All Riders are required to raise a minimum of $2,500 (6-day Riders) or $650 (1-day Riders). This may seem daunting at first, but with Bike Rally fundraising tools and support, you will meet your minimum and hopefully surpass your goal!
Crew are not required to raise money, although we encourage Crew to raise $500 or more.
All registered participants receive an online personal fundraising web page. Through this page you are able to send emails, track your donations, and thank your donors. We recommend you personalize your page with photos, a personal message explaining your reason for participating. Monitor it often. Your donors will be able to donate to you directly online with a credit card.
In addition to the many fundraising resources available on the Bike Rally website, your Team Leaders and the Fundraising Committee are here to assist you to successfully reach your fundraising goal.
It Starts With Your Goal
Each rider must raise at least $2,500 (6-day Riders) or $650 (1-day Riders) by June 30 to participate. However, we encourage you to set your own personal fundraising goal – shoot for the sky.
Riders who raise $6,000 or more and Crew who raise $1,000 or more attain Top Fundraiser status. You’ll receive special recognition – a specially designed Top Fundraiser jersey or t-shirt, plus, Riders lead us out of Kingston on Day 4.
Personalize Your Fundraising Page
Once you have registered, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your pledge page. Your personal fundraising page has many tools you can use to secure and manage pledges from your donors. Learn how to set up your pledge page, how to solicit past and new donors and how to promote your pledge page on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
8 Steps to Fundraising Success!
- Make a list – and check it twice
Family: Don’t leave anyone out. They will be behind you and want you to succeed. Make a personal ask– that’s face-to-face (or by phone). Follow up if necessary.
Friends: Use the same approach as family. Those closest to you don’t want to learn about your ride in an e-mail – they’ll want you to ask them directly. Then follow up with an email or letter. Don’t forget everyone you have sponsored/pledged or bought products from in the past. Let them know about your participation in the Bike Rally.
Co-workers: Hype it up and get a challenge going. Recruit a close colleague at work to help you raise funds in other departments. Perhaps you might pin up the 1-Day and 6-Day rally posters at your work station or on a department message board. And don’t forget to ask your employer.
Clubs/Associations/Congregation members: This could be a great source of leads!
Employer: Two words: Matching Gift. Ask your employer if there is a matching gift program at your work. Many companies have these programs and can sometimes double your gifts. And, encourage your co-workers to submit matching gift requests. Ask your employer if they would consider matching what you raise from fellow employees – if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Neighbours: Go door-to-door, stop and chat on the street, even drop off a hand-written note.
Strangers: Map out an area where you live, where people might recognize you.
- Make a Plan
Aim for $3,500.00 in pledges. It will make $2,500.00 come in that much easier. Break down your goal into manageable chunks.
Scenario 1: 16 Donors
1 x $500
2 x $250
2 x $200
11 x $100
Scenario 2: 32 Donors
2 x $250
10 x $100
20 x $50
Scenario 3: 60 Donors
40 x $50
20 x $25
List people beside the amount you feel they should be able to donate. Remember, if you ask for $10 when they could give $100, you will get $10 and have to work that much harder to reach your goal.
- Start with YOU
Go ahead – ask yourself for a gift. You’ll be happy with the response. If you can afford to sponsor a lead gift ($150 – $250 – $500 – $1000 ), it will lead the way for others to follow. Those close to you, if asked effectively, will come through.
- Build awareness
If this is your first time doing the ride or if you plan on asking people to pledge who don’t know anything about the ride, try to educate them before you make your ask. Whenever you have a chance, talk about how you were out training this past weekend or about how you are preparing for the ride with your Bike Rally Team.
Social media such as Facebook is great for building awareness! Instead of just posting a message for all your Friends, consider building awareness first with mini updates and picture posts. When you do make your ask, it will not seem like it is coming out of the blue and your supporters will be glad to jump on board.
- Prepare your materials
Keep Bike Rally and Toronto People with AIDS Foundation information on hand at all times.
Use a URL shortening service such as Tinyurl or Bitly to create an easy-to-remember / easy-to-communicate link to your sponsorship page for handouts, emails and social media.
- Make your asks
Don’t procrastinate – go for early wins. Be prepared for some no’s. Don’t get discouraged. Often “no” just means “not right now”. Like you, your donors are busy so remind them frequently and don’t feel badly about “badgering” donors – you’re doing it for a great cause! Sending status updates about your team and training progress is an effective way of reminding potential donors to pledge you when they have time.
- Thank you, thank you, thank you…
Check your online pledge page often to contact and thank people who have supported you – don’t wait until you get back. You can utilize the tools on your personal fundraising page to thank your donors. Social media can be a great way to thank donors AND create awareness at the same time. Just remember to respect donors’ wishes, if they have chosen to donate anonymously.
- BONUS STEP: The re-ask
When you are getting close to your goal, whether it be $2,500 or $10,000, send a message to everyone who has sponsored you. Thank them again and tell them how close you are to succeeding. Ask whether they know anyone who could help you reach your goal. They may refer you to a new contact or they may even pledge you again.
A personalized letter sent to friends, family and acquaintances is a good first step in your pledge campaign. Your letters should be sent out as soon as possible. People may not immediately respond to your letter so follow up with a phone call.
Fundraising Ask letter samples:
Fundraising Thank You letter samples
21 Fundraising Ideas
Ideas to raise money
- Sport Challenge: Organize a tournament and charge an entrance fee covering your costs + $25 pledge.
- Party: Throw a party and charge an entrance fee.
- Car wash: Wash cars for a donation. $10-25.
- Garage sale: Invite neighbours and friends to donate items for you to sell.
- Bake sale: This works well at work or any community gathering.
- Fashion show: Have friends model and auction off Bike clothing. You can get bike shops to donate clothes.
- Mailer/newsletter: Create a newsletter you can send and update your mailing list with how you’re doing. Reminders are essential.
- Email “Signature”: Create a custom block of text that will be automatically appended to every message. Include a link to your fundraising donation page.
- Corporate Gift: Match Have your company match your pledges.
- Change Boxes: Create a container to hand out to friends, family, the local store…, to collect spare change.
- Answering Machine: Let everyone know what you doing, by mentioning the ride and your pledge page on your answering machine
- Birthday Gift Pledge: A simple way to raise money and save family and friends shopping time
- Spinning Class: Bring a stack of pledge forms to class and have the instructor make an announcement
- Mow-a-thon: Mow the neighbors lawns for pledges
- Baby/Pet/House Sit: Offer your services for pledge money
- Sell Spokes: Offer to attach sponsor’s name to each spoke on your wheels, for $10-20
- Dress Down Day: Ask your company to allow a Friends For Life Bike Rally dress down day for a fee. $2 – 5/person
- Tax refunds: Use March or April to target tax refunds
- Bar Nights: Contact your favorite bar and ask them to help coordinate an awareness night, where you can collect pledges and show your commitment.
- Street Spinning: Borrow a trainer and some Bike Rally promotional material from PWA and set yourself up on a busy street corner. This is a great option with a friend!
- Fiver Fridays: Get some inexpensive Bike Rally buttons made or purchase some red ribbons with pins. On any given Friday, especially the one after pay day!, ask your work colleagues to give you $5 and give them a button or ribbon in return.
Since these events can be a lot of work, you may wish to team up with other riders and split the money generated with them.
Corporate Matching Gifts
Many companies have Social Responsibility programs that include Matching Gifts. The company will match the amount of your donation to a registered charity and sometimes they may give more!
Have you checked with your employer as to whether they have a Matching Gift program? Ask your donors if their company has a matching gift program.
Remember to notify PWA of expected matching gifts.
A suggested list of companies offering matching gifts (PDF)
Leverage Media & Get Social!
Social Media is the way to go for promoting your participation and any fundraising events you may be planning. Facebook has become the standard social media platform and with the Bike Rally Facebook page, you will immediately have access to an audience. Don’t forget about the social media options on the bottom of your Personal Fundraising page!
There are ways you can get the media to promote your event. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how to properly engage the media.
Please note that, due to liability issues, the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation cannot promote riders’ fundraising nights as official Friends For Life Bike Rally events. However, Media and Communications will include your event on the Bike Rally Calendar.