I’ve been raising funds for many years now and I’ve learned, all is fair in love and war…and fundraising. Yes, when it comes to fundraising, there are no rules and sometimes it’s best to think outside the box. Some of you have already sent a fundraising letter to everyone you know, and you’re still trying to raise your fundraising minimum. Some of you have already reached your minimum and you’re shooting for the stars. In both cases, there are an infinite number of ways to kick your fundraising up to the next gear if you open your mind to new possibilities.

Maybe some of your friends don’t have cash to donate, but they’d still like to support you in a big way. Could they offer some service they could perform in exchange for a donation? Are they a barber, a babysitter or a house cleaner who would donate some of their time? One of the best fundraising for services events I’ve seen is a tattoo artist who offered a small heart tattoo for a $50 donation. They raised over $5,000 in one day and it was great advertising for the tattoo shop.


2014 California Rider Dan Leaverton shaved the Climate Ride logo on the back of his head!

Perhaps you can throw a beer bash at your local pub on an off night. Many past riders have successfully negotiated a portion of beer sales and tips to be kicked back to their fundraising page. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe you could hold a thrift store fashion show with prizes for the most outrageous outfits. Pick a dozen or so contestants from various groups, ask them to bring supporters for their rooting section and you have an instant crowd. After you’ve put your contestants through their paces, have the crowd vote by placing money in buckets in front of each contestant. The contestant with the most money in front of them wins the contest, and you win fundraising money in each bucket! The cost to you or your contestants is minimal – as I understand it, you can pop some tags with only $20 in your pocket…

And what about your own talents? What skills or talents do you have that you can share to help yourself raise funds? I’ve seen riders set up omelet bars at work, bake sales in school cafeterias, and spaghetti dinners at their church. Most hold raffles at each event, which is a great way to add to your fundraising pot (PS – let us know about your fundraiser and we may be able to share some vintage swag to raffle off!). I’ve seen many folks auction dates with volunteers at these events as well.

We know you care and you want to raise every dollar you can for the Climate Ride cause and the beneficiaries you’ve chosen. Don’t be afraid to be creative and have some outside the box fun when you’re raising that money. Have an idea you’d like to plan or talk through? Give me a call and I’d be glad to help!

Russ Mendivil is Climate Ride’s Fundraising Guru, with over 10 years of experience helping fundraisers meet and exceed their fundraising goals. He loves chatting over the phone with fundraisers about tips, strategies, and his pet chickens! 

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