Event Help

What is the American Cancer Society DetermiNation program?
The DetermiNation team is a remarkable community of ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things – dedicating their race journey to the fight against cancer With access to professional training, the ultimate community of support, and inspiration every step of the way, we’ll help you finish a half-marathon or marathon. Your personal race victory will change your life, but the finish line will be just the beginning. Because your triumph also means a triumph over cancer - where every step you take and every mile you conquer will create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The American Cancer Society DetermiNation program began in Chicago in 1996 and partners with races in the Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia areas.


Who can participate?
Anyone can participate! It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or how fit you are. We’ll help you train for and finish a half-marathon, marathon, triathlon, or other race. Every Determination team member - from the first-timer to the experienced athlete - is motivated by their personal cancer story and their desire to end this disease. We always encourage you to check with your doctor to make sure you are physically able to participate in an endurance event before signing up.

Don’t want to put in the miles but still want to help save lives? We need volunteers to help make sure every event is a success. Find an event in your area and DN Icon 15x15 contact your local American Cancer Society staff person to learn about opportunities to participate on a DetermiNation volunteer committee.

What happens with the money I raise as a DetermiNation team member?
The funds you raise help the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. How do we do this? Every day, we’re helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures, and fighting back against a disease that has taken too much. With every dollar raised and every mile conquered, you are helping change the course of cancer forever. Want to learn more about how we save lives? DN Icon 15x15 Click here.

How do I raise money to support the American Cancer Society through my race efforts?
Raising money to fight cancer is easier than you think. And, thanks to helpful tools we make available to you, it’s also fun! The first step is simply asking people to support you. The number one reason most people say they don’t give to a charitable cause is because no one ever asked them. So be sure to ask! Sending emails to everyone you know, telling them your story, sharing why you’re participating on the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, and asking for their support is the easiest way to start raising money. You will be amazed at the number of donations that will quickly roll in. You might also want to consider hosting a fundraising event, such as a dinner party, bake sale, or other activity. Be creative and have fun.

How can my supporters make a donation?
Online, online, online. The fastest and easiest way is to refer your supporters to your personal fundraising Web page that you create when you sign up for the DetermiNation team. On this page, you can upload photos and tell your story of why you are dedicating your race to save lives with the American Cancer Society. Donors can make a contribution directly through your secure Web page using a credit card. Or, if they prefer the old-fashioned route, they can send a check made out to the American Cancer Society with your name on the memo line via snail mail to your local American Cancer Society office.

How can I find out how much I have raised?
Once you register, you will be directed to your personal Web page where you can view who has donated to you online and enter any checks or cash donations you receive offline to ensure they are added to your fundraising total. You can access your fundraising progress anytime by creating a username and password and just signing in. Warning: Checking your fundraising totals can be addicting!

Who thanks my supporters?
We’ll send acknowledgements to anyone who contributes $20 or more to your efforts. However, nothing can take the place of a personal thank-you email or card from you (yes, your mother was right about that). We highly recommend and encourage you to personally thank your supporters, and we even offer sample thank-you emails. It couldn’t be easier!

How can I double my donation with company matching gifts?
Matching gifts can make your fundraising total soar. First, check with your personnel or human resources department to see if your company has a matching gift program. If so, be sure to clarify any restrictions. Make sure that they match for health organizations. Fill out your company's matching gift form and send it to your local American Cancer Society office with your donation. You can also DN Icon 15x15 click here to see a list of companies that already match gifts to the American Cancer Society. Ask your donors to check with their employers to see they can get their gifts matched as well!

Who do I make checks payable to?
Please make checks payable to the American Cancer Society, and be sure to write your name on the memo line. Don’t forget that your supporters can also donate online through your personal DetermiNation Web page.

Why should I use the DetermiNation online fundraising tool?
Trust us: Our online fundraising tool makes it super easy to raise money and support.

Here are just a few of the things you can do via your DetermiNation event Web site:

  • Sign up for a race, start a team to participate with you, or join an existing team.
  • Create and personalize a fundraising Web page with photos and stories.
  • Send emails encouraging everyone you know to support you with a donation or join your team.
  • Collect donations using our secure, personalized Web site.
  • Track individual progress as well as the progress of your team members.
  • Send weekly emails to keep your team members motivated.
  • Send fun, animated e-cards to friends and family.

On Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube? Now you can talk about something really important for a change (don’t worry, we’re sure everyone still wants to hear what you ate for dinner last night). Let everyone in your social network know about your passion to end cancer and the hard work you’re putting in to cross the finish line.

What happens if I don’t meet the required fundraising minimum by the deadline?
As a member of the DetermiNation team, we’re counting on you to fulfill your event’s stated fundraising minimum. Remember, it’s not just a race - you’re helping save lives! We’re also bound by our mission and by our agreement with each race event, so we have an obligation to enforce these minimum fundraising commitments. That’s why, if you don’t reach your goal, you will be required to make a personal donation to fulfill the balance. Your credit card will be charged for any balance at the conclusion of the event. The specific date that your card will be charged is determined by the specific DetermiNation guidelines for your event. But don’t worry - raising money is way easier than you think, so this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Be sure to take advantage of the many tools and tips we offer to help you meet your fundraising goals.

What do I do if I get injured during my training and am not able to meet my fundraising goal?
If you are injured before the cancellation deadline set by the American Cancer Society, then you will not be responsible for meeting your fundraising goal. However, you must notify your American Cancer Society staff partner before the deadline. If you are injured after the deadline set by the American Cancer Society, you will be held responsible for the minimum fundraising amount.

How do I get a different race shirt size?
Not a problem - you can exchange your race shirt by contacting your local American Cancer Society staff partner. Please return or mail your original race shirt to your local office.

If I meet my fundraising goal and then set an even higher goal, will I be held accountable to the new goal if I don’t reach it?
We like where you’re going. Don’t worry, you will only be held responsible for the minimum fundraising amount set by your event, so raise that goal as high as you would like!

How can I honor my loved ones touched by cancer through this experience?
Participants tell us that honoring loved ones affected by cancer during training and on race day is one of the most meaningful aspects of the DetermiNation experience. On your personal DetermiNation Web page, you can use photos and stories to make a tribute to your loved one - and share with all of your supporters why you have dedicated your race and training to helping the American Cancer Society.

Ask your employer about a Gift Matching!

Matching gifts are an easy way to double your impact on the fight against cancer. Many people don’t realize that by filling out a simple form a $100 donation can become a $200 donation. Learn More.

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