I’ve been riding the Pan Mass Challenge for 10 years. It’s a 2-day nearly 200-mile ride, but that’s actually the easy part (with some training).
I’ve been successful in raising large amounts of money for a few reasons, I believe. First of all, I’m very passionate about the cause and I share that passion, and my specific reasons for riding, with my sponsors. Many of them have been impacted in some way by cancer and are happy to have a way to help. Many thank me for “doing something.”
My email list is rather large and all-encompassing. I don’t really group my solicitations in any way, I simply ask everyone. It helps spread awareness, and I’m often surprised by the results — sometimes those who you might expect a contribution remain silent, and those who I might not expect anything from contribute significantly.
I also send multiple requests/reminders. I don’t bug people, mostly because I hate that and I don’t want to be annoying. Generally, I send one notice a couple of months before the event and a second just a couple of weeks before the event. I usually send a third broadcast, which is a reminder as the event approaches. Many contributors often thank me for the reminder.
The week of the ride, I send a note out asking sponsors to keep an eye out for the local media coverage. It’s another opportunity to thank them for their support, and to keep awareness for the cause up.
Finally, I always send a follow-up letter letting everyone know how the event went, how much money we raised, etc. Think about it, if you put down $50 or $100 or more to support an event, wouldn’t you like to know how it went? I include photos, anecdotes, and a final message about the cause/passion for the event. I think sponsors appreciate it and that it helps them to feel part of the event (which they are! the most important part!).
What are your charity ride fundraising strategies?
Photo Credit: borman818