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

  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!