12 Tips To Help You Reach Your Fundraising Goal

With only six weeks to go before starting our ride in the Rockies, I’ve had to take stock of how my own preparations were going.  The ride training is going well as I have already reached the 100 km mark in a single ride, but still have a ways to go before reaching my fundraising goal of $3000. Having just finished a long season of ski instructing in Whistler, it was a bit of a late start for me especially with our ride being two weeks earlier than last year.

I was asked to share a few tips to help those who may be new to the ride and to also encourage the rest of us in our endeavors to reach our fundraising goals. I realize that we are all different and therefore how we approach fundraising may not be the same either. Betty, who is a superstar in this area, shared her ideas a few weeks ago. Her suggestions were terrific and will yield amazing results. I do my fundraising a bit differently, so you can figure out which approach works better for you.

    • Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in the whole process of fundraising. After all, it is His work and we are just His instruments.
    • Set a realistic goal for your fundraising. It may be keeping to the minimum of $1000 that you committed to when registering or it may be a goal of a significantly higher amount.
    • Show your prospective supporters that you are both committed and excited about what you are doing. When people see that you are committed in your training and focused in what you do, they will get behind you in one form or another. Genuine enthusiasm about what you are riding for is a display of that commitment.
    • Sponsor yourself. This is another way to show others that you are serious about the ride. The very first thing I did before contacting prospective supporters was to sponsor myself. I know what you are thinking, that you have already made financial sacrifices to prepare for the ride. However, you can lead by your example of making a sizeable donation to show that you believe in the cause you are riding for. The message that you will be sending to your supporters will be reflected in the size of your donation. Whatever you donate to your own ride will set the tone for what you may expect from others. You will reap what you sow.
    • Ask people who you have made a connection with. These are the folks who will likely be your best supporters. They may be people at your workplace, church, your family, friends, neighbours, etc. These connections are often cultivated long before any fundraising starts.
    • Try reaching out to your non-Christian friends. Some of my supporters do not go to church nor are they Christians but believe in me and what I am committed to do.
    • Take advantage of the fundraising tools on the B4B websiteYou can use them to help with your efforts. I use the tools on the website to send thank you notes which are personalized. When fundraising, I prefer to send out personalized emails through my fundraising page. This is not mass emailing where the salutation begins with ‘Dear Friend’ or something of that nature. People tend to dismiss mass mailings as they don’t have time for ‘spam and junk mail’. I spend much time in sending out separate emails addressed to individuals by name. My emails include a bit of personal info on myself and what I have been up to lately (sort of the way that I started this message), some info about the ride and information about the recipients of the fundraising effort. There will be embedded links to the B4B website where they can get further info, as well as a link to my personal fundraising webpage.The website does make it so easy to get your fundraising under way. When I did my first ride in 2008, we had sponsorship sheets and took donations by cheque and cash. We did this for several years until B4B made it so much easier for people to donate using the website.
    • Don’t forget the personal touch of using the phone or meeting with people face to face. Emails or other electronic communications are not your only options.
    • Keep in touch with the people that you have contacted for support. I send out another e-mail about four weeks before ride date. This is to give them an update on how my training has been going as well as a gentle reminder that I am still in fundraising mode. People have busy schedules and sometimes need reminders to take action.
    • When the ride is over, take the time to write your supporters about the ride. I keep a detailed journal which I send out to all who have committed to my ride. During the ride, I write notes each evening on the day’s events and later fill in the details when writing my journal. This usually takes me 10-15 hours over the course of a week to help my supporters relive some of the key moments of the ride. I will usually send out a summary of only a few hundred words with an attached PDF file of much greater detail spanning several thousand words. I am sure that not everyone will read the PDF but I do get a lot of feedback of how much they appreciated being able to get a feel for what happened during the ride. For some supporters, this is what they truly look forward to receiving from me when the ride is over.
    • Don’t take it personally when some of your contacts do not respond with a donation. Not everyone you contact will donate. Someone who supported you last year may not support you this year and vice versa. They have their legitimate reasons and we should respect this.
    • Get started. It won’t matter how much fundraising advice you receive unless you take a step of faith and get going! When I registered for my first B4B ride in 2008, I had no idea whether I could meet my $1000 minimum fundraising obligation. I had just a little over five weeks to both train and fundraise. I gave this to the Lord and He got me through both. It will take the same amount of effort and preparation to raise $10 as it would for $10,000. Why not make each pedal stroke count and raise a higher amount for a very worthy cause?“Through our spokes, God speaks!”

I don’t know where this quote came from but here is something to ponder on: ‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.’

About Barry Kwok

Barry teaches skiing full time in Whistler in the winter. He recently completed his 22nd season with Whistler-Blackcomb. He is also a professional photographer specializing in portraiture as well as architectural interiors. During the summer months, Barry works part time at a well-established bike shop in the Vancouver area where he lives. With his technical skills and knowledge of road bikes, Barry is a valuable member of the B4B team when it comes to emergency repairs during the ride.

Just like Betty Adams (who was previously featured in our blog), Barry tries to get in 2000 kms of training before the week-long ride. Since he started riding for B4B, Barry has put in about 30,000 kms on his bike, raising thousands of dollars for various CBS causes.

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