How to throw fundraiser for cancer patient?
August 20, 2010 10:33 AM Subscribe
My mom has cancer. Her sisters are throwing a fundraiser to offset her medical bills and pay for a trip. Please help me understand their obligation to donors and the powers that be.
posted by fyrebelley to law & government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My parents are certainly in need of help financially. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer. She had a radical hysterectomy, just finished her chemo treatments, and has a cat scan next week, results the following week. She is doing great, going strong, marker is down, last scan showed no new growth, "cancer free!" etc. (yay! can't tell you how happy we are about that!)
Now that she is done with chemo, she is flying out to California from Missouri to visit her family, then she and two of her sisters will be driving back to Saint Louis, ala Thelma and Louise. Her sisters are organizing a fundraiser where they and other vendors will sell various goods (think tupperware, jewelry, etc) and 25% of proceeds go directly to the trip and medical expenses. They are also raffling a weeks lodging in Hawaii. There are flyers made, which are explicit as to how this money will be spent. Trip, then medical expenses, then household expenses. They are planning on doing a "press release" about the fundraiser next week.
In addition to my own awkward feelings about this which I guess I just need to get over, I am concerned about the legalities of this. Does anyone have any experience with holding a fundraiser for cancer or other disease-stricken people? Do they need to form some sort of legal entity? Obviously it takes months to get 501(c)(3) status. This is happening in California. My mom is in Missouri, but will be attending the fundraiser.
I appreciate any thoughts you have on this. I just don't want good intentions to turn into a giant mess. And, at this point, this is definitely happening.