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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    6

    Team in Training- Epic FAIL

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've been a long-time lurker, but I haven't posted until now. I'm kind of new to road biking. I joined Team in Training to do a 100-mile ride, but after two months of pestering people for donations, I had to back out. They have you do what they call a recommitment and provide a credit card number and sign saying that you will personally cover whatever you don't get through other fundraising means. I'm $1500 short of the minimum amount, and although I did exactly what they told me to do, I've been stalled for weeks. A few people said they'd give, but even though I told them my deadline was at this recommitment time, they didn't donate for whatever reason. I already paid $100 to sign up with TNT. There's no way I can afford upwards of $1000 just to do a bike ride! And even if the people who said they'd donate came through, it would still be only a few hundred at most.

    Although I understand from the charity's point of view that they don't want to lose anyone, I wasn't too thrilled with their reaction. They seem to believe that throwing a party or selling baked goods will make a difference. The people I'd invite to a party are the same people I'd already asked and they either donated, or didn't donate. In either case, asking for money again seems a bit like overkill. And since I'm not employed right now, there really isn't an office to do a bake sale in! The TNT people also told me that I have a lot of time...but, hello...no...not if I haven't gotten any money for several weeks AND there is so far to go in terms of the amount. If it's dried up, it's dried up. I went in with guns blazing on the fundraising and started way before the training even started, and money rolled in fast for quite a while. I had great intentions and I did the best I could do. I've fundraised for other organizations before, including $4000 to do a marathon and been very successful, but people are either opposed to TNT or they're just in a bad place financially right now.

    I don't know. I feel terrible about backing out on the people who DID donate, because some of those people were not folks I expected to do so. On the other hand, I really didn't care much for the group I was training with. It was very small, with more of their own coaches and mentors than actual team members. I was hoping to have a little more fun than I did, because I know other people who trained with TNT had a great time. I'm not sure if it's my location or the particular event that isn't much of a draw.

    Has anyone else had a negative experience with them and completely failed on the fundraising? How did you break it to your donors?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I donated for a friend who had to back out of a TNT ride. It really didn't matter to me - other than feeling badly for my friend because she couldn't do the ride. The charity gets the money regardless and while I'm happy to help out a friend, I'm also donating to a cause that I believe in.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I did the same thing V did. I really didn't mind that my friend didn't do it, because like V said- I know the charity still received the money and my donation wasn't in vain.

    I'm really sorry you weren't able to make the fundraising, but here's an idea: how about you write a letter (e-mail, etc) to all your donors and let them know the situation and why you had to not complete the program with TNT. Thank them for their donation and reiterate how grateful the Society is for their donation and that the money they donated will be going to help those who suffer from leukemia.
    Then, maybe you could still commit to riding a self-supported century on the day you would have done it with TNT (or sign up for another one and dedicate that to your TNT donors). You could tell them that you'll be doing a self-supported century (which is harder anyway- I've done a few of them myself) and that you'll still be riding for those suffering from blood cancers in honor of the Society? Maybe then they would know that you're still going to do your century, but that you just weren't able to complete the ride with TNT, as you'd still be working towards your original goal. I think what you did for fundraising is impressive regardless of whether you do the TNT event or not!!


    My husband and I both raised money for TNT when we signed up to do the Nike San Fran marathon back in 2005. Why we both did it, I don't know- but we had to raise $6600. It was tough, and we did wind up paying $600 out of pocket (but again, we didn't mind because it went to charity and it was a tax write-off as a donation). Anyway- I say all this to let you know that it was tough, but I totally understand their reasoning for doing it (expenses of paying for your race and flying you there, etc). We had a great experience, but I know not everyone does. Maybe you could still do another event in the future, for another charity. Anything we can do to help others is a good thing!!

    Sorry about the disappointment of not getting to do the century.
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 06-26-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    And this is why I don't do charity rides that require this type of commitment. I feel very uncomfortable asking for $ to begin with, and most of my professional colleagues don't have a lot of money. So, I would basically be asking the 5-6 friends I have that have money. That would not be enough.
    TNT has a bad rep around here. They don't take well to people who are just "riding" the ride. It's all about the training, getting faster, and doing the ride as a race.
    I know a lot of riders on TE have had a good TNT experience, but it's definitely not for a lot of us.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    So, I would basically be asking the 5-6 friends I have that have money. That would not be enough.
    That's why I don't very often do these charity rides myself. For me it's my siblings who end up doing most of the donating. The last couple years I've gotten them to donate supplies to my classroom through Donorschoose.com. And I'm not comfortable asking them for money more than once a year. I tell them to make it my Christmas present. I don't need stuff - but I do need quality literature and math manipulatives in my classroom.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Quote Originally Posted by crankin View Post
    and this is why i don't do charity rides that require this type of commitment. I feel very uncomfortable asking for $ to begin with, and most of my professional colleagues don't have a lot of money. So, i would basically be asking the 5-6 friends i have that have money. That would not be enough.
    Tnt has a bad rep around here. They don't take well to people who are just "riding" the ride. It's all about the training, getting faster, and doing the ride as a race.
    I know a lot of riders on te have had a good tnt experience, but it's definitely not for a lot of us.
    +1.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    Like others, I've donated to people who then had to back out for whatever reason. I don't mind, the money is still going to the LLS.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience with TNT. I do believe it depends on the area, the coaches, and the staff attitudes. My first three seasons with TNT, I had a blast, the last season, not so much. So I do understand where you're coming from.

    All you can do is tell your donors the truth. You couldn't recommit because you were not getting the donations you needed to participate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Unlike a lot of charities, TNT is committed ensuring that at least 75% of the money raised actually goes to the cause (leukemia research and patient services). So they are brutally inflexible in enforcing the rules about fundraising - they have to be because it directly relates to their charitable credibility.

    I'm sorry you had such a struggle raising the money. The economy is definitely making this more difficult.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    and I just have to say: don't feel like this is an epic failure. You did a LOT of good for a great charity, and even though you can't follow through because of the large fundraising involved- don't feel like this is a failure. You succeeded in helping a good organization do good in this world. Good for you!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

 

 

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