This is our first installment of Fundraising Tip Fridays.
I started participating in Team in Training at the beginning of 2011 after waking up one morning and wanting to do something good for myself and good for other people. My friend for many years, Nate Longfellow, had done a number of events and was working for LLS in Dallas, so this was the perfect opportunity to sign up. My grandmother had also been diagnosed with multiple myeloma the year before, and I wanted to train in honor of her.
I completed my first half marathon with TNT in June of 2011 and was hooked! I love the organization; I have met so many people and heard so many different stories about people who need our help. It’s obvious LLS is working hard to find a cure.
Fundraising is hard for me. I am a student and most of my friends and colleagues are in the same boat financially as I am – but thankfully TNT offers a great support system. For some people, the fundraising part is hard and for others it is as easy as asking a couple of people for money.
I try to get creative with my fundraising. First and foremost, I ask EVERYONE I know for donations (and I do literally mean everyone). I write letters (people love getting mail and TNT will put a stamp on your first 200 letters!), I send out emails, and I spam Facebook with my fundraising website off and on for the entire season. Then, I start brainstorming what my strengths and weaknesses are and think of things that I can do that are different from the normal fundraisers like restaurant night, raffles, etc. – something different from the normal group of people that is always getting hit up for donations.Start of America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride
For example: I am an artist and do printmaking. As a printmaker, I make multiples of the same image and do exchanges. I have hosted a “Print Exchange for a Cure” for the last two years. I invite people from all over the world to send me 12 prints and it costs them $20 to participate. In return, they get 10 prints back from other artists from around the world, their print featured in an exhibition in a gallery, and one of their prints kept in the permanent collection of the University of Dallas. Not only do they get different prints back, they also get lines to put on their resume! That accounts for 11 prints from the edition of 12 (10 to the participants and one to the University of Dallas). The remaining print gets auctioned off on eBay for an additional donation to my fundraising! It’s a lot of work at times but it also raises a good amount of money. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!Cycle Coach William Wardy, Sarah Francis, & Cycle Coach Becky Kaye
I love being a part of Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It is one of the best groups of people I have ever met, and I feel as though everyone genuinely cares about my well being and about who I am as a person. I don’t think you often find that these days. I will continue to participate in TNT and continue to raise money to find a cure. It is a part of me now, and I am so thankful.
Sarah Francis is a two time TNT alum and is currently training for the El Tour de Tucson Century Bike Ride which will take place in November 2012.