Do you feel nervous or awkward when asking people to donate to your ride/charity?

You’re not alone!!!

Remember that you are also educating and bringing awareness to people about homeless and runaway youth, helping people to understand Harbor House

Educating people about the cause of youth homelessness is the main key to gaining support from others ... not to mention that you are cycling over 320 miles!!! WOW!!

If you are dedicated to the cause and passionate about WHO the money will help, this often eliminates many of the boundaries! This is NOT about YOU asking for money for YOU- it is about asking for money for CHILDREN, YOUTH and YOUNG ADULTS IN NEED!

Our mission is compelling and worthwhile and will change the lives of not only the young people served, but also the entire community.

Don't know what to do
and what to say?

You want to be sure to have a few main statements you are comfortable saying when asking people for donations. Let people know you are RIDING 320 miles or SUPPORTING the riders for 5 days. Harbor House is an agency dedicated to assisting homeless, runaway, abused, neglected and abandoned youth. You could not do the ride without their support.

How much do I ask for? Good question, it depends on who you are asking, this is a blurb about fundraising so there is some information in here about asking large corporations for money, but let us get the obvious out of the way…your family and friends! Most people will want to help and support you because they love you! You do not have to ask them for a specific amount, just explain what you are doing….and then direct them to the site. (Facebook is great for this) Now if you want to go for the big fish (we always encourage the big fish) here is how to do it. Have your script in place and be prepared to answer questions about your cause. Donors are typically flattered by the "over ask." Why would they not be? So, aim high, but be prepared for some negotiations.

Donations comes with a slew of benefits, both tangible and intangible. Explain the tangible (obvious tax benefits etc.) and the intangible (this gives you the opportunity to pull heartstrings and really tell the story of Harbor House). The path to success is to keep asking and there is a benefit to every in-person conversation with a donor. It builds the relationship, and may even secure future donations.
Click on the link below to see some valuable information, facts and consequences regarding homeless youth that might be helpful to share with others, during your fundraising effort.

Suggestions for Pledge Support

  • Set a goal- Harbor House requires each person to raise $750 but challenge yourself and go higher - if you aim for $1,000, it makes it easier to get to $750 ... AND you just might surprise yourself!
  • Make a list of everyone you know including family, friends, classmates and business contacts.
  • Write to people (use social media, and other forms of correspondence), organizations and businesses you interact with, telling them you are riding 320+ miles.
  • Develop a team of fund-raisers- have friends and family collect money for you at their places of business (e.g., throw a small party, barbecue, or other type of get-together- tell them about your upcoming ride- ask if they will help to support you)
  • Place a jar or pledge sheet (with a request note and a photo of you with your bike) at your favorite hangout.
  • Tag at your local food markets- call ahead and make reservations for weekend dates.
  • Ask to arrange for a collection and/or for you or a Harbor House representative to speak at your church or other group.
  • Ask donors if their company has a matching gift program - you can double their pledge if they do

Letter Writing Tips

  • Include where you are going and when you are leaving.
  • Explain your excitement.
  • Provide background on Harbor House.
  • Suggest a pledge amount, e.g., .10/mile = $40.00.
  • Give a date, before you leave for the ride, that the money is due.
  • A separate sheet or tear-off portion that your addressee can return is helpful.
Please feel free to download Sample Letter provided in Word Format and 2018 sponsorship form.
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