Four ladies on The California 2010 ride

Reaching Donors

Make the List

Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, and write down the names of everyone you know, and all the groups you're connected to. You'll be surprised at the length of your list. Then prioritize who to contact first. (But remember, they should all get at least an email eventually!) Many Climate Riders tell us that reconnecting with so many long-lost friends was the most rewarding part of their fundraising.

How about asking friends from...

  • grade school, high school, college, or grad school?
  • work (and not just your current job)
  • health club, cycling club, spin class, yoga, skiing, climbing
  • Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary club
  • place of worship
  • parents' friends
  • parents of your kids' friends
  • your community garden
  • book club

Or maybe:

  • Your doctor, veterinarian, therapist, dentist, chiropractor, hairdresser, accountant, car or bike mechanic, neighbors
  • Family and don't stop at parents. How about aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, children, in-laws, godparents...

Broadcast it wide

Contact your local radio station, newpaper, and other publications to see if they'll write a story about your efforts

Use social media

Update your Facebook status when you register, and when you go for your first 10, 25, and 50-mile training rides. Tweet about your slick new bike, or how much you love your old clunker, or when you reach fundraising milestones. Share your experience of getting ready for Climate Ride.  Social networking pages allow you to make the soft ask. Your followers will be excited by your courage and new adventure and many will be inspired to donate.

Raise $1000 in 7 days

Don't be boggled by large numbers. Your fundraising efforts can add up quickly

How quickly? Check this out - here's how to raise more than $1000 in just a week:

1. Sponsor yourself for $25.
2. Ask six family members for $50.
3. Ask five friends to contribute $40.
4. Ask four co-workers to contribute $25.
5. Ask your boss to sponsor you by contributing $100.
6. Ask six businesses you frequent to donate $50 each.

The best part about this technique is you can replicate it with different groups of donors. Each time, consider your relationship to your potential donors, the nature of their support for sustainability or active transportation, and tailor your ask and dollar amount accordingly. For reference, the average donation to a Climate Ride participant year-to-year is about $75 and the most common donation is $50.

Remind yourself of the importance and significance of what you are doing and why you are participating in our event, and then ask. Remember that you're not asking for money for yourself. You're asking for a donation to support a cause that's really important to you and will help make our world a better place.

There are people out there who want to support you, they just need the opportunity to do so. Be sure to give them that opportunity by asking! Donations often come in from the least-expected places, so don't be shy!