Social Media Fundraising: Integrating with Instagram

Social Media Fundraising 101

Facebook recently made it much easier to share your Facebook fundraiser on Instagram, but funds from Instagram are not displaying in the Ride for Roswell dashboard

Here’s what you need to know.

Already set up your Instagram fundraiser?

If you’ve already set up an Instagram fundraiser, we can help you get credit for the amount raised. Please reach out to us at with the following information from your Instagram fundraiser:

  • Your full name
  • The names of all of your donors
  • The Instagram usernames of all your donors
  • The individual amounts raised by each donor
  • The date of each donation

From there, we will manually post the donations to your account. This can take up to four weeks, as we are unable to post a donation until we receive the payment from Instagram. Please keep this in mind for the cut-off dates for the Peloton and your rewards. 

Instagram sends donations monthly with no information regarding the donor or recipient. That’s why your help is so important.

Instagram fundraiser with number of donations circled in red
Show the donors who have donated to the fundraiser through Instagram
Welcome to my Ride Page instagram screenshot

Why it's happening.

When you switch your fundraiser from Facebook to Instagram, however, the integration to your Ride for Roswell fundraising page gets lost.

The funds are sent to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation (the non-profit organization that runs the Ride for Roswell), but they don’t reflect on your Ride for Roswell page.

For that reason, it’s best to avoid using Instagram fundraisers.

Here’s what you can do instead:

  1. Stick with fundraising on Facebook or directly through your Ride for Roswell page.
  2. Copy the link from your Ride fundraising page (see below) and paste it to stories or your bio on Instagram (create a story, click the “stickers” button at the top, and select “link” to paste your URL).
Shows the Ride for Roswell page where you can copy your URL

Ride for Roswell boosts quality of life for cancer patients

Ride for Roswell boosts quality of life for cancer patients

At Roswell Park, we’re committed to improving cancer patients’ quality of life; caring for the whole person, not just treating their disease. Our work doesn’t end at medical treatment, but encompasses the mental, emotional and spiritual wellness of our patients, as well.

When you participate in or donate toward Ride for Roswell, you’re making it possible for Roswell Park experts to run Quality-of-Life Programs like these, and more!

HLA Typing

Before a patient receives a bone marrow transplant, they need to go through human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing to find a donor with the best genetic match. This process is not typically covered by health insurance when a patient needs to find a donor who is not a familial relative. Through a Quality-of-Life grant, made possible by the generosity of donations, patients have financial support through their HLA typing and transplant process.

This photo shows a cancer patient receiving treatment at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Fertility Preservation Program for Young Adult Patients

When a young adult is battling cancer, it’s often their top priority and concern to eliminate the cancer. But cancer treatment or cancer itself can have a negative impact on a patient’s fertility or reproductive system. Through the Fertility Preservation Program, Roswell Park helps patients keep a hopeful eye on their futures and the possibilities that lie ahead. Through the generosity of donors, patients can speak with fertility experts to find the best solution for their life before treatment begins.

This is a photo of Elevate Salon at The 11 Day Power Play Resource Center at Roswell Park.

The 11 Day Power Play Cancer Resource Center and Elevate Salon

Going through cancer treatment can be one of the toughest times in a patient and their loved ones’ lives. Thankfully, donors fully fund The 11 Day Power Play Cancer Resource Center at Roswell Park to ease some of the stressors faced. There, patients and caregivers are greeted with warmth and compassion. They can access educational materials, comfort items and various resources to help them through their cancer journey. To accommodate for the growing patient population, Roswell Park also recently opened the Elevate Salon where experts help patients navigate hair loss. These essential spaces put patients’ needs first and allow for a safe place to take a deep breath and gather strength.

Creative Arts Team

Researchers at Roswell Park found that dedicated exposure to art improves patients’ hope and mental well-being and decreases their anxiety. The Art Heals Gallery, a curated space for patients and their loved ones to relax and immerse themselves in work by some of the area’s best artists, is fully supported by donations. The Creative Arts Team at Roswell Park is committed to providing not only incredible artwork for patients to enjoy, but art in which they can actively participate, as well, like art kits for inpatients, creative events and other experiences.

Transportation & Translation Services

Roswell Park is committed to giving patients the best possible care. If those patients can’t get to Roswell Park or have barriers to communication when they arrive, they can’t receive the care they need. Powered by donor funding, Roswell Park’s Transportation & Translation Services helps our patients access critical cancer care who might not be able to do so otherwise. There’s an increasing number of patients at Roswell Park who don’t have reliable transportation and a growing population of patients in need of translation support. Now more than ever it’s crucial to provide these services so everyone can have access to the best cancer care available to them.

This image shows a driver in a Roswell Park vehicle, one of the transportation services offered through our quality of life programs.

Two-time cancer survivor preparing for his 19th Ride for Roswell

Two-time cancer survivor preparing for his 19th Ride for Roswell

John Heimback Jr. didn’t hesitate when asked about his passion for Ride for Roswell

“What keeps me coming back is we’re not done.”

John is a two-time cancer survivor, and this summer he’ll be riding in his 19th Ride for Roswell.

Two-time cancer survivor John Heimback is posing next to his name on the finish line at Ride for Roswell.
Two-time cancer survivor John Heimback is with his daughter and wife in front of the sign at Ride for Roswell.

The start of John’s Ride story.

John rode in his first Ride for Roswell in 2004. He joined his family team, the Rainbow Riders, in honor of his aunt who was a patient at Roswell Park battling multiple occurrences of tonsil cancer.

At the time, John had no idea the cause would soon become even more personal.

“Little did I know, just a short eight-to-nine months later, I would find out I had stage III thyroid cancer,” John explained. “So suddenly cancer hit home and in a big way.”

John’s treatment included radiation and surgery to remove his thyroid; then he returned to the Ride for a second year. “At the start line, they asked anybody who’s a survivor to raise their hands. That was the moment it all got really real,” he reflected.

Over the years, John got more involved in the Ride as both a participant and a volunteer. He even served on a steering committee in the event’s early days. He describes the Ride Community as a support group of sorts, with each person motivated to make a difference.

“Cancer can’t win.”

John has been in remission from thyroid cancer since 2005, but his second cancer diagnosis would come a decade later. This time, it was prostate cancer. Under the care of Roswell Park and Dr. Khurshid Guru, John survived. His own experience, yet again, adding more fuel to his fire in the mission to end cancer.

“Not only have I survived cancer twice, but now it’s two different cancers. Both were pretty aggressive, but I’m here to share my story,” said John. “God has blessed me to be in a spot where I have to carry on the fight.”

He wants more people facing a cancer diagnosis to benefit from up-and-coming treatments, the way he did, and he knows funding for research is what drives those lifesaving discoveries.

John is standing with and Dr. Khurshid Guru, who treated him for prostate cancer at Roswell Park. They are at the Ride for Roswell in this photo.
John and his daughter with their Ride for Roswell lawn sign.
John and his wife

John’s fundraising advice.

Fundraising can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it before. Over John’s nearly two decades of riding, he has learned personalization is key.

“What you find out is a lot of people have either had their own experience or family experience with cancer, and people want to help. It’s actually a lot easier than you realize as soon as you start putting yourself out there and letting them know about the cause.”

In his early years, John would write personalized letters to friends, family and colleagues about Ride for Roswell and his cancer story. Now, he says email is his main source for garnering donations, but he also thinks social media can be useful to riders.

His main piece of advice: “Remind people. Remind people. Remind people.”

John now rides on M&T Bank’s team, where he has been an employee for 23 years.

Crossing the finish line.

As John approaches his 19th Ride for Roswell, the weekend still holds tremendous power.

“When you’re there, the opening night, the Peloton, there’s really nothing like that.”

One of John’s most memorable Ride moments happened just last year, when he rode alongside his daughter Hailey in the 2022 Peloton.

“We held hands going across the finish line. It was just incredible.”

John will be back in 2023, and so will Hailey.

“When I go to the Ride it gives me that energy again. Like, this is why I have to keep going – because I’m able to,” John explained. “Each year, we’re getting one step closer to ending cancer.”

John and his daughter crossing the finish line at Ride for Roswell, a cycling fundraiser to end cancer.

East Side Bike Club: Riding to make a difference

East Side Bike Club: Riding to make a difference

Every year there are hundreds of teams that join the Ride for Roswell.  While some teams have been returning to Ride for several years, the Ride Community is always expanding.

In 2023, East Side Bike Club (ESBC) made a commitment to the cause by creating a team for the first time.

East Side Bike Club at IceCycle
East Side Bike Club Slow Roll
East Side Bike Club at IceCycle
East Side Bike Club at MLK Park

Team Captain Karen Huffman says several of their members have ridden as individuals over the last few years, but this year they’re excited to do Ride Day together as an organized group.

“Our team really is a family,” Karen stated.

One of the main reasons they’re getting involved in Ride for Roswell is reflective of why ESBC was founded in the first place: community representation.

“The East Side is not always well represented in many aspects, including the biking world,” said Karen. “It’s important to get us out there. It’s also important to let people know that the East Side exists and that it still needs a lot to catch it up to the rest of Buffalo on every front, including cancer research and cancer treatment.”

George Johnson, the founder of ESBC, agrees.

“It’s important that we are there so that we can send a message to our community,” said George. “I know that early detection with cancer is vitally important. I have some cancer survivors in my family, and I know of a lot of cancer survivors, but often times when we should get tested or checked out for things, especially as black people, we often think, ‘Well that’s for them, and it’s not for us.”

George wants to change the conversation and encourage more people to learn about cancer, how to protect themselves and when to seek help.

With a mission to educate others and build relationships, a partnership was born between ESBC and Ride for Roswell.

Getting involved and growing.

Members of ESBC are on a roll participating in Roswell Park events. They came out in a large number at this year’s IceCycle, and had a blast spinning at RiverWorks.

“That was so fun! None of us went in there knowing what to expect other than to dress in layers, but once we got going, we were laughing and having a great time,” said Karen.

Now, they’re in recruitment season for Ride for Roswell!

Karen says they’re talking to people one-on-one about the Ride and the mission, with more people joining every day. They’re also utilizing social media as a recruitment tool.

George added, “We try to tell them that it’s important to come and get involved. We encourage them as best as we can to get on a bike, but for people who don’t want to ride, you can just come and be around the people. You can pass out information.”

East Side Bike Club at IceCycle
Karen Huffman at IceCycle

Riding with purpose.

When asked what she was looking forward to most on Ride Day, Karen answered, “Just spending time with our team and knowing that we’re all together raising money for cancer research, which affects everybody across every population. It doesn’t discriminate.”

George echoed similar sentiments.

He explained, “The Ride is something to collaborate to bring people closer together so they can see the bigger picture. More importantly, we’re building a partnership that’s necessary to bring awareness.”

Both Karen and George hope Ride for Roswell becomes a tradition for ESBC. They have a desire to inform and engage their community, while doing their part in the mission to end cancer.

“We’ll be celebrating with a lot of joy. We’ll be posting information. We’ll have a lot of fun at the Ride,” said George. “Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors, and we try to do the best we can to display that.”

Get ready for Beers & Gears!

Get ready for Beers & Gears!

Ride for Roswell is excited to announce the official dates of the 2023 Beers & Gears happy hour series! Beers & Gears is a great opportunity to kick off your fundraising while enjoying drinks at some of WNY’s coolest breweries.

All Beers & Gears happy hours will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

People at Beers & Gears 2022

It's easy!

  • All you need to do is pick a date to join us and invite as many people as you want to come, too!
  • The cost for each happy hour is $20, which will get you two drink tickets. The full $20 will then be credited to the rider’s fundraising page of your choice (yes, it can be your own).
  • Hofbrauhaus will be $10 with one drink ticket due to the size of the brews.
  • Ride for Roswell lawn signs and special team captain pennants will be available for pickup at each of the Beers & Gears events.
  • Are you an Extra Mile Club member? Don’t forget to take home your exclusive EMC lawn sign topper, too.

The more people you bring, the more you will raise! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 716-843-7433 or email us at

We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Ride fundraising drives cutting-edge CAR T therapy at Roswell Park

Ride fundraising drives cutting-edge CAR T therapy at Roswell Park

At Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, scientists and clinicians are serious about finding the next cancer treatments today. With Ride for Roswell fundraising dollars behind them, they can urgently pursue the research and clinical trials that will become lifesaving standard-of-care treatments.

Your fundraising supports research at Roswell Park surrounding CAR T-cell therapy, a form of immunotherapy that uses reengineered cells to teach your body to fight its own cancer. This advancement was developed originally for blood cancers, but researchers are hard at work to apply this method to solid tumors, as well.

Roswell Park has been developing novel uses for CAR T-cell therapy, enhancing scientific discoveries that can change the way we treat cancer.

Expanding the way we can use this type of treatment will mean being able to reach more and more patients who are in need of some light in a difficult time. Patients whose treatments have maybe not provided the results they were hoping to see because of their particular makeup or type of cancer.



Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD
Marco Davila, MD, PhD
Photo of Bud

Some patients have already experienced the hope that CAR T therapy can provide. Patients like Bernard “Bud” Blocho have been given more time with their loved ones thanks to this cutting-edge science.

Bud is a devoted husband, dad and grandpa who has Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When cancer returned after years in remission, Bud ultimately needed CAR T therapy at Roswell Park to rid his body of cancer once again.

Thanks to Ride for Roswell donors and participants, patients like Bud can spend more time enjoying their families and less time fighting cancer.