Some riders say the pedaling is the hardest part, while others claim it’s more difficult to ask for money, though many have raised the required entry pledges several times over! The following are some tried and true strategies that have been employed by past participants. Obviously, not every rider will use every suggestion or move among various groups of potential sponsors, but if you utilize even some of the following, you will be successful.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO
1. Register now at https://www.firstgiving.com/event/usarc/p2p26
2. Start EARLY, Start NOW!!!
3. Ask everyone you know
4. Set a goal
5. Be informed about your cause (USARC)
6. Remember you are NOT asking for yourself, but to benefit those served by the USARC.
7. Send out request letters today, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope
8. Thank every donor
9. Don’t give up!
10. Did we say start now?
IT’S MUCH EASIER THAN YOU THINK – HERE ARE THINGS OTHERS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DONE
1. Tell EVERYBODY about Firstgiving (see #1, above.) This internet approach has proven to be an EASY, FAST,
SECURE, and LUCRATIVE tool for past riders. Easy for your sponsors = more pledges for you!
2. Pledge yourself first. When others see your commitment, they will often match or exceed it.
3. Just ask! People are eager to give if asked by a familiar and committed person, who is passionate about their cause.
4. Do a little math. If you ask six businesses you frequent to donate $100 each, six relatives to give you $50 each, six
friends to give you $50 each, and six workplace associates to give you $50 each, you are already 75% there!
5. Seek out the largest donations first; when people see a flat $300, $100, or $50 pledge, they often follow suit.
6. Ask local businesses patronized, or partner businesses such as suppliers or vendors served (see the list, below.)
7. Personalize a P2P poster with your name and number and place in your local bike shop, office, break room, etc.
8. Check if any sponsors’ donations are matched by their respective employers (this can be a HUGE resource!)
9. Remind sponsors that all donations are tax-deductible, a genuine benefit for most people.
10. Suggest sponsors do a payment plan (for example $50 now and $50 the week before the ride.)
11. Set a pledge goal of $20 per day (or whatever) when averaged overtime prior to the ride, meets the required amount.
12. Pledges based on mileage (25 cents, 50 cents, $1.00) work too, but flat pledges are best (see tip # 4 above.)
13. Ask for support from fellow club members with shared interests (golf, cycling, skiing, bridge, etc.)
14. Approach service organizations in communities whose citizens the USARC likely serves (see the list, below.)
15. Host micro-brew tasting, wine tasting, gourmet dinner, or BBQ with guests paying to attend at a profit.
16. Host yard/garage sale with items donated from friends, neighbors, themselves, etc.
17. Riders sponsor their friends’ causes and thus their friends sponsor the rider.
18. Encourage friends to visit and see the USARC programs in action to serve as a motivator.
19. Post notices on bulletin boards, (electronic or cork), or by e-mails with a reference to the website, www.usarc.org.
20. Make your own pledge form by modifying our brochure or poster with past photos, personal goals, etc.
21. Invite cycling sponsors to meet the group somewhere along the ride (call USARC for restrictions.)
22. View ride as personal vacation, pay any difference themselves, take a tax deduction (for a vacation!) as the law allows.
23. Share photos (available from USARC) of the prior rides with potential donors.
24. Following through on forgotten or neglected initial contacts often produces positive results.
25. Clinch donors by doing something unique on the ride (wore a dress, wore a rival’s uniform, rode a single-speed bike, etc.)
26. Swam to Catalina Island (and across the English Channel, and Lake Tahoe) to raise awareness (we don’t recommend it.)
WHOM YOU SHOULD ASK
Statistics show that virtually everybody knows a person who has a disability. People will line up and support you when they see you are passionate about a cause; all you have to do is ask! Who are they? We already mentioned your family, friends, and colleagues, but don’t forget the many people and companies whom you have supported with your patronage over the years. The below list is partial, but a good starting point.