Touring - Sponsorship/Charity Ride?
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03-12-12, 11:50 AM
Me again. So in talking to coworkers about my planned trip (~2000 miles around the UK) one of them suggested I should try to get sponsored or ride for charity. So this got me thinking - I am riding in memory of my dad who passed away in November, from (in a nutshell) heart problems. My family certainly has a history of heart health issues. My dad also wanted to donate his organs to science (but could not, having lived in the UK during Mad Cow disease period - we live in the US now and for some reason are not allowed to donate blood etc). Thats potential for two causes there - Organ Donation and Heart Health.
However, I have no idea how going about that sort of thing would work. Does all the money go to the Charity/Organization? How do I get 'sponsored' by them? I haven't really seen any threads on here discussing this subject matter, and the Touring forum might not be the best place for it - pointers in the right direction would help!
You might start here (http://www.planetbybike.com/display_article.php?Article_ID=3&Date=2005-02-19). It is an article on how to get sponsorship for a much longer trip than you are planning.
03-12-12, 01:28 PM
A couple of things...
1. You live in the U.S. but will be riding in the UK. I suspect it would be more difficult to get U.S. sponsorship.
2. Based on my discussions with thr local chapter of a major disease-related organization for which I have raised a lot of money over the years, charitable organizations typically don't sponsor you. You can raise money for them, but they typically do not finance some or all of your trip. It is also not a rare occurence for people to do bike rides to raise money for a charitable organization like the American Cancer Society. Some people who do often try to get a lot of help in the form of exposure from local chapters. Requests like "I'll be coming through the town/city where your chapter is located. Can you arrange media coverage for me?") This can put a real strain on the human resources of the organization.
3. You can certainly do a ride on your own to raise money for a charitable organization. Note, however, that for tax purposes, I believe any donations solicited must be made payable to the charity itself in order for the donations to be tax deductible to the contributor.
Does all the money go to the Charity/Organization?
No one wants to give you money to pay for your holiday ... especially in this economy ... but they might not mind giving money to a charity.
03-17-12, 04:59 AM
I have had a few sponsors for several years and know the game pretty well. In fact, if you Google it, my website comes up with a well-read page I wrote a couple years ago explaining it all in detail. The companies I have worked with are mainly interested in a couple thing: exposure and sales. If they give you gear (investment) then they expect to at least double their return in sales. If your trip is in popular mainstream magazines or turned into a Discovery Channel show they will come begging. Very few bike tours get this far. For most of us, exposure and sales potential are directly related to website traffic. If you have a busy website, they know they can profit. Otherwise they make their money by selling things to bike tourists - not giving things away.
Most cycle tourists think if they are on a epic trip in far flung places, sponsors will be attracted. In my experience, they do not care where you go or even if you ride it all. They just want the eyeballs and sales from website traffic. What you have on your jersey or logos on your bike are not very profitable unless you are on a big TV show.
I recommend building web traffic first, then asking for sponsors. I could write a lot more but this gets to the heart of the bike touring money game.
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