Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Ti Mongoose Pro-Cipressa w/DA, Giordana-XL Strada, Eddy Merckx OS Strada, Ti DBR-Mtn (hardtail), Fuji-Touring Series V, Raleigh SuperCourse X-tracycle, Burley Tandem
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Fundraising - What's Worked for Me
I'm on a team that riding our Tour de Cure this weekend in San Diego. This is my third year riding and this year I have had the most success fund raising (even in this economy) because I did a few things differently, but all were through email (make sure you include a link to your personalized web page with every message).
First - I personalized a message that went out throug the ADA website, using just a few of their "canned" statistics and information. Like others mentioned you can't just send the generic message they provide because people can tell its not from you (even though it comes from your mailbox). I was very clear about why I was supporting the ADA and also mentioned that "I know times are tough and I hate asking for money as much as you hate getting solicited, but it's for a good cause....If there is anyone that would like to support me in the ride and has the means to do so I would a appreciate it. If you don't have the means or can't for whatever reason, I understand completely".
Second - Write out a separate email for your coworkers, you can use much of the same information or text but be sure your plea goes all the way up the ladder at work, especially if it is an official or unofficial company sponsored team you are riding with. I got about a quarter of my donations from company officers, including from the CEO.
Third - Send an email (or include them in the first one) to all of your professional contacts, suppliers, vendors, contractors, or anyone that you have any kind of a professional relationship with. Again let them know that you hate soliciting them, but if they are willing to contribute you'd appreciate it. The most effective thing you can do here is add this line "If any of you can authorize a corporate contribution in any amount it would be extremely welcome." Mention tax deductibility etc.
Finally - The last week send a reminder, thanking those who have already contributed, and reminding others that "the ride is this weekend, and time is running out if you wish to make a contribution..."
I was amazed at the number of individuals who responded with corporate donations and personalized notes like: "My mother (or sister) has Diabetes and I appreciate you inviting me to contribute". I raised over a thousand dollars in corporate contributions alone, and they are still coming in. Just make sure you always acknowledge the donations, and make sure the requests are guilt free.