You’re in! Now what?
Congratulations! You are one of the lucky few who successfully registered for what Bicycling Magazine ranked #6 on its list of Totally Awesome Charity Bike Rides. Not only are you going to ride across 65(ish) miles of the most beautiful terrain that Arizona has to offer, you will make a positive and lasting impact on the less fortunate of Northern Arizona. Last year, we raised more than $90k – enabling Toys for Tots (T4T) to provide more than 13,000 toys, 5,000 books and 6,000 stocking stuffers to 10,424 children in Northern Arizona! Approximately half of the T4T annual budget comes from this single event.
Your challenge: Raise a minimum $250
Last year, we challenged everyone to secure a minimum of $200 in donations. Our riders responded by raising an additional $27k, a 140% increase over 2016! This year, we’re raising the bar by challenging every rider to raise at least $250. We estimate this will raise an additional $25k for the Marine League Charities.
We will help you crush this goal!
Is this your first year? Fundraising not your thing? Are you uncomfortable asking people for money? No problem, we have you covered with tips & tricks from perennial top fundraisers! Just follow these seven simple steps to get started:
- Set a goal. Actually, set two goals. Set a goal for yourself (e.g. $250) and then double it. Tell everybody about the second goal, keep the first one to yourself. In fact, just tell everybody your goal is $1000. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen…that you only raise $250?
- Build your “ask” list, engage them and keep them updated. Don’t be shy. More importantly, do NOT feel bad about asking for money. Instead, assume that everybody wants the OPTION to support you and will be disappointed if you don’t ask. The more people you ask, the more you’ll raise. Suggestions: Friends & family, current or former military (especially Marines!), anybody whose cause you have supported in the past or people who owe you money or favors. Pro tip: keep everybody involved by giving them the option to provide support in the form of positive thoughts and fingers crossed for good weather and no mechanical issues. Pro tip: send emails via bcc: to avoid spam caused by well-intended “reply all” messages.
- Keep it simple, but make it personal. Use the donation letter template to send emails to everybody on your list. Pro tip: “Make it your own” by including a personal story about why you are doing the ride or what it means to you. Pro tip: Include pictures from past rides (the muddier, the better). Pro tip: Use your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, personal blog) to amplify your message. Pro tip: Offer perks (gift, act of service, ride swag or raffle prizes) to your supporters to encourage larger donations.
- Make it easy to contribute. Provide clear instructions (5th grade simple) about when you need donations, how to get them to you and who to make the check out to. Set up a fundraising page at GroupRev.com (more about this option next week). Pro tip: Provide multiple options (PayPal, Check, Cash, Venmo). Pro tip: Throw a party and ask everybody who attends to bring a donation. Pro tip: Instead of simply asking for a donation, suggest contribution amounts (e.g. $20 or $40). Note: we prefer that you collect the money and turn it in (see below), but if your supporters use the Flag2GC PayPal account, be sure they include your name. Please do NOT set up a GoFundMe account.
- Be Persistent! Send updates every week or so. Some people will donate immediately, others prefer last minute and will appreciate the reminder. Pro tip: Provide updates on your fundraising (“I’m half way to my goal!”) and training progress (“I just got back from a 30 mile ride in 100+ heat”).
- Stay Organized. Keep track of who-pledged-what and follow up to make sure you get the donation. Let people when you receive their donation (if not in person). Send receipts (use this email friendly template).
- Turn in your donations ahead of time. Write a personal check for your cash donations. Send via snail mail: MLC c/o Carie Wilson | 5937 S. Brittany Lane | Tempe, AZ 85283. Submit in-person: July 26th 5:30-8:00pm at Spokes on Southern. Everybody who turns money in ahead of time will have a chance to win either a cabin/yurt at start camp or the opportunity to sleep in a Turtleback Trailer at end camp. Turn in at least $250 and you get a second raffle ticket. At the ride: You can turn in donations at start or end camp, but the more you can turn in ahead of time (especially cash!), the better.
Do you have questions? Send us an email!
Do you have fundraising tips or suggestions that you’d like to share? Send us an email!
Do you know of sponsors who want to contribute swag for the raffle? Send us an email!
Now – get busy raising and riding!