Search Empire State Ride

11 Fundraising Tips from an Empire State Rider

No matter your level of experience with fundraising, it can be incredibly challenging. You may feel like people aren’t donating as easily as you thought or that you’re running out of people to ask. Sometimes, you have to ask people more than once!

Since we know fundraising can be difficult, we asked one of our new riders, Matt, how he met and exceeded his fundraising goal. See below for his awesome fundraising suggestions.

Matt's Tips to Reaching Your Goal

No matter your level of experience with fundraising, it can be incredibly challenging. You may feel like people aren’t donating as easily as you thought or that you’re running out of people to ask. Sometimes, you have to ask people more than once!

Since we know fundraising can be difficult, we asked one of our new riders, Matt, how he met and exceeded his fundraising goal. See below for his awesome fundraising suggestions.

  1. Send personalized Thank You cards shortly after a donation is made! We sent them through an app called INK – honestly the easiest way is to send post cards. Create the card on the app, input the mailing information and they send it directly to the recipient for you. Takes less than 5 minutes to do.
  2. It’s so easy to donate online, but some people are not comfortable with that idea. If they express interest in donating, give them a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to send a donation in.
  3. It may sound simple and obvious but bring ESR up in conversation, share how excited you are about doing it and give people information about it in a causal way.  We found that more often than not, people would say “I’d love to donate, please send me the info.”
  4. Don’t be afraid to share YOUR personalized story. Why is ESR special and important to you? Really emphasize the training you are putting into the ride, as well.
  5. Share the info with fitness instructors at a gym or studio you attend – they can sometimes offer charity rides or classes.
  6. Post about your progress and training. For example: “65 mile training ride completed and only 100 dollars until I reach 1,500 raised!”
  7. Spread the word via all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) – we had friends re-share the post and get donations from people we don’t even know!
  8.  Personalized emails with fun graphics (see below). Adobe Spark is a great, free place to make them. Catchy advertisements get our eyes, so make your emails worth reading! With permission, use pictures of people directly impacted by cancer.

9. Check your policy at work first, but don’t shy away from making it known to your coworkers that you are riding in ESR and are raising money to end cancer. Use internal work social media platforms to post information, as well. Be sure to check if your company or another donors’ company will match donations, too.

10. Send follow up emails, texts, etc., and send them to as many people as you can. You will be surprised by who responds, even if you have not talked to them recently.

11. People often want to donate, but forget so don’t feel bad reminding them in a polite way!

Fundraising is no easy feat, but with some creativity, dedication and passion, you will meet your goal in no time. A special thank you to Matt for giving us all these incredible tips. Happy fundraising!


What to Expect at the 2019 Empire State Ride

After months of fundraising and training, it’s finally time for our 500+ mile adventure. You may be feeling some combination of excitement mixed with a little bit of nerves. That’s totally normal! To help with that, we put together a little guide of five things to expect on this year’s Empire State Ride.

A Physical and Mental Challenge

Riding across New York State is no easy task, but you’re going to crush it. That’s not to say it won’t be challenging at times. Luckily, after something incredibly challenging, you usually walk away a changed person. You can do this! And when you feel like you need a little bit of help, there are 180+ other cyclists to encourage you.

A Group of Volunteers Ready to Help Out

The Empire State Ride is a fully-supported journey, which means there’s a group of staff and volunteers ready to support you every day. This includes:

  • Rest stops every 15-20 miles to fuel you
  • Support & Gear (SAG) vehicles for anyone who needs some extra help
  • A luggage truck
  • Camping accommodations
  • First aid trained staff
  • Bike mechanic and repair support

Insanely Good Food

We want to make sure you’re eating and drinking enough to keep you going. And we’ve heard from ESR alumni that the food is one of the best parts. With breakfast, lunch and a fully-catered dinner every single day, you’ll never go hungry (or thirsty!).

Stories from Patients at Roswell Park

For #ESR19, we’re bringing back patient stories at camp to remind us why we are on this mission. Every night during dinner, we’ll share a short video from a current Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer patient. It’s a nice reminder as to why we’re riding 500+ miles – and that no matter how tired we feel, we’re doing this for all those affected by cancer.

An Adventure Like No Other

Not a lot of people can say they biked from NYC to Niagara Falls, but after 7 days, you’ll be able to! It’s truly an adventure like no other through some of the most scenic parts of New York State and the amount of good you’re doing by jumping on your bike is incredible. It’s going to be hard, sweaty, tiring, magical, enlightening and totally worth it – get ready!

Keep Your Fundraising Going While on the Road for #ESR19

Did you know that you can still collect donations for your #ESR19 fundraiser during the week-long adventure? That’s right! Fundraising for the Empire State Ride doesn’t close until Friday, August 9. As you update your friends and family via social media about your progress, don’t forget to share your fundraising page with them! If you need help with messaging, we’ve put together this handy little guide for you. Make sure to use #ESR19 in your posts, too.


Facebook is a great place to get a little personal about your reasons for partaking in the Empire State Ride. Don’t be afraid to explain why you’re participating. As a bonus, if you connected your fundraiser to Facebook, people can easily donate to you without ever leaving the platform!

Sample posts:

  • It’s official – I’m starting my 500+ mile adventure across New York State with the @EmpireStateRide! I’m doing this to positively impact the future of cancer research and to save more lives. I’m still accepting donations of any kind (every bit helps) and will be throughout the week-long journey. Thank you to all those that have helped me reach my goal so far. Together, we’re changing the future! [link to fundraising page/Facebook fundraiser]
  • I’m halfway through #ESR19 and it’s been an experience unlike any other – tiring, challenging, thrilling and breathtaking all rolled into one! We’re riding for cancer patients all over the world because we want to end this horrible disease. Please help if you can! [link to fundraising page/Facebook fundraiser]
  • #ESR19 is almost over and it’s been a truly unforgettable experience. I’m doing it all for cancer research at @RoswellPark. If you’re able to donate, I would really appreciate it! Let’s change the future together. [link to fundraising page/Facebook fundraiser]


The rule for Twitter is to keep your posts short and sweet! Make sure to include the link to your fundraising page.

Sample posts:

  • Day 1 of #ESR19 is complete! I’m still accepting donations for this adventure. Every little bit helps in the fight against cancer: [link to fundraising page]
  • I’m halfway through #ESR19. It’s been challenging, exciting, sweaty and life-changing. See why I’m riding here: [link to fundraising page]
  • I officially completed #ESR19 and it feels incredible. If you didn’t get a chance to donate, I’m still accepting donations! Thank you to all that have donated to me – it means the world. [link to fundraising page]


Instagram is all about the visuals so include an eye-catching image that will make people stop scrolling. Snap a picture of rest stops, the New York scenery, camp life and The Falls to create an engaging post. For the caption, keep it interesting, engaging and informative – emojis help too! And remember, you can’t add links to your captions, so make sure you update your bio with a link to your fundraising page.

Sample posts:

  • Just started my 500+ mile journey with the @empirestateride and so far, I’ve been taking it all in. We’re doing this to impact the future of cancer research and that keeps me going even when I feel like I can’t push any farther. If you’re able to donate, I am still accepting donations. Every little bit helps! Let’s fight cancer together. #ESR19
  • One of my favorite pics I took on the #ESR19 road! I’m really enjoying seeing all the sights of New York State and it’s humbling to do all this for a great cause – to end cancer. Link in my bio to my donation page if you’re able to. Thank you to all those who’ve donated this far!
  • #ESR19 is coming to an end and all I think is wow. Thank you to all those that donated and helped me reach my fundraising goal. If you didn’t get a chance to donate but still want to, I’m still accepting donations (link in bio). This was such an incredible experience!

Keeping your network up-to-date on your progress is a great way to still get donations. Don’t be afraid to get personal and ask!