Not quite sure how to get going with fundraising? Here are our top five tips for making your next fundraiser your best ever!
#1: Make it personal
For Karrin Pearson’s 30th birthday (also her golden birthday!) she knew she wanted to spend the day outdoors with friends and family, doing something she loved. And Karrin also wanted her celebration to be about something bigger than herself. So she organized a 30-mile Bike Brigade Birthday Bash, complete with a champagne toast and picnic lunch. She solicited contributions to World Bicycle Relief leading up to the event and surpassed her initial goal of $735 (or 5 Buffalo Bikes) and raised $1065!
Giving the gift of bicycles at her own milestone birthday celebration was a deeply personal and uplifting way to inspire and motivate friends and family to donate. Best of all, having a cause to rally around made her 30th birthday even more enjoyable. What special events can you combine with your own fundraiser to make it unique?
#2 Spread the word
Michael O’Brien is his team’s captain, riding for World Bicycle Relief at Ride the Rockies and an enthusiastic BBQ pitmaster. This year, he decided to try combining his talents to raise money for WBR in a creative way. Michael and his family sold nearly 100 pulled pork sandwiches (that’s 30lbs of pork!) to raise $750 in cash donations and another $750 from his employer’s 1:1 charity match.
To promote his BBQ sandwich sale, Michael used several methods: a neighborhood email group, mailbox flyers and signs. He created a festive atmosphere that encouraged neighbors to come back for seconds – and they did. As you develop your own fundraising plan, make sure you’re contacting donors in ways that make sense. Social media and email work great for some events, while flyers, phone calls or signage may work better for others.
#3: Make donations tangible
SpinDoc Bike Shop hosts an annual indoor cycling fundraiser in their studio, during which riders pedal from 15 minutes to four hours, donating a suggested $10 per hour of ride time and soliciting additional sponsorship from friends and family. A couple of years ago, they noticed that when they included the cost of a Buffalo Bicycle in their promotional materials, people were more likely to donate the exact cost of a bike (or even two!).
Help your donors visualize the gift that they’re giving by encouraging individual or team donations that support specific purchases.
#4: Collaborate for even greater impact
A third grade class at Rountree Elementary learned about the positive impact of a single bicycle as part of a lesson on technology’s influence on people. Six weeks later, the same class learned how to use loaned cameras as they studied the relationship between media and social change. One student had a eureka moment that combined the two lessons: what if his class auctioned off their photography to raise money for World Bicycle Relief? He first enlisted the help of a classmate, then his teachers, and then his entire third grade class to develop a plan. A local photography professor also donated her time to help the students mount their photos professionally. Their silent auction raised nearly $700 in donations, enough to purchase four bicycles and train two mechanics!
The silent auction was only possible with a community of people working together to organize the event, create the artwork and publicize the cause. Who can you enlist to help with your fundraiser to make it even better?
#5: Share your story
Jack Buck Buczkowski and Tim Brankin have embarked on a 30-day bike ride on Route 66, traveling from their hometown of Chicago all the way to Santa Monica, CA. They’re using their expedition to build awareness for World Bicycle Relief and raise $4,410 – that’s 30 Buffalo Bicycles for students in need, one bike for every day of their journey. Tracking their progress on Facebook through stories, photos and videos, the duo are giving friends, family and perfect strangers a glimpse into their experiences while publicizing their call for donations. (Check out their progress here!)
When you ask your friends and family to support your fundraiser, you will help mobilize others to follow their dreams. Join people around the world and use your sport, skills or creativity to fundraise for The Power of Bicycles. Now is YOUR time to make a world of difference.