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  1. #1
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Tips for a fundraising noob

    I'm an experienced cyclist but a fundraising noob. I've signed up to ride in the Tour de Cure in June through work, and I could use some advice on getting donations. Family and friend support is no problem; most of my questions are around coworkers and others. I do have a few questions:

    - Do canned mass emails from the event site work?

    - Have people had success going to their superiors at work? How far up the chain?

    - What percentage of donations come in through the event website (your page)?

    - There's a fair amount of corporate email requesting community volunteers, blood drives, etc. How do I stand out?

    - Are there ways to get support from strangers?

    Any other tips?

    Thanks!
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    good questions. gearing up for my first charity ride this june myself...

  3. #3
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    Thank you for riding in the Tour de Cure. Our TdC is in 2 weeks. I'm not a 'Fundraising Guru' but here are a few things that worked for me:

    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    - Do canned mass emails from the event site work?
    I belong to a few organizations / associations. I've asked the editor of the newsletters to endorse and forward my email to the other members. Had some success. Edit the body of the email to make it more personal. Send it from your personal email - less chance of it being screened by spam filters.

    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    - Have people had success going to their superiors at work? How far up the chain?
    Depends on your organization.

    1) I've printed business cards (using Avery card stock) with website/donation info and passed them out (at appropriate times) during conversations with coworkers, etc. Also printed flyers and left them in the break/lunch room. (email me & I'll send the files for you to modify for your needs.)

    2) One of my business clients sponsored me with a "Jeans at Work Day" (casual dress day) for the employees. A $5 donation to wear jeans.

    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    - What percentage of donations come in through the event website (your page)?
    About 40 - 50%. The convenience of using credit cards is a big plus. Again, spend some time and make it your page. Your story(why you ride for the ADA) and you picture (riding or with your bike) is a good start.

    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    - There's a fair amount of corporate email requesting community volunteers, blood drives, etc. How do I stand out?

    -Are there ways to get support from strangers?
    I've set up a folding table with a 'donation jar' and some ADA educational liturature (see your local ADA office) outside a grocery store, W**mart, K**rt, etc (with manager's permission.) I get on my bike (on the trainer) wearing my Tour de Cure rider in training T-shirt, pedal for a few hours and ask for donations. It is a great way to call attention to the cause, raise money, and get in a good workout.

    Good Luck with the fundraising and enjoy your ride!!
    Last edited by Bone Head; 04-01-09 at 07:18 AM.
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

    My Rides: '06 Giant OCR Limited & '95 GT OUTPOST

  4. #4
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely do the business cards.

    Hmm. Bet if I rode my recumbent on rollers I'd draw some attention, if not money.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    That would definately draw attention and attention =$$$.

    Again, good luck!!
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

    My Rides: '06 Giant OCR Limited & '95 GT OUTPOST

  6. #6
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Hey guys,

    I work for a charity ride called the Audi Best Buddies Challenge (http://www.bestbuddieschallenge.org). We actually have two rides, one from Boston to Hyannis Port, MA and another from Carmel to San Simeon, CA. If you are looking for fundraising tips I might suggest checking out our blog (http://bestbuddieschallenge.blogspot.com). We post fundraising tips for our riders each week and perhaps you can use some of our tips to help with your fundraising. Good luck!

    - Jeremiah
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  7. #7
    Senior Member CMC SanDiego's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    >> Check with your company to see if they offer "matching funds" some companies do, other's don't but no harm in asking.

    >> Ask. just dumping out email's doesn't work with all types of people. Figure out a way to bring it up in converstions you have with friends and aquaintances. Many prople if just asked will give, but don't rely exclusively on the email working for all.

    >> Review http://www.capdevstrat.com/fundraising101.htm

    >> Check with city orgadances to see if you can "pass the hat" at a busy intersection in your area. Go out in full riding kit and use a bucket.

    >> See if your local grocery store will let you set up a table outside wit a donation jar while you ride a trainer

    >> See if you can get a gas station to put up a change jar

    >> See if you can get anyone to raffle off support notes for you

    >> Be creative

    >> Ask again - to everyone else, this may just be more spam, but if asked they may respond.

    Good Luck!!!

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