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Fundraising update Spring 2020

Obviously, our big news is the launch of this website. It has been something we have wanted to do for a long while. 

Starting the foundation from scratch and organising the events, with no experience, has been very time consuming. 

We hit the ground running, spending up to 70-80 hours a week in the early stages, organising charity nights, football matches and setting up a team of runners to represent the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation in the London Marathon. 

Finally, we’ve found the right people to build our website and help us to promote the Foundation (thank you MC2). 

We are very pleased that we managed to go live on this date (14 May). It is exactly 2 years ago that Sammy passed away. So, the launch of this website is a tribute to you Sammy!

Our Cancer Charity - Young People, Samm Jo Brandon Foundation

We are approaching the end of our 2nd year of fundraising at the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation. Reflecting back, I now realise that “Fundraising” is not just about receiving donations. There is so much more to being a continuous fundraising organisation. 

The first thing I realised was how reliant on others the SJBF has become. For example, you can understand all the friends and family close to Sammy Jo wanting to give up their time, but to have strangers give up so much of their time to keep the Foundation going, makes me feel very humble.

The year Sammy Jo was in remission, her younger cousin Michaela got married. During the day, the photographer, Andy of “Chic Photography and Video”, captured some outstanding photos of Sammy Jo – she obviously stood out in some way. 

Through the grapevine, he heard Sammy Jo had passed away and we were holding a charity night in memory of her. He immediately offered his services and equipment for free. Obviously, we Jumped at the offer. 

Since then, Andy has covered every event we have held. 

Having Andy on board helps us in a number of ways. On the charity Dinner & Dance nights, the guests can purchase their photos that he has taken, which generates money for us. 

Also, we have professional quality photos to use to promote the foundation on all the different platforms we operate from. He has also come up with a few other ideas that we will be looking at soon”

Personally, I feel slightly awkward, holding a donation pot in front of someone and possibly putting them in an uncomfortable position whether to make a donation. I like it when fundraising gives something in return. 

There are the obvious ways, like Dinner &  Dance nights, and buying things in the auction, but in these modern times, I like seeing some of the new things that others have done. 

A company that operates on the internet called “” sell bottle bands that personalise your drinking flask. This ensures that no one else mistakes your flask as their own and drinks from it. 

It’s a fantastic idea in the current circumstances. They created a promotional code – “SAMMYJO” – that gave the foundation £2.00 for every pack of bands sold. 

On another occasion “The Little Flower Shop” donated £5.00 for every flower bear they sold. 

I am sure there are a lot of new ideas that will come from other companies in the future.

I have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head and now we have this platform to work from, I hope to put them into action. 

One of the ideas I want to get on with is “Corporate Sponsorship”. Supporting us can raise a company’s profile – who doesn’t love a company that does their bit for charity! Plus it creates extra publicity. As we promote each other, and share links from our website to theirs and theirs to ours, corporate sponsorship benefits us both. 

Support isn’t always about money. From my point of view, there are many different areas where we’ll need help, to grow as a charity and to expand our brand name. We’ll need to reach a larger audience if we are to fulfil our ambitions. 

Now the website is up and running, I will try to do a regular blog on Fundraising. I hope this will encourage others to have ideas, come forward and help us reach our target to raise £1,000,000. 

Left to Right: Claire Milloy (CWCUK), Matthew Brandon (SJBF), Amanda Palmer (Canopius), Robyn Joynes and Kim Brandon (SJBF)

“I count myself fortunate to have the absolute pleasure of being one of the people supporting Kim, Matt and the rest of the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation team, through their fundraising journey.

It has been such an honour and a privilege to be a part of such a passionate, kind, and fun group of people, who in turn always make me feel like part of their wider family.  Which is what the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation is really, a huge extended family, welcoming everybody. 

I am always in awe of how much time, effort and determination they put into raising awareness of childhood cancer and funds towards Children with Cancer UK, in memory of Sammy Jo, and am so excited to see what the future holds for the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation.”

Claire Milloy – Regional Fundraiser Children with Cancer UK