Friday, November 6, 2009

Putting the FUN back in Fundraising

This year, I am team captain of the Kanata Nepean Bike clubs 2010 ride for MS. This is a two day event that is from Ottawa to Kemptville. It is a lot of fun and attracts bikers of all levels and ages.

The event is fully supported with rest stops every 10km or so. In Kemptville, we can either camp or stay in the residence of the agricultural college, now part of the University of Guelph.

In order to ride, each rider must fundraise at least 250 dollars and pay a registration fee of $50.00. While this may not seem like a lot, it took me an age and much harassment of my friends to achieve this goal. I ended up raising $650 but not without a lot of blood, sweat, tears and deleted emails. Last year our team of 11 spoke and many of us concluded that this is not fun.

This year, I am soliciting advertising spots on our jerseys and shorts. Each biker in our team of 25 will be fully kitted out in shorts, jerseys and gloves with the logos of businesses who chose to advertise with us. At $400 for one advertising space, I have been met with great enthusiasm as it is a very visible and inexpensive way to advertise. For me this puts the FUN back in fundraising.

There are some who are old school who will still continue to raise funds the old fashioned way by soliciting your family, friends, neighbours and club members but I believe that this newer technique is truly the way to go. Each cyclist on the team can ride for free and have a new cycling outfit to boot. If they chose to fundraise in addition, that merely goes towards their total and they would be well on their way to raise more money for MS.

Fundraising is now a professional business. The days of asking friends and neighbours to help, or even by hosting a bake sale are perhaps a thing of the past. While these events may gather a bit of money, they are labour intensive and yield little in the long run.

For me explaining what we will do and speaking about a team of cyclists and getting businesses to back us is a lot more fun than emailing my friends, pestering my neighbours and begging my family!

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