Fundraising – and how to get involved

It’s a wet Sunday here in Berkshire, and rather than spend four hours on my bike on a training ride getting wet, I have decided to stay in the warm and get my arse into gear with some fundraising ideas for my charity ride.

There is now 10 weeks to go until I get the plane to Luxembourg en route to the start of my stage of the Dallaglio Flintoff 2012 Cycle Slam. My bike training is on track, but my fundraising total is just 1% of my £3,000 target – so some way to go there.

But, the good news is that I have a plan. This week I have created some postcards promoting my ride, which I plan to distribute to business contacts, friends, family etc. I will also get in touch with those local businesses where I am a customer and ask them to distribute some for me to interested people. Spreading the word….

I am conscious that in March there is a rival sporting charity event taking place – Sport Relief – so I don’t want my request for donations to be diluted by others efforts for these equally worthwhile causes.

So, my focus this month is on finding out if there are any corporate sponsors who might be interested in supporting my main fundraising drive after Easter. So, I am on the lookout for businesses or organisations that want to promote initiatives in the following areas:

  • Healthy employee lifestyles….. involving cycling
  • Corporate Social Responsibility… where cycling is ‘green’ on the CSR agenda
  • London Olympics….where cycling is one of the GB’s blue riband sports
  • Leave the car at home schemes…cycle to work/school instead
  • Male health…where prostate cancer is a real ‘mid-life’ crisis
  • Dress down Friday charity ideas…. where Laurence and Freddie are sporting icons that would appeal to your employees

And so on and so forth…..

So if any of these ideas resonate, then please let me know the right person in your organisation to talk to. Clearly I am after either company sponsorship and/or employee donations, but there are a whole host of ways that I can use the charity ride event to help promote the company and it’s ‘social’ initiatives – personal visits, media PR, online promotion etc.

The second idea is to approach commercial companies who would like to promote their products and services to cyclists. Like bike product retailers; sportive event organisers etc. With the Dallaglio Flintoff event involving over 500 (pre-qualified) cycling enthusiasts then spreading the word about their services in return for some sponsorship or a promotion of my fundraising seems like an equitable swap.

The third of my ideas is to hold a specific fundraising party event. My target date would be weekend 26/27th May. This date is one week after I actually finish the ride (so that you know I actually completed the 578km!), and one week before the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday (when I suspect a lot of people will be away). The idea will be to invite friends, family, sponsors and their supporters to have a ‘bit of a do’.

But to do that I need:

  • A venue – somewhere in and around Wokingham/Reading that will hold 50+ people
  • Some corporate contributions to cover the main costs of the event i.e. the venue hire and catering costs
  • Some freebies…. to offer as raffle prizes.

So another great way for companies or sports clubs to get involved in terms of sponsorship. And it should be a lot of fun as well.

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