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How a Successful Fundraiser Design Helped Raise Over $100,000 for Kidney Transplant Costs

How a Successful Fundraiser Design Helped Raise Over $100,000 for Kidney Transplant Costs

Most of us are lucky enough to have a best friend at some point in our life. Some of us are blessed to have that same best friend throughout our lives.Only a lucky few of us have the honor of working on a project meant to help that best friend's sweet little boy on his journey to getting a new kidney.

I am one of the lucky few.


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Meet Sweet Wiley

Wiley was born on June 26th, 2014 in Dallas, TX. Upon his arrival into the world, the doctors noticed that Wiley was not breathing very well. Tests showed he had a small hole in his lungs, so he was taken to the NICU. Later, an ultrasound was performed and the doctors discovered that Wiley's bladder was enlarged.

He was transferred immediately to Medical City Children's Hospital.

Wiley had a PUV (posterior urethral valve) blockage which caused his bladder to fill up and lead to end-stage renal failure.

I can't imagine how devastating it would be to get this news after welcoming your new baby into the world. No parent should ever have to deal with such tough issues. Fortunately for sweet Wiley, he was blessed with two of the most courageous and strong parents a kid could ask for.

Raising Money for Future Medical Costs

Did you know that a baby born in renal failure will most likely need at least 3 or more transplants throughout their life? The average lifespan of a transplanted kidney is around 15 years.

With health insurance changing all the time, it can be scary for a parent to think about how their child will be able to afford the additional transplants and the daily anti-rejection medications needed to survive.

Wiley's parents, Mike & Stephanie, wanted to find a way to raise money for Wiley to use for future transplants and medications. They partnered with the organization COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association) to help them with this large task. COTA helps transplant families with their fundraising efforts to help cover future transplant costs and medications.

Creating a Campaign Design

Stephanie contacted me and asked if I could help build and manage Wiley's donation webpage and develop a campaign to assist in raising funds for COTA in honor of Wiley. I said, OF COURSE I WILL!

When we sat down to discuss the campaign and come up with a game plan, the initial goal was to raise $75,000.

This seems like an overwhelming goal to reach, but with some planning and a little teamwork, great things can be accomplished. I'd love to share with you some of the steps we took to which lead to a very successful campaign.

Design Elements We Used Throughout the Campaign

Once we finalized the style guide, we were able to use the images and graphics to create posters, donation collection box designs, yard sale flyers, donation forms, t-shirts, thank you cards and a custom flyer containing lots of great information about Wiley's journey and how to donate to COTA in honor of Wiley. 

We started by gathering and developing a collection of images and graphics to use throughout the campaign. It was important to me to keep a consistent look on everything we designed or created online. These key elements helped to tie everything together.

Here are a few design ideas you could use for creating your campaign.


Custom Logo

I wanted to create a logo for Wiley that we could add to anything we designed for the campaign.

Stephanie wanted to incorporate an airplane into Wiley's logo, along with the tagline Share Your Spare. How cute, right? She also came up with Wiley's Warriors for the primary logo. It was perfect because Wiley definitely has a huge group of warriors supporting him on this journey.

The logo was simple to create. We selected clipart from an Etsy shop to use for the airplane design, found a fun font for the main text and added a simple ribbon under the tagline. The result was a super cute logo that we've been able to use on most everything needed for the campaign.

Style Guide

A style guide provides a visual layout of all the colors, logos, patterns and other graphical elements which we used throughout the campaign. It was helpful to have a reference guide to work with, which helped us to keep a consistent look. 

Pictures of Wiley

Stephanie has an amazing photographer (Lucky One Photography) who captured images of Wiley to use for the campaign. She used bright, colorful tractor tires to play on the "Share Your Spare" tagline. We layered Wiley's new logo over the top of some of the images to use as needed on various websites.

A Video Slideshow

I love this video so much! It's so sweet and tells a beautiful story of Wiley's first days.

Stephanie pulled together lots of photos all the way back to Wiley's birth. I used a free Movie Maker software to import the images, add in text, and drop in a heartwarming song to pull it all together. I uploaded the video to Vimeo, but you could use YouTube or another site of your choosing.

A simple video makes a big impact and helps people connect to your story. 

Posters, Flyers and More!

Once the style guide was finalized, we were able to use the images and graphics to create posters, donation collection box designs,yard sale flyers, donation forms, t-shirts, thank you cards and a custom flyer containing lots of great information about Wiley's journey and how to donate to COTA in honor of Wiley.

Fundraising Ideas for a Successful Campaign

Here are some of the fundraiser events and fundraising ideas which lead to the campaign surpassing its initial goal.

Wiley's Warriors Facebook Page

We created a Facebook page so Stephanie could share news and updates about Wiley and his progress.This page not only assisted with their fundraising efforts by being able to post about the many events planned for Wiley, but it also helped Stephanie connect with other families dealing with similar issues.

Facebook Fundraising Group Page

We created a separate Facebook group page for online Fundraisers and called it Wiley's Fundraising Warriors

Several ladies reach out and offer to do a fundraiser for Wiley and donate a portion of the sales to COTA in honor of Wiley.

We offered monthly fundraisers with awesome products from Scentsy, Younique, Jamberry, Pampered Chef and more.

Wiley's COTA Website

When a family partners with COTA, they are provided with a website which allows them to post fundraiser information, updates and collect donations. This is another great avenue to help spread the word.

Fundraisers & Events

Several fundraising events were planned by friends and family members. Family members hosted golf tournaments, yard sales and dinner auctions. Friends put together a casino night and bake sale, and a local motorcycle group hosted a poker run and Christmas party fundraiser.

It's amazing how a few wonderful people can reach so many who are generous enough to donate their time and money to help.


We took Wiley's original logo and changed it up a little to create a custom t-shirt. Stephanie and Mike asked friends and family to purchase a t-shirt to wear the day of Wiley's kidney transplant to show their support.

A Very Successful Campaign

Did I mention how lucky Wiley is?

Along with two amazingly strong and loving parents, he has a whole army of family and friends out there, rooting him on, encouraging his parents and working tirelessly to help raise money for this little guy.

To date, Wiley has reached a second goal of over $100,000. This was accomplished in less than 2 years. That's pretty amazing if you ask me!

So many people have worked so hard to donate their time and money, and put together many amazing fundraisers. This family has a lot of love surrounding them and I'm so thankful I have been a part of Wiley's Journey.

Would You Like to help?

You can learn more about Wiley and his journey by visiting his Facebook page. You can also visit Wiley's COTA website if you would like to make a donation.

If you are interested in learning more about COTA or making a donation in honor of another family, please visit their website to find out how.

It's my hope that I've provided some ideas to help you design a successful fundraising campaign should you or someone you know ever need one.

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