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Thread: Fundraising

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Fundraising

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    Now that I've got a fast (to me) bike, I'd like to get out and push my limits a little bit in terms of distance, and a charity ride seems like a nice way to do that. That being said, I'm more than a little worried about fundraising. I have a grand total of two family members, and all of my friends are just out of college and even more broke than I am.

    Any advice on this challenge? For rides that don't have a fundraising minimum, are people who don't raise much looked down on?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2005
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    There are lots of creative ways to raise money - depending on what you want to do/which groups you ride with. Some MS Rides have other fundraising rides or runs during the year, and you can get credit for volunteering. You could have your buddies over for a chili potluck (they bring sides, you cook chili) and ask for a $5 per head donation. I've always been surprised that the people who really couldn't afford to give much gave in much higher percentages. TE folks have been very generous to me in the past. Lots of ways to get it done.

    There are certainly charity rides that have no donation minimums (they usually don't really focus on fundraising other than the registration fee). I've not felt pressure at those to fund raise. Another option would be to find an organized ride near you that's not necessarily fundraising. Our local bike club does one - the proceeds from the registration fee are donated to charity, but they don't seek additional donations to my knowledge. If you don't really care about the charity and you're just doing it to have support, this is probably your best option IMO.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alice View Post
    For rides that don't have a fundraising minimum, are people who don't raise much looked down on?
    No one outside of the organization running the fundraiser will know how much you raised unless you tell them.

    I usually raise the bare minimum for charity rides. No one gives me any grief for it. They're happy for anything you can bring in.

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  4. #4
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    Perhaps for motivation long-term on cycling, you might be better off to keep a cycling diary that logs mileage each time you bike per day. The total mileage can really cumulate!
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  5. #5
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    Nov 2008
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    I'm fundraising for the LIVESTRONG ride right now, and feel your pain. I've hit up my Facebooker's, parents, and anyone else I've ever bought a school fundraiser from. Tomorrow I'll be bringing in goodies to work- not for sale, but more as a bribe. Little by little.....
    Be yourself, to the extreme!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    133
    It's slightly frustrating, isn't it? I'm fundraising for Team in Training and I sent out 89 messages between emails and Facebook. Nine of them have donated and three more said "soon." It's interesting that the people I thought I could count on the most haven't responded at all, and some people who I never expected to contribute (including some people from this forum who I've never even met) have made very generous contributions. You just can never tell.

    I'm pretty sure the key is to be persistent, and a whole lot of creativity doesn't hurt either! Good luck!
    Jen

  7. #7
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    Feb 2005
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    People don't respond because they may be constantly getting hit up for $. For example, DH is director of a division of 210 people or so across the world. They are a pretty fit bunch; if he gave to just one of them, he would have to give to all. He gets at least one e mail a day for money from people he works with. So, he doesn't give to anyone.
    This is why I don't do charity rides, except for the kind that just have a registration fee with no obligation to raise more. The only one I did with huge fund raising commitments was paid for by DH's employer. I just can't ask people for money. I *do* give a contribution to the few people that have asked me over the years... maybe 3?
    The whole thing about raising money to ride 50 or 100 miles leaves me uncomfortable. I am not sure why, as I do choose to give to various charities on my own.
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  8. #8
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    Some people will give simply because they care about you and want to support you. Most everybody else needs to feel a personal connection of some kind to the cause itself. Your job as a fundraiser is to make it personal for them. Are you riding on behalf of a loved one or friend? Is there somebody in your mutual circle personally affected by the disease or issue? Can you help them see the need in their own community or lives?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    The whole thing about raising money to ride 50 or 100 miles leaves me uncomfortable. I am not sure why, as I do choose to give to various charities on my own.
    Maybe because you feel like people are asking for money in exchange for receiving training and recreation/trips for themselves as well as for whatever cause they are asking you to contribute to? I know I have felt like that about Team in Training for years, as I got asked for contribusion again and again by a friend who use the program to train for rides and races both near and far.

    Yet this year I joined the program myself, because I wanted to get in better shape and it seemed like a great training program. I also have a close friend with cancer, so it seemed like a good cause to put time into. I dealt with the conflict (or what feels like a conflict to me), by stating to everyone up-front that I was donating the 25% of the minimum fund-raising amount that went to cover the groups administrative and fund-raising costs. That made it easier for me to ask for others to contribute to the rest of my fund-raising goal.

    It still felt funny to be connecting the two. I have fund-raised in the past, but not by saying that I was riding or doing something else in exhcange for the fund-raising. But I loved the training and the group, and I was succesful in raising $3000 for a good cause, so I will probably do it again.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronan View Post
    Maybe because you feel like people are asking for money in exchange for receiving training and recreation/trips for themselves as well as for whatever cause they are asking you to contribute to? I know I have felt like that about Team in Training for years, as I got asked for contribusion again and again by a friend who use the program to train for rides and races both near and far.

    Yet this year I joined the program myself, because I wanted to get in better shape and it seemed like a great training program. I also have a close friend with cancer, so it seemed like a good cause to put time into. I dealt with the conflict (or what feels like a conflict to me), by stating to everyone up-front that I was donating the 25% of the minimum fund-raising amount that went to cover the groups administrative and fund-raising costs. That made it easier for me to ask for others to contribute to the rest of my fund-raising goal.
    I did something similar when going to Hawaii to run a marathon with the American Stroke Association a few years ago. I'd hit a wall in fundraising and, I figured it would cost me X dollars to go to Hawaii if I was going without them, so I just covered it myself. It seemed fair.

    TnT now has an option where you can choose to cover your own travel. I like that. I also opted for a local event to avoid the appearance that I was getting some kind of vacation for free.

    I can't say that I feel any type of conflict about it, though. If I was hired by a charity to do fundraising, I'd be collecting a salary. Instead of a paycheck, the charity trains people for endurance events, and they benefit both financially and by getting their name out there.

    I wonder what the re-up percentage is with TnT. I know it's pretty high. Once you've trained for your first endurance event, you really can do the next one on your own, so I really believe people who go back do it because of a belief in the cause, even if their original focus happened to be on their own training needs.
    Jen

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronan View Post
    Maybe because you feel like people are asking for money in exchange for receiving training and recreation/trips for themselves as well as for whatever cause they are asking you to contribute to? I know I have felt like that about Team in Training for years, as I got asked for contribusion again and again by a friend who use the program to train for rides and races both near and far.

    Yet this year I joined the program myself, because I wanted to get in better shape and it seemed like a great training program. I also have a close friend with cancer, so it seemed like a good cause to put time into. I dealt with the conflict (or what feels like a conflict to me), by stating to everyone up-front that I was donating the 25% of the minimum fund-raising amount that went to cover the groups administrative and fund-raising costs. That made it easier for me to ask for others to contribute to the rest of my fund-raising goal.

    It still felt funny to be connecting the two. I have fund-raised in the past, but not by saying that I was riding or doing something else in exhcange for the fund-raising. But I loved the training and the group, and I was succesful in raising $3000 for a good cause, so I will probably do it again.
    I don't do fundraising rides for the training. I'll be riding my bike anyway. I do the fundraisers to make something good out of it, so it's not purely self-indulgent.

    I worked my butt off to do 5 consecutive Livestrong rides. Planned my entire year around all of them, sacrificed my social life so I could train, experienced lots of stress trying to get ready for them. My life would have been a lot easier if I had not done them.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    N. California
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    I managed to meet my goal for LIVESTRONG- My work fundraiser netted me $25 after the cost of cupcakes and candy, but then a co-worker gave me a particularly large contribution.
    The funny part is that I was REALLY ambitious choosing this particular ride- 105 miles, 2100 feet of climbs, in the July heat. I'm half elated to give it a shot, and half petrified I won't make it to the first checkpoint!
    Be yourself, to the extreme!

  13. #13
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    Feb 2005
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    You know, I guess it's because I do 50 mile rides just "riding," and I've done a few metrics either on my own or with my club. The one century I did had like a $30.00 registration fee, which went to the club that sponsors the ride. I feel like I don't need the structure to "train" and do that kind of ride, nor do i necessarily do those rides at my fastest speed. So, if I am going to do charity ride, it would be because I really believe in the cause... because I am going to be riding anyway.
    I've heard some negative things about TNT, at least around here. It's "faster, harder, train more," etc., which would certainly turn someone like me off, because I generally ride these kinds of rides to "finish," although I am usually not last, either.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    494
    There are several charity rides (with a minimum fundraising amount of at least $200 plus the $35 or whatever registration fee) that I do not participate in just because I am not personally connected enough with the cause to feel good about asking people for money for it. I'm glad the ride is for a good cause, but really, I would be doing it for my own recreational purposes, and I don't feel right asking people to contribute to that. I realize that I am in the minority. It does not, and maybe should not, bother most people. If I had a personal interest in the cause, I think I would feel differently.

    I also don't hit up my fellow cyclists for donations and hope they will return the favor. What is the point of exchanging donations back and forth between us? (This is just me with my cycling friends. I am NOT saying you shouldn't ask for help on this site or Facebook or whatever because that has worked well for some of you) I do some charity fundraising rides that just have a registration fee, but limit myself to the MS150 every year and just write the check myself. Once I had a friend whose mother had MS who volunteered to do the fundraising for me, and that was lovely!

    I think that some type of fundraising event is a good idea, even if it is just having a candy jar at the office asking for donations or a bake sale or the examples already given of having a chili party or some other type of meal.

    It is good that most people aren't like me or the charities would be in trouble!


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  15. #15
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    May 2007
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    I'm going to resurrect this thread because it is more relevant than ever to me since I am riding across the country next summer. I am attempting to raise $8,000 for the American Lung Association over the next ten months, and any and all tips are welcome!

    I know some have mentioned above that donating to charity organizations through athletic events seems like paying for vacations for the participating athletes and I kind of agree. I've had family members tell me that it doesn't seem fair. I've had other friends tell me that 'it's fine because it costs money to make money'. As such, I'm contributing the $2,500 of the $6,000 minimum that goes toward the costs of running the ride for each individual.

    As a teacher, I am loath to 'use the school' to raise money, just because it can get dicey. My chair of deans said if my advisees all want to help run a bake sale or something, that is just fine. They have also agreed to let me run a raffle in our faculty meetings once a month of gift cards, products, etc donated by companies.

    I am going to buy a roll of 100 stamps and just start writing letters for cash or product donations. Does anyone recommend going into some places in person rather than writing?

    Is anyone aware of any larger corporations that give fairly automatically/regularly to causes like these?

    All ideas/answers are welcome!

    Thanks!
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
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