Fundraising for the 2012 Week-a-Year Tour

We are so excited about our upcoming 2012 Week a Year tour from Portland to Hartford!  We have had a great response to the tour so far, and we appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and support!  For this year’s tour, each tour participant has committed to raising or donating a minimum of $500 for the East Coast Greenway Alliance ($400 in addition to the $100 registration fee).  Your fundraising will help spread the word about the ECG, as any of your friends and family who donate will receive a year membership to the ECGA.  The funds will go directly toward strengthening our trail program — allowing us to designate more miles of greenway, sign more of the route, and advocate for new trail segments.  THANK YOU!

How It Will Work

You will contact your network to ask for donations, and will collect checks and mail them in batches to Debbie West in our office. (Please do not mail us cash.) Online donations can be made at The donor will need to enter your name in the box that reads “My Donation is in Honor of” so we know to credit you properly. When an online donation comes in with your name, Debbie will email you to let you know who donated and the amount so you can keep track of who has donated to you. Please have all donations in to the ECGA by July 31st, 2012.

Here is a sample fundraising letter you can use as a template for an email or letter to send to your network. Other people prefer to telephone or do a presentation to support their fundraising. Do whatever works for you, and let us know if you have any tips or ideas you’d like to pass along to others!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the fundraising.  Thank you again for your support – you are making this tour a huge success for our organization!

Fundraising Tips from Bob Spiegelman, ECGA Vounteer : Bob is a tour participant and experienced fundraiser who is available to coach you on fundraising for the tour, if you want any support.  (Email to get his contact information.)

  1. Don’t worry.  It is easier than you think.  REALLY!
  2. Start early.  It is not always easy to find people when you need to so give yourself plenty of time.
  3. Make a list of individuals you would like to ask.  Go through your address book and decide who is a prospect, who you would like to ask, and how much you are comfortable asking them for. (Don’t forget your lawyer, accountant, doctor, or other professionals with whom you do business.) There is no single way to make this list.  Don’t limit your thinking to people who live near you. Maybe you know people on the Greenway in other states and contacting them is a great way to spread the word about the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
  4. After making your list, it is very helpful to determine how much you are comfortable asking of each individual.
  5. To be sure that your list is long enough add up these numbers.  To reach a goal of $500 your list should total $1000 (twice your goal) as you will not get donations from everyone.
  6. Don’t forget, 100s add up much faster than 10s.
  7. Prepare your ask and write out your message. Think about what you are passionate about and why you want to support the East Coast Greenway (for example: environment, health, affordable transportation, etc.) Also think about what your audience cares about and the reasons they may want to support the ECG.
  8. Share your enthusiasm for the ECG when you ask – this is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the ECG.
  9. Now it is time to ask.  RULE ONE of fundraising: you have to ask.  Whether you ask in person, via mail, telephone, e-mail, group presentation, is up to you.  Think about your relationships and experiences and make your choices.
  10. RULE TWO of fundraising: never feel bad about asking.  You are supporting a great project which benefits many people.  Be enthusiastic.
  11. RULE THREE of fundraising: you have to ask.
  12. Sometimes, you have to ask twice.  If I send an e-mail solicitation and after a couple weeks I have not received a response, I resend the e-mail with an addition on the top that says “I didn’t hear back from you on this.  I am guessing that you missed this among your e-mails.  I am sending it again.  Please let me know.”  I know this is a little pushy but it is VERY effective.
  13. Don’t be too pushy.  Allow people to say “no” when you feel it is appropriate.

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