Secular Students Light The Night!
- Activity Overview
Planning Time Spring 2013 through your local walk (Sep - Nov 2013) Group Size 2 - 1,000+ Staff # 1 - 5+ Event Date Spring and Late November
- Planning Timeframe
- Suggested Walkthrough
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. This fall, you’ll participate in the walk itself, showing everyone that secular students are here and making a difference.
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.
Spring 2013 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
- Host a Light The Night speaker to build interest and excitement
- Hold at least one fundraising event (using our tools or your own ideas) and publicize your LTN online fundraising webpage
Fall 2013 Activities
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.
- Host another Light The Night speaker event
- Get incoming students signed up
- Hold another fundraiser event & continue promoting your online fundraising webpage
- Participate in your nearby Light The Night walk!
Light The Night Allies
Lots of freethought organizations have joined Foundation Beyond Belief in this program:
Breanna Baer is the official contact at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for this program. She's an awesome resource if you're having trouble getting registered, have questions about the walk, can't find a walk near you, or have other questions about The Leukemia & Lymhpoma Society or the Light The Night walk. You can reach her at [email protected]
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!
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There’s lots of different pieces to this program.
- Building and Registering Your Team
- Hosting a Light The Night Speaker
- Fundraising Details and Basic Fundraiser Walkthrough
- Stuff, Resources, and More!
- Summer Break Tips
Hosting a Light The Night Speaker
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!
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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!
Foundation Beyond Belief’s goal is to raise one million dollars through secular grassroots groups. Secular Students can go a long way toward making that happen! So we’ve included a basic fundraiser template here for you to work with, but there are tons of other options of fundraisers you can hold!
The simplest format for a fundraiser is just a big, visible table. We can help provide your group with posters, a fundraising thermometer, a collection box, stickers, buttons, flyer designs and much more - just check out our Light The Night fundraising supplies request form. 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!
We’re printing up special stickers and buttons that your group can use as incentives. For example, a $1 donation gets the donor a sticker he can wear with pride; for $5 the donor gets a button that she can wear around for much longer. Or you can put them to other purposes - we know you’re creative, so get out there and show us what you can do! Alas, we don’t have these quite ready to go yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we do. You can preorder them at our supplies request form, and we’ll ship them when they arrive.
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. Or, you can work with EvolveFISH or the Richard Dawkins Foundation Store to sell merchandise and donate the profits to your fundraising drive.
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.
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