Fundraising can often (incorrectly) be perceived as a hassle-a-thon of your closest friends, clients and family. The good news is Tour de Office doesn’t advocate forced fundraising – we want our riders to simply showcase the fun they’re having, the effort they’re putting in, and the passion they have for their cause.
There is no perfect formula to appeal to your friends and family and ask for donations.
We went through the history books and looked at a couple of our top Tour de Office Fundraisers from the last couple of years to gain an insight into how they promoted their rides – hopefully it will inspire you to do the same.
Bernadette O’Connor gives us a great example of how an entry-level professional can give the top executives a run for their money on the fundraising leaderboard.
Bernadette focused on consistent and fun social media posts to engage her network to donate to her rides. Proving the little guy can come through with a win Bernadette raised nearly $2,000 in one week and was the top fundraiser for her organisation Employment Office.
“For me it was about quantity – I knew my friends would only be able to donate small amounts so I had to ensure I had a lot of little donations coming in every day. I posted every day on social media and live-tweeted my rides. The big thing is to ALWAYS put a link to your direct fundraising page, donors lose interest very quickly so if they can’t see a direct way to give you money.“There is nothing worse than giving someone a donation then never seeing if that person has actually completed their fun-run, or bake sale, or volunteer work – I wanted to prove to everyone I was riding every day, dressing up, having fun and their money was going to a good cause,” Bernadette says.
“You don’t need friends in high places to raise money for a good cause – a bit of fun – and some humorous self promotion goes a long way. Consistency is key and so if it’s your first time fundraising, there is no excuse not to jump on your bike and start tweeting your rides!”
THE PERSISTENT FUNDRAISER
Rahul Goyal topped the fundraising leader board for Tour de Office in 2015 with a record-breaking $7000 raised during the event. So how did he do it?
Rahul admits that he’s a keen fundraiser and personally supports a number of charities each year. He has a clear-cut strategy that has been tried and tested during a number of charity initiatives.
“Firstly I always make a sizable donation to myself. Its hard to ask others to support you when you haven’t made a contribution yourself. Then I write a list of 30 people who I’m confident would be happy to give a donation. These are people who I have a good relationship with and speak to regularly. I send each person a personalised email and then remind them when I next speak to them.
I usually follow up with my shortlist every couple of days until they make a donation or decline to do so. Once they’ve donated, I cross them off my list.”
Rahul reported that he doesn’t ever feel like he’s hassling people because he’s not doing it to benefit himself, but instead he’s advocating a charitable cause.
“By donating myself, its always easier to ask others. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask, you’re actively making a difference to the lives of others.” Rahul says.
THE SILKY-SMOOTH FUNDRAISER
Employment Office rider in Tour de Office 2016, Alex Hood raised almost $1000 with just some wax strips and over-enthusiastic colleagues. Alex promised he would get his legs waxed if he reached his fundraising target- and his colleagues were more than happy to oblige. When it came to the big day, those who had donated were qualified to tear one wax strip from a hairy calf or thigh. Last minute donations were flying in left, right and centre.
“It was hilarious! Doing something different was a huge boost to my fundraising – I was so excited to almost hit $1000. I would encourage anyone fundraising to think outside the box and not be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Jump on the bike in a crazy costume, face a fear or defy people’s expectations of you. It’s all for a good laugh and importantly, you’ll boost your fundraising.”
Ultimately, the key to fundraising is to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Consider how each dollar you raise will make a difference to people most in need. This will keep you motivated to reach out to your colleagues, friends and family for their support – remember, your community will want to help if you’re passionate about making a difference and show you’re having fun along the way!