The Do’s and Don’ts of Fundraising
Once Riders commit to Pelotonia, many turn their attention to their fundraising campaigns. As Pelotonia 12 gets closer and the anticipation for the Ride escalates, sometimes anxiety about fundraising increases too. But hold on, keep in mind that the fundraising deadline is not until October 12, 2012 – two months after the Ride. Still not completely calm? Let’s go through the do’s and don’ts of fundraising.
1.) Make a personal connection to your fundraising campaign. Most Riders have hobbies outside of cycling. If possible, pull your personal interests into a fundraising event, such as a golf outing, a wine tasting or a bake sale.
2.) Host a fundraising party at your home. Fundraising parties can be any size or style. They can be as simple as having friends over for pizza and beer. For donors, this is a social event they would typically partake in, and most times is fun. Plus, your donors are more likely to sponsor you at a higher level once you provide a better understanding of Pelotonia.
3.) Write a personal letter. Donors want to hear your story. We often hear Riders say that someone unexpectedly donated to their ride because of a personal letter. Your story is powerful.
4.) Be creative with your fundraising idea.
For example, one Rider set out a Keurig and accompanying beverages at her office, with a sign requesting donations.
1.) Forget to thank your donors: It is easy to send a simple note after receiving notification of a donation. Make sure you thank your donors with more than a brief, one-line email, or for a personal touch, try a hand written note.
2.) Lose sight of corporate matches: Many companies will match their employees’ tax-deductable charitable donations. Remind your donors to check with their human resources department to see whether this is an option.
3.) Be afraid of a personal appeal: If there is someone special in your life whom you want to ask for a gift, ask him or her in person. Be prepared to talk about Pelotonia, what you will do and how much it means to you. After you ask for the gift, wait for a response. Your donor will be impressed that you had the courage to ask him or her.
4.) Overcomplicate: It is easy to get caught up in orchestrating a complex fundraising event. However, most Riders’ donations come from making small requests. Your story is inspirational, and most people are more than willing to donate to support your ride.
No matter how you choose to fundraise, it’s important to keep in mind the money is not for you but rather to fight cancer.
Written By: Melissa Thompson