Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fund raising - October 17, 2010

Which good cause to do fund raising for?  At this point I have three I’m considering: Livestrong, Bikes for Africa and the Major Taylor project.  I have about another three or four years before I really start needing to worry about which one to pick and maybe by that point there will be something else.  Of course a lot of the fund-raising effort and personal sponsorship will fall into Trisha’s hands to do, not because I’m incapable but because she would be so much better at it.

Each of them has pros and cons.  For instance, Livestrong already has a lot of exposure and funding that it receives which means that one of the others may benefit more from funds.  One of the obvious upsides of course is the fact that everyone is aware of what Livestrong is and that might appeal to a wider range of sponsors and individuals who may donate.  One of the other positives is the additional marketing help that the organization would add as well as the possibility of a training ride with a group of pro-cyclists if certain donation levels are reached. 

The other one I like is Bikes for Africa.  This organization buys and fixes bikes for donation to southern Africa to benefit the poorest people there.  They often travel long distances everyday for basics like water, firewood and work or school.  The bikes provide them a way to accomplish this transportation cheaply and quickly.  One of the downsides to this cause is the funds are not benefiting people in our own country.  It is pretty well known and something tangible that people who may sponsor or donate can understand easily.  Another positive is that they again are a big enough organization that they would probably be able to assist in fund-raising.

Finally there is the Major Taylor Project.  Within the immediate area and within the cycling community this program is pretty well known.  It provides bikes and training to a diverse population of low income kids in the PNW; teaching them about cycling safety and bicycle maintenance.  The obvious downside is that it isn’t as noble of a cause compared to the other two and not well known outside of the region.  However it would directly benefit an organization here and at a local level would be well received by sponsors and individuals.

I still have awhile to figure it out.  I will have to find sponsors for equipment needs, but more importantly need fund-raising for whichever organization I commit to.  If I am willing to make the commitment to cycle across the country there should be a benefit for other organizations that do so many good things for a whole range of people.

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