It has actually become one of my most commonly asked questions in the last few months.  And to be honest, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about.

Two weeks ago I was given the named  Humanitarian of the Year with my company, Beachbody.  We are 300,000 strong, so earning this title was a bit of a shock and an absolute honor. I received the award for raising over $70,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The organization that battles the cancer I fought throughout 2014.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how many people out there are involved with philanthropic causes but STRUGGLE to raise awareness and and get people to feel the same excitement.

humanitarian of the year, katy ursta, top beachbody coaches
Humanitarian Recipient

So how do you create a campaign that others WANT to be a part of?   Here are some of my top tips for creating a KICK ACE Campaign!

Tip #1 Wait for it…  Take time to make sure you WANT to commit.
light the night, fundraising ideas, humanitarian of the yearWhen I was asked to run for the Woman of the Year Campaign through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I was honored by the nomination, but had some serious fears about how to go about being successful.  Aside from a few bake sales, and my husband’s push up campaign in the summer, I really didn’t have any knowledge.  So before I committed, I took some time to think on it.  Knowing it was a large, fast paced campaign, I took a few of the following topics into consideration before I jumped in.

  • What type of time commitment will this entail? 
  • Do I believe in the mission of the organization? 
  • Do I matter to the campaign? 
  • Can I make a positive impact?
  • Do I know other people who would be willing to support my campaign? 
  • Am I committed? 
  • How will I feel when I’ve achieved my goal? 

I also did a little research about the campaign and learned about past candidates.  I looked over some information about HOW others raised money. Before saying “YES to the cause” make sure it’s something you are ready to commit to!

Tip #2 Set a NON-NEGOTIABLE goal aligned to a bigger purpose.  It should scare the s*%$ out of you.  

who is katy ursta, beachbody coaching opportunity


That was the amount needed in order to have a grant named in honor of someone who passed away.  Emily Leyland, the cousin of my dear friend Taylor Molitierno passed on August 16th, 2013. I knew if I was going to take 10 weeks to fund raise and sacrifice revenue in my own business, I was going to have that grant for her and her family.

As much as I wanted to raise money to help others, I knew that my first goal was to give her family and my friend that grant.  A grant that would allow Emily to live on.  It wasn’t just a goal; it was a non- negotiable. 

fundraising ideas, who is katy ursta, raising money for a cause, everysweatmatters
Hi Emily!

But the key behind any goal like that is to FIRMLY believe in it.  That goal has to have a meaning behind it.  It’s a goal you can visualize so clearly that you KNOW exactly how it is going to feel when it is achieved.

You don’t waiver from it.  You set the goal.  You get to work.  Head down. Blinders on.  Focus and go.  I call this, driving towards daylight.

Tip #3 Start from a Place of Kindness
I think a lot of times people make the mistake of  just saying, “Hey I HAVE to raise some money. Can you give me $20?”  It feels like solicitation without purpose.   Any honestly, it sounds kind of icky.

With the campaign, I never wanted ANYONE to feel obligated.  Instead I focused a lot on WHY this organization and the grant meant so much to me and Taylor.  We spoke of Emily, publicly through social media.  We shared my story. We shared WHY the money matters-  what it funds, how it’s used, survivor stories, fighter stories, and anything that would reveal a bigger picture.  It made us real.  It made us vulnerable. It made the cause MATTER.

who is katy ursta, fundraising ideas,
Campaign Kickoff!

  • We made our donation links readily available and clear directions were provided for easy monetary transactions.  
  • We sent Thank Yous and updates and made it about “our”  campaign as a whole. 
  • When people feel like they are part of a bigger purpose, they WANT to donate.  They WANT to help. 
  • Every ONE mattered.  Every ONE made a difference. 

Tip #4 Execute a Plan and DELEGATE

how to raise money for a cause, katy ursta, fundraising ideasKnow before you jump in, YOU CANNOT do it all. You need help.  One of the most important things you can do before you begin raising funds- create a team of go-givers.

Your team should consist of others who are not only supportive but are willing to step up to the plate and do work on their own without always reporting back to you.

how to raise money for a cause, katy ursta, fundraising ideasIn our case, Taylor became the campaign manager.  In many ways she worked behind the scenes making sure that everyone was executing responsibilities and sticking to deadlines and their goals.

Because of the fast- paced nature of the campaign, I could not be at all fundraisers all the time.

However having the #everysweatmatters team made it easy to execute individual goals for the larger cause!

But repeat after me:  You cannot do it all! Team work makes the dream work!

Tip #5 Find a Mentor
When you’ve decided to go all in with a cause, there will be days that feel “tough.”  There are going to be times when you feel like giving up.

how to raise money of a cause, fundraising ideas, katy ursta

I highly suggest finding a mentor who will support you through the cause and remind you of WHY you are raising funds.

Your mentor is NOT the same as the campaign manager.  A mentor should be someone who is:

    woman of the year campaign, katy ursta, fundraising ideas

  •  either directly affiliated with the cause or someone familiar with the cause 
  • has a background in fundraising 
  • will not judge but be there to offer suggestions and support 

Tip #6 Ask
When you want to raise money for a cause, you can’t hide behind the letter head…
You absolutely have to ask.  Keep in mind your purpose, your message, your goal, and your confidence will shine through.

If someone say NO…
No worries, simply say #byefelicia

Tip #7 Have a least for the Record Books!
The Market Council, together decided to sweat for something bigger this quarter. We decided to use all proceeds from the event towards a charity near to my heart.  Participants of the Pittsburgh Super Saturday sweat, trained, and networked while raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Campaign.

Super Saturday in Pittsburgh
woman of the year campaign, katy ursta, top beachbody coach

Coaches and guests who attended the event had the opportunity to purchase baskets and participate in a 50/50 raffle- true sport’s style!  Baskets included gift cards, fitness passes, wellness packages and of course #everysweatmatters gear!

The winner of the 50/50 graciously donated the winnings back!  $175 was given back to the Woman of the Year Campaign.

Coaches also participated in a live workout and trainings held by the top coaches in the network!

Super Saturday Live Workout!

 At the end of the event,  the market council took to the stage to present to Taylor and I.  The check was over $35,000.

To read more about this incredible event, CLICK HERE.

katy ursta, coach with cancer, survivor, philanthropy, who is katy urstaTip #8 Never underestimate the power of the “T”. 
If you follow me on social media or know about my team, The Knockout Brigade, you know that daily we sweat for others who cannot.

Because when I was ill, that’s what my team did for me.
I would wake up and go to chemo, and when I was resting I would look at my facebook page and see my team, sweating for me, cheering me on!

We came up with the idea of #everysweatmatters to connect via social media for a bigger purpose.
A few months later, post-chemo, I took it one step further.

katy ursta, every sweat matters, woman of the year campaignFor the campaign, I designed a very simple t-shirt.
Like wildfire it caught on.
I shared the link on social media.
I asked, over and over to share the link.
I asked again and again.
Others asked.
Others shared.

EVERYONE wanted that shirt. 

And boom…. just like that…
$12,000 in t-shirt sales.

katy ursta, beachbody coach with cancer, who is katy ursta, survivor

To learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Woman of the Year Campaign refer here:

Woman of the Year Gala 
Woman of the Year Candidate : Katy Ursta
Humanitarian on the Year

To learn more about becoming an #ESM Member of The Knockout Brigade, complete the application below!

Click here to learn the details of this opportunity.

And if for some reason, I haven’t said it.
Thank you.
I am so very grateful. 

Best wishes on a fantastic fundraiser!   

Please share this article with anyone with the philanthropic heart! 

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Katy Ursta