Thursday, February 11, 2010

Charity Rides — and the Fundraising Dilemma


So I've signed up for a charity ride. The thing I dislike about the charity rides is that they all require payment of a nominal entry fee, and require that each rider raise x amount of money.

I hate to ask people for money. I'd have a hard time selling ice in the desert.

But, if I want to ride in the MS Bike Ride in a few months, I’ve got to.

In my case, it’s not too bad. The MS Society expects each rider to raise a minimum of $300. Last year, I surprised myself and raised around $800. This year, with the economy still in the doldrums, people seem to have tightened their purse strings. I’m not having near the response that I have had in years past. I'll admit I started early since the ride isn't till June, but I am hoping that I could set the pace since I am a team captain this year.

How does a person raise that kind of money? Other than asking will you donate to my cause, how does one raise funds? I've thought about "spirit" nights at a local restaurant or two, but those seem odd too. Should I approach companies? I am open to ideas...

Since most of these big events are organized by big charities, with support staffs, fundraising tips are made available to riders. The MS Society posts a 12-week plan to help you reach your fundraising goal, starting with your participant center. That’s a web page where potential donors can click a link or two and make an online donation to your effort. The unfortunate thing I find with the suggestions they give is it surrounds gaining support from friends / relatives - I've sent an email to everyone I know and will probably send another one as the date draws closer. I've posted a notice through facebook and re-post that same notice every time I log in.

The MS society also suggests that you could also raise some additional money by selling unwanted or unneeded items at a garage sale, or on EBay, or on Craig’s List. I really dislike this idea and don't have anything that I am really able to "sell".

So that's where I am. I am open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Now we're both in the hole ...

This is a story I heard a bunch of years ago on a show called "The West Wing". Something today made me think about it, so I looked it up and decided to share it...

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out.

"A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

"Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on

"Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'"