Fundraising FAQ - Edited mar 11, 2013

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Q: Why is there a donation minimum?


A: Simple.  It's not about the ride, it's about the money.  A HUGE amount of work goes in to running this event. It takes a lot of exceptional people to make something like this happen, and our fundraisers are exceptional people too. For anyone that would even think of the amount of training and hard work it takes to prepare to ride a bike 400km in one day, the fundraising minimum should be easy to achieve.  If it is about the ride for you, and the fundraising seems too hard?  You are doing it for the wrong reasons.


Q: How do I get people to donate to Ride2Survive with so many other fundraisers out there?


A:  Tell them how we differ from most other events.  Accentuate the positives about Ride2Survive instead of "running down" other events, if you can.  Ask them if they have ever wondered where the money goes when they give to a charity?  Tell them that every penny of their donation to Ride2Survive goes directly to cancer research (unlike most other events) Remind them there is a tax receipt available.  Make it personal, relate your story and why you are doing Ride2Survive, or ask them if cancer has ever affected their lives, ask for THEIR story.  Tell them (especially at public events) that no donation amount is too small.

One of the things I often say is, "If I asked you for a $100 donation and said I'd spend $50 on something else and only $50 on cancer reserach, would you still give it to me?  With Ride2Survive, we spend $100 of that donation - on research.

A: Here's something you can tell people you think might make a larger donation.  Tell them that they get tax savings (in BC) of about $0.20 on the dollar for donations up to $200, and $0.44 on the dollar for every dollar over $200.  So for every dollar over $200, it only costs a donor $0.56 to donate it!


Q: But how will I ever raise $2500?


A: Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for it.  Be PROUD to ask for it, but it's going to take some work from you.  MORE work than just an e-mail or two. Ask your family, friends and colleagues. Ask them to ask THEIR family, friends and colleagues. And remind them. Ask them again.  Often.  Sometimes employers will donate. See if you can do a donation matching team building event at work!


Q:  But I don't have the rolodex (whoa, that dates me doesn't it?) to ask my friends for $2500!?


A: OK, so, neither do I.  I personally have raised most of my money in the past from people I don't know!  The general public.

A: Other ideas:

  • A fundraiser at a mall or grocery store can work well - VERY well.  We can help you organize yours.
  • Hold a *50/50 draw, or a silent auction.
  • Do something you like to do or are good at to raise money.  For example, are you a carpenter?  Perhaps you could do some odd carpentry jobs in return for donations.
  • One rider had a "Butter Chicken Cook off". It made $1500!
  • One person baked cookies and sold them to friends. Over $1000 worth!
  • Another made Ride2Survive soap and sold it.
  • Riders have had custom cycling socks made and sold them
  • We've had several benefit concerts
  • Friendly sports wagers for donations (ie, if my team wins you have to donate $50)
  • Raffle tickets
  • Chocolate bars
  • You name it. Get creative!


*50/50 draws and other types of gambling are regulated by the gaming commission and require a special event gaming license you can easily get online.


Q: Can I just donate the $2500 myself?  I hate asking people for money.


A: Yes, you can certainly do that if you wanted to and it would be great! But also, consider what fundraising does. It raises funds, awareness for the cause, and it involves the community in our event. It inspires others to go on and do charitable things of their own. At public fundraisers, I've had complete strangers donate, and then fight back tears while they try to tell me the story of their mom, their grandpa...or their son. A spontaneous hug from that person as they head on with their an experience not to be missed. If you'd like to donate the full $2500, great. Now, how much can you ADD to that with fundraising? 

If you feel guilty aboout asking people for money, remember, it isn't for YOU - it is for a great cause.


Q: Can anyone raise money for Ride2Survive?


A: Yes!  Ask your friends and family not just to donate, but to help you fundraise!  A fundraising team reaches so many more people!  My sister has helped us by making and donating her handmade soap.  A friend of mine bakes cookies and sells them in return for donations for us.


Q: Can I get help organizing and advertising my fundraising event?


A: Yes.  Contact us for help. We should be able to get you some posters you can print for your event. We have fundraising materials and kits.  Many of us have done this before and can offer advice. Please note we do NOT do corporate sponsorship in return for advertising, so if a company wants you to use their logo along with the R2S logo in return for donation money, we don't do that, and please do NOT do that without us knowing it. We welcome corporate donations, but only with no strings attached.


Q: How do I get the riders and volunteers to come to my event?


A: You can speak up about your event at a ride. You can blog on the R2S website. Please consider, though, that riders and volunteers can only go to so many events, and they can only donate so many times. Your event will draw FAR more people and more $$$ from your own group of friends and family and from the general public. ESPECIALLY from the general public.


Q: What if I've asked all of the people I know as many times as I dare, and I'm STILL not there?


A: You really need to think about - and get involved with - ways to do fundraising that gets donations from people you DON'T know as well. 2011 was the first year I (Graham) really worked hard on asking the general public for money, and do you know what? I surprised myself and raised $ generous as the people I know were,  most of that money came from people I never met before.  Again, fundraising at this level is MORE than just a few phone calls and emails.  It takes more work from most of us than that.


Q: What do I need to know about fundraising events for the general public?


A: Say you set up a mall spin event or hot dog sale or something.  It is not enough to just show up and stand there, hoping someone will drop money into your fundraising bucket.  In order to get people to donate to us, they need to know why we are there.  We have to talk to them, we have to engage people in conversation.  We need to SING IT OUT so people will stop to talk to us.  Be engaging and interesting - and honest!  Make it personal, for them and for you.

If we go to a public event and spin on our trainers or stand around and talk to nobody, or just talk to each other, or we don't even make eye contact with the public, it isn't going to happen, people will not stop to find out why you are there and they will not donate.  It is entirely up to the participants involved whether an event is a success or not.

I suggest targeting only the busiest malls and stores with the greatest potential.  Heavy weekend mall or grocery store traffic,  that's what you need.  The rest is up to YOU.


Q: What if I don't reach the minimum amount of money?


A: The minimum is the minimum. How much did you miss it by?  Can you consider making a "top up" donation of your own to make it? (Other major events charge your VISA card monthly until the minimum is reached - we don't do that.)

If a participant clearly tried very hard and held fundraising events and sent the emails, made the phone calls, they came to all the training rides, etc. the outcome might be different than for a participant who only showed up to a handful of the training rides, had little or no contact with events, didn't look for help with fundraising, didn't appear at any fundraisers or volunteer to help at fundraisers, and didn't appear to be trying very hard to get there.

Get involved early, and ask for help if you are struggling with it.  Don't wait until it is one month before the ride and you only have $500 raised.  The time to start actively fundraising is NOW.


Q: What if I get so many donations I just can't handle them all?


A: I put this one in here for fun because it's a problem I'd sure like to have. If anyone DOES have this problem...let me know your secret.  Please?