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.