Ed Sheeran Helps Local Charity Fund Operating Costs

Ed Sheeran, Yael Cohen, FCancer | BCBusiness
Ed Sheeran fans can get a chance to go on a date (chaperoned by FCancer CEO Yael Cohen, pictured right) by making a minimum donation of $3 to the cancer charity.

The British singer-songwriter lends his celebrity to Vancouver’s FCancer to raise its 2014 operating costs in a single campaign

Fuck Cancer has hooked up with Grammy-award winner Ed Sheeran in a bid to cover the Vancouver-based charity’s 2014 entire operating costs totalling $250,000.
Over a seven-week push via Prizeo, a newly launched online fundraising platform, the cancer charity will attract donations through a type of digitized raffle with prizes such as a dedicated lyric sheet as well as a chance for a date with the British musician at one of his “favourite” restaurants. Clearly appealing to Sheerios—the nickname for Sheeran’s fans—the November 3 launch hit $25,000 in one day and currently stands at more than a third of the target.
“It’s going fantastically,” enthuses Yael Cohen, the CEO and founder of Yael’s Indaba Charitable Initiative Society—the charity that centres on education and goes by the Gen-Y-savvy handle Fuck Cancer (it started three years ago after her mother Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer; she is a survivor). “We specialize in using humour, technology and celebrity to really let people engage with cancer, so it made sense to apply this to fundraising. We’re engaging our community; we’re engaging his community.”
Cohen, who was listed in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business 2012,” explains that raising operating costs in a single campaign would free the team to concentrate on outreach across North America (it’s a registered nonprofit 501c3 in the U.S.). Usually it operates more “hand to mouth, wondering how we’re going to pay next month’s bills, which is very stressful and not the best way to operate for our community,” she adds. “We want to make sure we’re making the right decisions for the right reasons rather than having to make decisions because we don’t have enough money to do what we really need to or want to.”
Seen in the video where Sheeran introduces the campaign in which participants are automatically entered to win the main prize with a donation of $3 or more, Cohen counts the star as a friend. “One of the great things about running your own charity is that you get to choose who you work with and it’s really important that we like all our partners,” she says, adding this also includes Prizeo, a startup from Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and originally from Oxford University.

While currently touring the U.S., the singer who recently sold out Madison Square Garden and played BC Stadium with Taylor Swift this summer said in a news release, “I am excited to partner with FCancer to help fuel their efforts in early detection, prevention and communication around cancer. FCancer is humanizing cancer and talking about stuff that no one else really does.”
Cohen will also join the prize-winning dinner, the location of which will be dependent on who wins and Sheeran’s schedule. “I’m going to be Ed’s security,” she laughs. “If anyone messes with him, I’ll get feisty.”
The campaign will run until December 23.