In a nutshell, sign up to get sponsored to give up booze for the month of July. The money raised goes to the Dry July Foundation, which helps improve the comfort, care and wellbeing of people affected by cancer.

There’s a Dry July Foundation?

Yep. It’s a registered charity that kicked off in 2008. It’s raised $60 million to date from people just like you. This money has been distributed to cancer organisations across Australia, who support cancer patients, their families and carers.

How does the Dry July Foundation help?

It helps blend humanity with healthcare. It funds projects and programs that may not be front of mind following a cancer diagnosis, like getting to and from the hospital, having mobile phone chargers available, access to WIFI, nice comfortable waiting areas. It helps to reduce patient anxiety by funding complementary therapies and programs. The money helps in small and big ways; it could be a more comfortable chair in a waiting room, accommodation for the patient or the family that need to be nearby, access to wig libraries. For example, at the Canberra Region Cancer Centre a therapeutic harpist plays at the bedside of patients to soothe, comfort and support, the Dry July Foundation also funds flowers at reception there that bring a smile. At Solaris Cancer Care they’ve managed to upgrade their patient booking system and computers, which has made a huge difference in their day-to-day operations. It’s all about relieving that second level stress and providing comfort to those in need.

How do I get involved?

Sign up. Spread the word, tell everyone, sing it from the rooftops and back yourself. You can do this and hit your friends up for sponsorship. It’s a great cause that needs your help.

Then what happens?

You’ll be able to access online resources and start fundraising. You’ll also get an online profile page to keep track of how much money you’re raising. You can allow people who sponsor you to access it and see how well your campaign is going.

I hate asking people for money – help?

Dry July has tons of online resources to get you through that initial awkward feeling. There are social media images that you can post online, pre-written emails that you can send out, email signatures that will encourage recipients to click on and sponsor. You can stick posters up in your workplace. There’s lots of support available to make it as easy as possible for you to raise as much money as you can.

How do I actually ask for sponsorship?

Think about who you’re asking and the best way to contact them, by phone, email, text etc. Let them know how much you’re hoping to raise and then give them a range of how much most people are donating. Explain to them what you’re doing (giving up booze) and why (to help people affected by cancer). Tell them how the donations help bring care and comfort to cancer patients and their families. You may need to ask them more than once, people often need a friendly reminder. And say thank you – share your Dry July profile page so they can see how your fundraising efforts are going.

Who do I ask to sponsor me?

Everyone and anyone. The thing is your friends and family will want to help you out, but they won’t know to donate, or how to donate if you don’t show them. Make it easy for them. After your immediate contacts, branch out into your community, your dentist, your local café, school, yoga centre. Spread the word. It all counts.

How do I get my work involved?

Lots of workplaces organise teams for Dry July. It’s great to be in a supportive group to get through the month and for some friendly competitive fundraising. Many organisations have an Employee Dollar Matching Program, find out more about it here.

There’s lots of resources for workplaces at Dry July Foundation website, to help you organise a team, get fundraising ideas and start raising money.

How do I go a whole month without alcohol?

One day at a time. One social situation at a time. The Dry July Foundation recommends going for a walk in the evening with a friend around the time that you might reach for a drink. Or when you’re in the pub or at a party to order a different kind of alcohol-free cocktail, soft drinks can feel a bit tired, there’s plenty of other delicious options to try out. Here at Craftzero we’re never short of tasty alcohol free drink ideas, try a distilled non-alcoholic spirit with tonic, a full bodied hoppy IPA, a sparkling wine, all the fizz and none of the hangover. Trust us, it’s a feel-good choice and once people know you’re on the dry to raise money for cancer, everyone will want to see you succeed.

What are the benefits of going dry?

For people who only drink alcohol occasionally, Dry July might give you a sense of control over your health and a feeling of accomplishment from achieving a goal. Others who drink more heavily, which is more than two standard drinks a day for a man and one for a woman, can have really profound physical effects such as more mental clarity, better sleep, weight loss and the same sense of achievement in reaching a goal. One month off alcohol and the liver can detoxify and focus on its other jobs in the body, you reduce your risk of cancer and cardio-vascular disease, you sleep better and you’ll feel brighter all round.

Are there any rules?

It’s pretty straightforward. Sign up and stop drinking for July. Reach out to friends and colleagues for sponsorship and know that the money you raise will help improve the lives of people affected by cancer, and you’ll feel better and sleep better for a month on the dry.