24 July 2022 .Brussels , Belgium
NEWS

Organising an annual bladder cancer walk in Canada

Ken Bagshaw, Founding President of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition and Board Member of Bladder Cancer Canada, shares the initiative of an annual country-wide awareness-raising walk for bladder cancer patients in Canada:

Each year at Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) we organise a country-wide awareness-raising walk for bladder cancer. Awareness walks are widely adopted by patient charities and they serve to bring people associated with the particular disease together; to encourage walkers to raise funds by collecting donations from family, friends and colleagues; and to raise awareness about the disease through media publicity about the walk and presence of walkers in the streets and parks.

«Today, there are 20 walk sites in different cities across Canada and each year we raise nearly $600,000 to fund our activities.

Ken Bagshaw, Founding President of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition and Board Member of Bladder Cancer Canada

BCC was founded in 2009 and held its first walk in May 2010 in the cities of Toronto and Calgary. We were able to gather 60 participants and raise $25,000 through walkers’ contributions and funds raised by them inviting close family and friends to sponsor them.

Before hosting our first walk, we moved quickly to get incorporated as a non-profit organisation in Canada and to obtain government accreditation as a charity.
This enabled us to provide our donors with official tax receipts (for tax deductions) and can really make the difference between someone deciding to donate or not.

As BCC became better known over the years, the walks expanded and by 2013, our walks took place in 14 locations and raised $400,000. Most of the funds came in through online donations driven by the walkers setting up their own personal fundraising pages (provided by BCC). Today, there are 20 walk sites in different cities across Canada and each year we raise nearly $600,000 to fund our activities.

In the early years of organising the walks, BCC was largely dependent on the funds raised as our primary source of income. As we’ve grown and matured, our funding base has broadened significantly through corporate supporters, fundraising campaigns based on awareness month and year-end giving, sustaining donors and legacy giving. Nevertheless, the walk has been, and will continue to be, a very important annual activity for us!

You can find more information about Bladder Cancer Canada here

Explore and get inspired by more stories and examples like this one in our Start-up guide for bladder cancer patient groups.

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