Donations Close in    •   Registration is Closed   •   Log In

2017 Total

$67,090

Since 2008

$859,075

Fundraising Tips

Fundraising Tips

I'm signed up to ride, now what? How do I get people to support me?

The most common method to reach out to family and friends for donations is via email. Compose a nice message explaining why you are riding the Tour of Novato and how important it is to you, your kids, and your school. Go to your fundraising page, copy your web address (URL) and paste it into an email you draft. Send the email to everyone you can think of: your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone else who might be willing to help.

Another method for contacting past and potential supporters is using the "Email My Supporters" tool. You'll find this on your riding account home page. Click the button to compose a message that you can send out to the good folks who donated to you last year, or to contact potential new supporters.

When they get your email all they have to do is click on the link to get to your fundraising page. Then they click the "Support Me" button and follow the donation instructions. Pretty simple. They can pay by credit card or check.

Some people prepare more than one message, so they can send a follow-up message to those they don't hear back from.

When someone donates, they will receive a receipt for their tax-deductible donation and you will receive an email informing you of their support. Be sure to send them a nice email thanking them for their generosity.

How to Raise $350 in a Week

It can be hard to ask people for money. Remember that you're doing it to benefit some of the most important things in your life: your children. Honestly, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how willing people are to support you for a cause they know is dear to your heart. Here is an easy seven day plan for meeting your fundraising goal.

Day 1: After signing up to ride the Tour, donate $25 to yourself for each of your kids in school. Total: $25+
Day 2: Ask your parents to donate $25 for each of their grandchildren. Total: $75+
Day 3: Get five family members to donate $20 each. Total: $175+
Day 4: Strongarm five friends into parting with $10 to support your cause. Total: $225+
Day 5: Ask your boss or employer to put in $25. Then apply for matching funds if your company offers that benefit. Total: $250+
Day 6: Beg five co-workers into giving up $10 (promise to buy cookies from their kids in exchange). Total: $300+
Day 7: Dig up as many email addresses as you can out of your Contacts list and send them all an email. I'll bet you can easily get 5 of them to support you for $10. Total: $350+ See how easy that was?

How to Raise Money Like Heather Ophir

Heather Ophir has been on the Rider Leaderboard for the last five years! How does she do it? Well, we asked, and here's what she said.

"First, I composed a letter and sent it to the 539 people in my address book. Basically, I sent it to every person I've ever had electronic communication with for the past 15 years. I also sent out my plea on facebook using the 'notes' function. And I made little cards with a photo and slogan on the front, and a brief plea and the website on the back. I hand these out to people I encounter all over Novato and elsewhere. And I walk around with a bright pink envelope labeled TOUR OF NOVATO whenever I'm on campus so I can encourage people to ride (and accept money from them if they demure).

I've gotten donations from all over the United States, from people who barely know me, from old colleagues and mentors, from the parents of 15 years of English lit students, and from relatives so distant that they haven't seen me since I was two. It's amazing how generous people can be when your request is sincere."

Heather's approach is simple. Don't ask for a lot of money, any donation will do. She stated a goal of having "the longest list of supporters" (which I think she has accomplished), rather than raising the most funds. The strategy has clearly worked. Here's an excerpt from her letter.

"Here’s my goal for this year, and I cannot do it without you. I don’t want to ride the fastest. I don’t want to be the first to finish, or be in the papers for the weirdest costume. I don’t even want to raise the most money. I want to be the rider with the longest list of supporters.

If you want to donate $10, great. If you can only donate $1, that is also awesome. If every person I send this message to donates between 1-10 dollars, it will make a tremendous difference. But almost more important than the money is the evidence that everyone cares about their education. Everyone cares, and everyone is willing to help.

What’s one dollar, really. It only takes a minute. And if you don’t want to put your personal information into the computer, you can send your dollar to me, and I will enter it anonymously for you. One minute. One dollar. A small price to pay for our future. Go to www.tourofnovato.org"

There you have it - one rider's strategy for fundraising success. Feel free to use it to your own advantage.

Thank you Heather for sharing your strategy. Your success and enthusiasm are truly motivating.