good friend Chris (short for Christine) Ryan just emailed me with this great info to help us all out:

I have a web site I use for researching charitable organizations called Guidestar. They have a search function, then information by charity including things like goals and accomplishments for the year, 501 reg compliance, contact info, etc… Registration is free. They also list things like memorial trusts and the individual foundations started by the average Joe out there looking to raise money for their favorite cause. You can search and get a list of organizations without registering, but if you want any of the detailed info you have to register.

Chris, I thank you, the Army thanks you, and all the little bald people out there in the world who don’t know it yet thank you!