When Becky Gomes of Pittsburgh attended the ArtiGras festival in Jupiter, Fla., several years ago, she saw colorful doodles, drawn by well-known celebrities, that were being auctioned off.
“That is just brilliant!” she thought. “Why don’t I do that for Cystic Fibrosis?”
Becky is on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit and got involved because her daughter, who is now 11, has the genetic disease that affects the lungs and the pancreas. When it was time to duplicate the fund-raiser for her own group, she turned to Contact Any Celebrity (affiliate link), which sells the Celebrity Black Book, a database of contact information for more than 59,000 celebrities.
It includes a template for a “doodle letter” that Becky used when writing to celebs to ask for their contributions.
She include a photo of her daughter and mentioned that “Katie has Cystic Fibrosis” and gave a short explanation of what CF is.
“I tell them a little bit about her day, what she goes through,” Becky said.
The response has been so good that CF has been sponsoring the fund-raiser for five year. It has received doodles from:
- Loni Anderson
- Mort Walker, creater of the “Beetle Bailey” comic strip
- Cathy Guisewite, creator of the “Cathy” comic strip
- Betty White, who drew a picture of her dog
- Dom DeLuise
- Sarah Jessica Parker, whose 8 x 10 portrait of herself , signed, along with another doodle of herself, started a bidding war and raised $500
- Roseanna Arquette, who sent a 3-pack
Cystic Fibrosis sent 600 letters and got a 6 percent response rate, much higher than the normal 1 percent.
“It really raises a lot of money for CG. It gives us something for the silent auctions that’s a little bit different. It’s not just a basket of wine. It’s something that people like.”