Fund Raising

Confused about Fundraising? Intimidated by having to raise money for the ride? Consider the following suggestions as ways to ease your fundraising blues:

  1. The first and foremost rule about successful fundraising is: ASK EVERYONE you come into contact with. You never know who’ll donate to your cause. Ask church members, cult members, doctors, dentists (they usually have an especially soft heart and large wallet), colleagues, YOUR BOSS, housekeepers, tennis coaches, etc… If you frame asking for donations in the light that you’re really excited about this charity ride you’re training for and completing this summer, it’s a lot less awkward than flat out begging.
  2. Many companies will match donations made by their employees to reputable charitable organizations. While most won’t match donations made directly to the Dream Ride, they will match donations made to our selected beneficiary this year, Partners in Health. The Dream Ride organizers have been working closely with Partners in Health to ensure that donations made directly to them can be earmarked to count towards a certain rider’s goal.
  3. For those of you who have friends who work on an hourly basis, consider asking them to pick up an extra shift. From Waitresses to Lawyers to Proctologists, all could fairly easily work an extra day and donate their after-tax earnings to your cause. If someone makes $15/hr and works one 8 hour shift, that’s a pretty easy $120 (or at least $100 after taxes) to donate. Sweeten the pot by telling them you’ll do the same (and then follow through).
  4. Ask your friends to “take you out for drinks” but donate what they’d spend on beers to the ride. Then forgo one night at the bar. Sure, it might only be $10 here or there, but if you have enough friends… anything is possible.
  5. Try the “crazy guy in public place” approach. Stand on a busy street corner for an hour or so and talk to everyone who goes by. Hand them Dream Ride flyers, have your notebook of facts, and perfect your pitch. At first, it’ll probably be quite awkward, but then if you do it enough, you’ll add some polish to your story. All it takes is that ONE venture-capitalist / humanitarian to walk by and see your act and you’re set!
  6. Try your hand at Guest Bar Tending. Ask around at your favorite bars whether they’d be willing to let you guest bartend and keep the tips. Most places will allow you to do so at least one happy hour on a random Tuesday. It’s really a win-win for both parties. You invite your friends to buy their drinks, they get revenue from the drinks, you get the tips. Note: you probably also have to pay for anything you break behind the counter, so think twice before attempting the Double Gray Goose Vodka Bottle Twirl…
  7. Use your social networks. You probably use Facebook or Twitter. Advertise what you’re doing on these sites. Instead of setting your status as “going to the mall with my BFFs” you might try, “Excited about a charity ride I’m participating in this summer,” Or, one step better, make “limited time offers” to your friends, promising to do crazy things like shave your legs (men get ready) if you raise a certain amount of money during a preset time period.
  8. Follow up. Most likely, your first round of requests won’t have you reach your fundraising goals. So follow up after a few weeks from those who you haven’t heard from. Call them, email them, send a singing telegraph, but don’t let them forget about you. Mind you, be polite, but be persistent.