Have a Text-athon!
What is a Text-athon anyway? Andy Pandiani shares an overview of this contemporary fundraising tool that is easy for you and thoughtful for your potential donors. Andy has been involved with AngelRide for the past 4 years and with the CT Burns Care Foundation a bunch more – raising beaucoup bucks for children’s charities! Reach out to if you would like to join in a small group Text-athon!

Tips from fellow AngelRiders:

  • Raising the money was much easier that I expected. Just ask!
  • If you send a group of emails, send updates to your list or post progress on your Facebook page.
  • The week of the ride, send one last email “in case anyone forgot to donate.” Sometimes, people forget!
  • I’ve gotten many last minute donations just by writing again.
  • Remember, keep correspondence short, upbeat, and direct. Ask for the donation. You’re not selling anything, your are supporting kids with serious burn injuries. You are helping someone else “feel” the same purpose as you!
  • If you are meeting someone in person, rehearse your talk, do your “Superwoman or Superman” pose first, BE ENTHUSIASTIC!
  • I wear my “Ask me about AngelRide” pin all the time. When asked, I talk about AngelRide, and then say “And I will be asking you for a donation later this Spring. Remember!”
  • Sometimes it isn’t easy asking for money. Focus on the GOOD and that will be the message that gets across. Ask them to be a part of this good work!
  • Invite people to join in the good work! Share that AngelRide is all about Teams…teams of riders and volunteers all supporting each other, working hard and having fun too! If they cannot ride, maybe they would consider volunteering or donating what they can. Invite them into this wonderful community!

Here are some more tried & true techniques.

  1. I talk to people all the time. If it’s someone new they inevitably ask what I “do”. That is when I tell them about AngelRide…not in detail, but briefly highlighting that AngelRide is a fun, challenging bicycle ride whose proceeds support kids with serious burn injuries.
  2. I give them a card with my name on it and the website address.
  3. Remind donors that their gift is tax deductible.
  4. I can ask for money because it’s not for me. I say, “I raise money to send kids with life-altering burn injuries to camp.” It’s a way to start the conversation.
  5. I send out emails or text messages. It takes 3 asks. Don’t be shy. People forget.
  6. I use the AngelRide business cards I received. I hand them out year round.
  7. I give them something…I made some pins out of clay during the year to give to people when I ask them for a donation.
  8. I ask donors to sign my jersey!
  9. I created a photo-card and wrote a little something inside to give to certain business owners I know who appreciate a more formal solicitation.
  10. I send a Thank You card to everyone who donates with photos of the ride. A few of them have mentioned that the card is very much appreciated.

AngelRide isn’t just another request for money/donations.
Don’t talk yourself out of asking them to participate by saying “everyone gets asked to buy wrapping paper, cookies, pizzas, etc. to support someone’s son’s or daughter’s school activities.” While that might be true and there might be donation fatigue, this is different. Remember the hills that you thought you couldn’t get up after 50 miles on your bike? How did you get up that hill? Realize that you are bringing a transformative experience to a child burn-survivor who might not otherwise have that opportunity for physical and emotional healing.

My emails are personal and frequent.
Tell people what AngelRide is. Tell people what The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp is. Explain that the money goes to support life-changing programs at The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp. Most importantly, tell them what impact this ride has had on you – if you’ve ridden before or if you are a first time rider. Explain why you are riding and what you hope to garner from this experience. As you train, write/talk/post about your successes and the difficulties, but also how excited you are to join like-minded cyclists of all skill levels to do this. If others in your family are riding or volunteering talk about that as well. Show that this really is a special community. People do care and will respond to your passion.

Seek a local bike store’s sponsorship.
A member of our team walked into a local bike store, asked if they’d be willing to donate a bike for an auction to support her and this event and, guess what – THEY DID! She raised all of her minimum through this one event. Think outside the box!

Have a celebratory neighborhood kick-off event.
My youngest son was a Young AngelRider – we hosted a neighborhood BBQ to celebrate his participation and asked those who attended to contribute to AngelRide in his name. It was a great way to raise awareness, attract new riders and volunteers, and to make a young rider even more enthusiastic about his participation in this special weekend.