As a rider in many GYGIG Rides, fundraising was definitely one of the scariest parts of signing up to ride. With the help and support from GYGIG’s staff it turned out we had nothing to worry about, even with several of my family members riding. The staff was there to help us prepare our letter to our family and friends. With their help, we were able to draft a letter that captured our story and why were riding, successfully in bringing in a large chunk of our fundraising dollars. You’ll often be surprised by who will donate, and who has been touched by these diseases, so don’t be afraid to ask.
With my family, friends, and I riding year after year we try to get creative with our fundraising efforts, and the GYGIG staff is very good at helping to brainstorm ideas for creative ways to raise money. My team has had great success with yard sales (with lots of friends and family donating items to sell), after work parties with live music and great raffles provided by friends and local businesses, and were able to use our jobs and personal skills to come up with ideas that fit with our own unique situations.
My friend, who is a rider, was a karate instructor and we were able to utilize the karate school for several Parents Nights Out. Parents would bring there kids to the school, and for a donation leave them with us for a couple of hours. We would play games, watch movies, and eat pizza. Fun for the kids, and I’m sure a fun date night for the parents.
The key is, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be shy about telling your story, or telling people what you are doing and why. Make it personal. People want to hear about why the cause is important to you. People are often more generous than you expect. There may be people who you are afraid to ask because you know they don’t have a lot to spare, but they can often be your biggest support. We did not consider ourselves to be strong fundraisers, but we’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years with just our grassroots efforts… and you can, too!
For more information about Gary and fundraising efforts, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org