The challenge of asking for money
The drive is going great; people are coming to the table, asking questions, and willing to take the time to complete the forms for joining the registry. I know that I have to ask the question eventually, but I try to put it off as long as possible because everything is going smoothly. I don’t want to ask it as much as the other person doesn’t want to hear it, but there’s no real alternative. So finally, because I know it’s necessary, I go ahead and ask:
“Are you able to donate financially to the registry today?”
People don’t like to talk about this, but asking for money is awkward. And on the flip-side, being asked for a donation is awkward. It’s almost as if an act of goodwill and sacrifice becomes suddenly tainted with ulterior motives, even though that is by no means the case. The request for financial donations on our part is a response to the financial reality of the administrative and operational expenses of registering donors. From kits, drive materials, HLA-typing and even the salaries of those working full-time for BTM, there are a number of costs that go into addressing the need of bone marrow donors. Financial donations from outside parties are one of the main means by which those costs are met.
Everything will be running smoothly at a drive until the moment you ask for money. We understand completely and believe this is for a couple of reasons:
People are skeptical that the money they donate is going to be used to make a real difference.There are a ton of stories out there about the misallocation of financial donations within both private and public organizations. It's important for organizations that expect outside financial support to be intentional, transparent and diligent about what initiatives those finances will go towards so as to not violate the public's trust.
People work hard for their money and don't want to throw it away.This ties very closely to the first reason above. Especially in today's economy, donating to a cause you believe in is more of a practical sacrifice than ever before.
Given these reasons, we want you to know exactly what your financial donation is going towards and why ask for financial donations is so important. There are two avenues by which interested parties can donate: to the Cheekswab BeTheMatch Foundation page for local drive costs and to BTM as a whole.
How your financial donation is used (Locally)
One option for making a financial contribution is to donate money directly to Cheekswab. Please contact us directly for more details.
All financial donations made through this page will go exclusively towards costs associated with organizing and coordinating bone marrow drives in the greater NYC area, as well as bone marrow registration costs.
How your financial donation is used (Nationally)
On a larger scale, funds provided to Be The Match go towards three main causes:
- Many patients discover that their insurance does not cover the full cost of receiving a transplant, including the costs necessary to cover the procedures undertaken by their donor. If you are ever matched on the registry, BTM pays in full for all the medical and travel expenses that are necessary to complete your donation.
- The DNA-typing process that is used to process every single donor into the bone marrow registry costs about $100 per donor. While there is an amount of funds set aside every year to cover these processing costs, they are exhausted very quickly. While we don't expect to receive full $100 coverage donations at drives, we accept donations of any size in hopes of offsetting some of these costs. When the pre-allocated funds are depleted new donors can no longer be entered into the registry without outside financial assistance.
- Progress in transplant research has led to developments like the ability to type donors with swab kits (versus blood draws) and the growing utilization of PBSC donations over marrow donations. Research funded by Be The Match is continually looking for more efficient and effective means of matching patients to donors.
It costs roughly $100 to add a single donor into the Be The Match registry. While there are organizational funds set aside to cover registrations, these funds are an exhaustible resource and donations are requested at drives to help offset these costs.
For a more in-depth presentation about the barriers removed by financial donations, please view this slideshow.