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PRINCIPLE 1: ASK!
As Millard Fuller said, “We tried asking and we tried not asking, and we always got more when we asked.” It’s hard for someone to support you if they don’t know what you are doing. Write a list of people you know – go beyond family and friends and include your coworkers, people from church, civic groups you belong to, your neighbors, former teachers. Not everyone is willing or able to join you on their bike but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to help those in need. By asking for their support, you’re offering them an opportunity to participate, without ever having to pedal.
PRINCIPLE 2: LEARN
Learn all you can about The Salvation Army and our work. Browse through the Aurora www.salarmyaurora.org , Elgin www.salarmyelgin.org, and St. Charles www.satricity.org websites , or come in for a tour, and learn about the many obstacles that can stand in the way of becoming self-sufficient. It will help you talk confidently about the organization you are supporting and the thousands of people you are riding for on September 28th.
PRINCIPLE 3: DO WHAT WORKS
For many people, mailing physical letters and sending emails remain the bread-and-butter of Ride fundraising. We also suggest you create your own fundraising page. View our tips to help you set up your own page. Add your own photo and personalize your appeal… then share it through social media, text and email.
Find out if your employer offers a matching gift program to stretch what you raise even further. Not something they currently have available? Ask if they’d be willing to contribute based on the funds you raise: will they commit to a one to one match or donate a set amount for each milestone you attain ($10 for every $100 you raise, etc.)?
PRINCIPLE 4: GET CREATIVE
PRINCIPLE 5: MAKE IT PERSONAL
When possible, tell someone about your Ride in person or over the phone, even if your actual ask for funds comes later through a letter. If possible when writing your letters, personalize the first paragraph or write a short note on the bottom to let them know that this is a personal request, not a mass mailing.
PRINCIPLE 6: NO PRESSURE- BOUNCE BACK FROM “NO”
If someone tells you “no,” what do you lose? Nothing! You are asking on behalf of an organization and cause you care about, not for yourself. Whether a person chooses to donate or not is not a reflection on you. You can’t know what guides a person’s decision to give or refrain from donating. So, thank them anyway, pick your head up, and go on to ask the next person.
PRINCIPLE 7: GAIN CREDIBILITY
It’s the proverbial, “putting your money where your mouth is.” Why should someone give to something that you yourself won’t give to? Donate something to show that you truly support The Salvation Army and hope that others will too. Think about mentioning the fact that you gave in your letters and emails… not to brag but to encourage others to follow your example.
PRINCIPLE 8: ALWAYS FOLLOW-UP
So you already sent out a letter? Perfect. Send an email reminding everyone that you’re still accepting donations. Already emailed? Maybe send a text. To keep it from coming across as pushy, send it as an update – how much you’ve already raised, any training you’re doing, an upcoming event you’re hosting or attending, etc. Mention how close you are to reaching your goal. Studies have shown that many people need to be asked 3-5 times before they’ll consider giving. Facebook groups also let you message– consider using this feature to your advantage!
PRINCIPLE 9: SAY “THANK YOU!”
Your donors’ support is two-fold: their interest is in both the cause and in you personally. The Salvation Army will send donors an acknowledgment, both for tax purposes and to show our appreciation... but please be sure to say “thank you” for every gift on your behalf, whether big or small. If you help your donors feel loved and appreciated, they will know that the money they entrusted to you was well placed.
We’re confident that by following these principles you’ll meet, and likely exceed your goal. Please know how much your efforts are appreciated! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can do it (and we’re here to help!)