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.


Mom B. said...

There has been one team that uses a restaurant they frequent and asked them to donate a portion of the proceeds if they can fill the restaurant that night. He then invites people to the restaurant and he usually has the restaurant filled. So that might be a good one for you.
Businesses are hard unless you know someone at them you could ask for the donation. I also find it hard to cold call someone.
You know we will be donating to your ride. If you need it now let us know. Our own donations have been down too.
I guess just check with your other coworkers and see if they can donate to you even if it is $5.
Maybe you can ask your boss to see if you can have a rally for the team and ask for support. It would be for everyone but it would go to Team IRS.
Do you get money for recycling bottles or aluminum cans? That may be a way.
That's all I can think of right now.

Moose said...

No rush on the donations, My ride isn't till June.

I was just grumping about the whole fund raising thing. I dislike it, and this year seems harder - probably because of the economy.

Tony said...

Hmmm... you might think about working with brothers (since you guys go there a lot). See if they would be willing to give you $5 or a percentage of sale for everyone that comes in with a flyer (that you print up and pass out).

Sell this as a marketing incentive program. the economy is down, and therefore bussiness are looking for cheap ways to bring in more bussiness. I woul dsugeest to do it on a slow night, like tuesday nights are typical slow for resterants. If they are willing, have it offered for every tuesday during the month of X.

This will drive more bussiness to them, show them as a bussiness that is giving back to the community, plus you are hopfully bringing in more $. This ofcourse is all based on passing those flyers out.

Trust me, I could sell ice cream to an eskimo.