A genuine super fundraiser: Jakob Bay and Fundracers

Jesper Juul jensen
Min to read

The following case study explores the inspiring journey of Jakob Bay, who, for a decade, has worked diligently to support Børnecancerfonden. Jakob's creative and thoughtful approach to fundraising offers invaluable insights for charities, highlighting the importance of dedication, transparency, and personal connection in engaging and recruiting these super fundraisers,

Working across multiple charities, we see cases where a single person takes it upon themself to drive incredible fundraising efforts. Not only raising funds among their own network but also getting  their network - and strangers - to raise funds for the charity. We call these ‘super fundraisers’. It's not the most creative term, but it aptly describes what we have in mind.

This is the story of one of these super fundraisers - Jakob Bay and how he, together with all the other ‘Fundracers’ he has inspired, has raised more than 2.5 mio kr for Børnecancerfonden since 2013.

Jakob and the start of Fundracers

Enduring a rough upbringing, Jakob was often told that he would never achieve anything substantial. Instead of being defeated by these words, he harnessed them to fuel a desire to prove his capabilities and make a difference in the world.

Jakob started to participate in increasingly arduous physical challenges, such as marathons and 24-hour ultra runs. Realising that he could use these activities to gather funds for a good cause without any cost on his part, he decided to investigate which organisations he could support.

Jakob Bay

The choice of Børnecancerfonden

Jakob's selection of Børnecancerfonden was a carefully considered decision. He was against organisations that spent a significant portion of their funds on administration, as he wanted to ensure that the money he raised made the most substantial difference possible. After meeting with various large professional organisations, he connected with Børnecancerfonden, a smaller team making a big difference with less than 5% of collected funds going to administration.

The transparency and freedom Børnecancerfonden offered appealed to Jakob's mentality. His focus was purely on raising money for childhood cancer, and he wanted all funds to go uncut to the cause. He emphasises that credibility is paramount, as losing trust would mean losing donors. In addition to this, Børnecancerfonden offered him freedom in how to raise funds. They didn’t need to pre-approve everything and allowed him to ‘run with it’.  

Evolution and strategies

The relationship between Jakob and Børnecancerfonden has evolved over the last ten years, during which he has refined his communication and increased his efforts. Initially unaware of how to approach fundraising, Jakob learned through trial and error. A memorable experience was standing for eight hours in the rain at a motocross track to collect only 200 kr., teaching him that a different approach was needed.

Jakob has since leveraged media contacts and creative methods, such as auctions and engaging others to run under the "Fundracers" umbrella, to build momentum for his cause. His focus on raising money for Børnecancerfonden and also directly engaging with affected families has led him to collect funds and toys for the children.

Jakob delivering toys and gift for the children at 'Rigshospitalet'

Personal connection and storytelling in fundraising

In his fundraising efforts, Jakob discovered that personal connections and storytelling are paramount. When the story behind the effort and fundraising was deeply personal, resonating with the community's emotions, the response was astounding.

For example, Jakob told the story of four fathers, all with children suffering from cancer, who managed to run a marathon. Despite being in a life crisis, they found the strength and motivation to run for a cause. This action wasn't just about raising money but also provided them with a mental break and a feeling of control over something in their lives. The personal stories they shared resonated powerfully with others, leading to substantial donations within a short period.

But Jakob also faced criticism, with some questioning the focus on a specific cause. He dealt with these challenges through understanding, empathy, and encouraging others to initiate their projects to support the causes they believed in.

These insights reveal that a personal connection, supported by a compelling narrative, can strongly enhance fundraising efforts. At the same time, transparency and a thoughtful response to criticism help in maintaining community support. Jakob's experiences provide valuable lessons for anyone looking to engage in fundraising, underscoring the power of authenticity, community, and compassion.

All the 'Fundracers' at the start line for Copenhagen Marathon

Conquering mountains

Jakob's current big project is to conquer the Seven Summits - the highest mountain on each continent. This is a project that helps him gather press and attention around the project. At the same time, he keeps recruiting ‘fundracers’ in connection with marathons and other events. 

Jakob's motivation to continue his mountain-climbing and fundraising projects comes from a profound sense of personal meaning and connection to the cause. He's seen firsthand the impact his efforts have had on families, validating his work's significance. As he witnesses his fundraising grow, the model's success gives him the confidence that he's making a real difference. Even during challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, his energy comes from success stories, positive exposure, and support from friends and the community.

Managing hours and balance in his life

Jakob candidly admits to always needing to catch up in everything and acknowledges that there were times he spent less than the optimal amount of time on his passion project. However, he's learned to adapt the project and find balance over the years. He's shifted from attending events every weekend to handling things online, making it easier to prioritise his time. Jakob has integrated his initiative into his professional life, showcasing his ability to take the initiative, build something from the ground up, and sustain it over many years. This integration, along with more open communication and defined work boundaries, has helped him find a more stable balance between his passion and his full-time job.

Benefits of using BetterNow

In our interview with Jakob, he specifically highlights the value of the BetterNow platform. He describes it as a fantastic tool that has made administration much easier for him. Utilising BetterNow, especially with a special setup in Børnecancerfonden's own branding, allows him to manage things more efficiently. 

This efficiency makes it much easier for Jakob to fit his various responsibilities into his schedule, aligning with his approach to working as little as possible for the most significant results. The tool's ease of use fits well with his evolved approach to managing his time and resources, allowing him to focus on the meaningful aspects of his work while maintaining the project's momentum.

Jakob on top of Island Peak (6.160 meters)

Engaging with fundraisers: Jakob’s approach

Having been on the ground, recruiting and engaging with P2P fundraisers means Jakob has made some valuable learnings that can help all charities when engaging in P2P fundraising. Here, we will present these key learnings.

One of Jakob’s key strategies for Fundracers is an active and personalised engagement with the fundraisers, who are often runners. His approach to connecting with them is multifaceted:

Comprehensive guidance

Jakob provides a thorough guide to the participants, offering PDF manuals filled with insights gleaned from his years of experience. These guides provide practical tips on what works well and what doesn't, equipping them with the tools to approach fundraising effectively.

Leveraging corporate donations

He emphasises a shift towards obtaining corporate donations, recognising that businesses often contribute more significant amounts. By targeting companies instead of individual donors, fundraisers can collect more substantial sums more efficiently. One of his fundraisers, Anette, managed to collect 100,000 kr over the last year, with 70,000 kr of that amount coming in just one week through this approach.

Social media engagement and networking

Jakob uses social media, specifically Facebook groups, to reach potential runners. Through humorous and enticing posts, he makes the opportunity sound like a win-win, offering free race tickets, t-shirts, training programs, and more. These are often provided by race organisers and it is only possible because all donations go uncut to Børnecancerfonden.

Personal touch and customised narratives

His engagement is not limited to generic posts; Jakob also personalises his approach. By connecting with people directly, he sells them the idea by explaining the unique story behind each race. Despite the time-consuming nature of this approach, it helps in building a more direct and compelling connection.

Collaborative learning sessions

To further support the fundraisers, Jakob organises Q&A sessions where new runners can learn from those who have experience in collecting donations. This facilitates a collaborative learning environment and helps overcome the barriers that might hinder new fundraisers.

Quid pro quo

Donors want something in return for their donations. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a t-shirt or free race attendance but can also be the compelling story of a fundraiser. This is especially true when donors don’t know the person behind the fundraiser.

Ongoing support and feedback

Jakob continues to explore new ways to inspire and support the runners. Whether it’s providing feedback on the corporate engagement strategy, involving them in the design of fundraiser t-shirts, or being open to new ideas, his approach remains flexible and participative.

Making heroes

He has even made an effort to get medals produced for the hero of the month among the Fundracers. Not only does he give the medal, he highlights it through his social media channel and website. The recognition this gives helps engage and motivate fundraisers.

Building a community and encouraging repeat participation

Through his efforts, Jakob is not only recruiting new runners but also fostering a community where members feel encouraged to participate repeatedly. He acknowledges the value of repeat runners and sees them as an essential part of the fundraising model.

In conclusion, Jakob's multi-tiered approach to engaging with the fundraisers under the Fundracers umbrella not only exemplifies the art of nurturing relationships but also embodies the philosophy that fundraising is indeed a form of sales. His keen understanding of both human psychology and business dynamics equips him with a unique ability to guide, motivate, and support his team, translating his vision into tangible success.

On the stage at Copenhagen Marathon handing over a big check to Børnecancerfonden


Jakob's experience illustrates the importance of passion, flexibility, and perseverance in fundraising. From the early struggles at the motocross track to the growing impact he has made, Jakob's journey emphasises the importance of learning by doing and adapting strategies to what resonates with the community.

His choice of Børnecancerfonden reflects the importance of transparency, minimal administrative costs, and freedom to execute fundraising in one's unique way. Jakob's story also emphasises the importance of directly engaging with those affected by the cause, ensuring the connection between the fundraiser and the beneficiaries remains solid and authentic.

Jakob's fundraising journey offers vital lessons for charities in Scandinavia, showcasing how creativity, dedication, and a clear understanding of one's values can lead to meaningful success in fundraising. The insights from his relationship with Børnecancerfonden serve as a valuable guide for charitable organisations looking to connect with individual fundraisers and build lasting and impactful relationships.

More about Jakob and Fundracers

Website: fundracers.dk  

Email:  jb@fundracers.dk

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jakobbay/

Fundraising pages: indsamling.boernecancerfonden.dk/events/fundracers-dk

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