Now you've gone and done it. You signed up for your first long charity ride. Aside from those pesky and time consuming training sessions, one of the hardest things you’ll have to do is raise some money. Whether you have to raise $20 or $2000… fear not! These tips will help get you on your way to your goal:
Hit up your family, first. Ask your mom or dad to help out (because they haven’t done quite enough for you). Remind your sister in law about all the Girl Scout cookies you bought from your nieces last year. You've been meaning to call your grandmother for a month, now is the perfect time.
What are friends for? Compose a heartfelt email and send it to your buddies. Get on Facebook and put out the plea. Donations start with asking, so ask everyone.
Take it to the office. Here you can be passive and tape your contribution sheet to the cluttered break room fridge door. Or better yet, walk from desk to desk with puppy dog eyes and a big smile on your face and go for it. Pit your co-workers against each other: “Hey Susan! Carl just donated 50 bucks to my charity ride. How much can I put you down for?”
Have a “do good” party. Make sure you tell folks it’s a fundraiser. Get your friend who’s in a band to come and play (for free, of course). Put out an awesome food and drink spread and ask for a cover charge. All proceeds will fund your bike ride for a great cause!
Sell some of your unneeded junk. Head down to your basement or up in the attic and look around. Admit it, it would be fantastic to organize and get rid of some stuff. Snap a few pictures of the unused dog crate or old surfboard and get them on Craigslist. Have a garage sale or bring the items to the local consignment shop. This is “extra” cash you didn't know you had anyway, so it’s perfect to give to your organization.
Make people cry. Dramatic? Absolutely! Make people understand the impact of their donation. Know everything there is to know about your cause, and share that knowledge. For example, “Every day X number of people are diagnosed with Y disease or condition. Every day Z people die from it. We need your help.”
Soliciting for money can be difficult, and getting “No” for an answer will definitely occur. Try not to personalize it. Keep asking around, use the above tips liberally, and your hard work will pay off. Enjoy your charity ride!