Community fundraising continues to be PWA’s primary source of unrestricted revenue for hard-to-fund programs like Financial Assistance. Government and foundation granting programs tend to fund infrastructure programming and not direct cash handout activities. Historically, drag legends Chris Edwards and Candace Kelly regularly hosted events raising hundreds of thousands of dollars ensuring people living on reduced income received financial support. These events were instrumental in providing opportunities for people to engage in the cause, raise awareness, and ultimately raise money.

The Bike Rally is a crucial revenue source for many programs and services offered by PWA and the largest funding source for PWA’s second largest program – Financial Assistance. People living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) can access 5 different funds to help pay for vital HIV meds and services not covered by OHIP, dental care, emergency veterinary expenses, immigrations fees, optical expense, and support for children. PWA is one of the only AIDS Service Organizations in Toronto that provides financial assistance. Sadly, each year the demand exceeds supply and money runs out before the end of the fiscal year – another reason to get your donations in early!

Participant fundraising event posterWhile all fundraising is important, community fundraising plays a special and transformative role in raising funds for the Bike Rally. Engaging more people and letting donors see for themselves the power of the Bike Rally is an excellent and interactive way to support the event and your fundraising goals.

Community fundraising is effective and supports the Bike Rally in the following ways:

  1. To raise cash.
  2. To introduce more donors to the Bike Rally and the cause – many organisations use community fundraising to increase their profile and encourage more people to sign up to give regularly.
  3. To gain publicity – You could measure this by media coverage, number of hits to the event page on your website or number of people attending the event (or all three).
  4. To get beneficiaries involved. Many beneficiaries of a charity’s services enjoy being able to get involved in a positive way to give something back.

The benefits to you as a rider or crew fundraiser are:

  1. Exposure to more people in a single event by leveraging friends, family and colleagues to bring guests.
  2. Quite often donations come from unlikely or previously unknown sources.
  3. It’s a great way opportunity to pool resources and raise money together with fellow Riders and Crew.
  4. It’s fun and contagious! Many will see your energy and commitment to the ride at one time and you’ll find it’s infectious. People are apt to ask more questions and donate more once they see they level of your commitment.

To find out more about how to hold a community fundraising event and what is required, check out the Event Planning page in the Fundraising section on the Bike Rally website.