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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause such as wildlife conservation or tsunami reconstruction efforts? Tell us how you did it, what the experience was like, and how others can help. Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details here.
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  #1  
Old 10 Jan 2006
Wheelie's Avatar
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Fundraising questions...

Hi, my wife and I are planning on riding two vintage Vespas from cape to cape, dividing the trip into 3-4 week legs split over several years, shipping the ride in and out at the beginning and end of each leg to carry out repairs, etc.

Both of us have a special liking for Amnesty International, amongst other organisations, and would like to make a differnece. However, our funds are also limited, meaning that our goal will take forever as we have to return home to make money for the next leg, take care of other commitments, etc. Sponsorship that would cover some or all of our costs would translate into more travel being taken in a shorter ammount of time, more money raised to the organisation, more exposure to sponsors, etc.

Would it be possible, or proper, to use fundraising both as a means to make a differnece and as a means of financing parts or all of the trip? The trip would still be non-profit and would in all likelyness involve us still having to cover large costs. The idea would for instance be promising sponsors that a specific percentage of the innitial sponsored ammount go directly (i.e. 75%) to the organisation pluss all funds left over after all costs are covered. Some sponsors might want to provide sponsorship in terms of the products/services they provide, reducing the overall costs of the project and increasing the overhead that goes to the organisation. One would necessarily value monetary support differently than mere product/service support in terms of magnitude of exposure, etc.

One idea is to have sponsors commit themselves to a specific ammount of money for every kilometer travelled per leg, and/or a equivalent calculated value of provided products/services after the products sticker price for instance has been devalued by for instance 50%.

This post may seem opportunistic. However, I need to stress that this is by no means a representation of us. Both my wife and I have spendt several as doogooders for numerous organisations (Save the children, amnesty international, and a national organisation against drug abuse).

Although acquiering sponsors for the trip alone is possible (more difficult), we thought that it might be an idea to knock two birds with one stone. We would greatly appreciate any comments on this post.

I have worked 3 years for a fundraising corporation, raising millions for numerous organisations. However, the costs of fundraising is often huge, often as much as 50% (though no one ever tells you). The costs go to cover advertising,marketing, salaries to professional brokers, etc. In this project, there are no such costs to be paid. Although the costs of the trip itself are significant, the trip itself may serve some purpose of value to both sponsors and the organisation which receives the money. Please comment
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  #2  
Old 11 Jan 2006
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I see your dilema. Indeed, a lot of charities are happy to support the 'a percentage to costs/ a percentage to the charity' style trips as it raises money after all.
However, my own opinion when considering fundraising for my trip ruled this option out for me.
Personally (and this really is just an opinion!) I see no reason why someone else should pay me to go on holiday. I wouldn't give someone else money to do this so it would be hypocritical of me to accept it. If someone said to me "Give me £50 to go round the world and I'll give £25 to charity." I'd laugh and give the £50 straight to charity (assuming I was feeling generous!).
On the other hand, if you can get gear/funding from bike/gear companies because the trip you are doing is particularly impressive that's fine.
In terms of sponsorship, I've asked for money up front for the ATTEMPT, not the achievement. This way the charity gets money straight away, wether or not I break down in the midlands!
JMHO, Matt

my fundraising page:

http://www.justgiving.com/mattcartney
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #3  
Old 12 Jan 2006
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You've got a point... much of the same thoughts I have, having someone paying me to take a vacation and all that. Still, a part of me is also telling me that having some of the costs covered would enabble me to travel further and longer, and as a direct consequence, being able to raise more money faster for the good cause. I really do believe that the organisation in the end would receive more money, but I'm unsure if such actions would still be the right thing to do. I would hate, both on a personal and interpersonal level, to have my motives be put in question. As a consequence I want to explore this option more before deciding what to do.

Although selfish motives want me to travel longer, the not so selfish motives want me to raise more money. Being a samaritan while being partially selfish creates mixed feelings within. If I hated everything about the trip and solely took the trip as a means to raise money then I would see no problems with having all the costs covered, but the fact that I really want to take the trip for personal benefit puts things in another perspective. Having personal gain from raising money just doesn't feel right... If the end result is the same, independent of ones original motivation, then it really should not matter too much, but it does... Maybe I should convince myself that I hate travelling

Any other comments???
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  #4  
Old 12 Jan 2006
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It seems to me that you should do what feels right for you personally. This is a major trip, more than that, it's a major life experience. Don't change it because of misplaced feelings of guilt or responsibilty. Equally, don't tinge it by doing something you're not really comfortable with.
If we're honest most of us recognise these trips are not about raising money for charity, they're about us doing something we really want to do, because it's fun. Raising money for charity is just a happy biproduct. At the end of the day, any money is good money for a charity. Personally I wouldn't stress too much about making the maximum, particularly if the method makes you uncomfortable.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #5  
Old 12 Jan 2006
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maby you should ask yourself this?
How much would I raise if I did the shorter trip without taking any money for personal expense? Then, how much more could I raise if I took a percentage of the money and did the longer trip?
If it is equal or more, I say go for it!!
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  #6  
Old 13 Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by liam_taborn:
maby you should ask yourself this?
How much would I raise if I did the shorter trip without taking any money for personal expense? Then, how much more could I raise if I took a percentage of the money and did the longer trip?
If it is equal or more, I say go for it!!
Where do you draw the line?

If one organises something and collects a million dollar for whatever aid, transfers 1000dollar to the aid organisation and pockets 999000, the aid organisation would still be 1000dollar better off, wouldn't it?

That's a crime, obviously.

but it's exactly the same crime as promising your sponsors to pay the aid organisation 1 dollar per kilometer while delivering only 0,75 cents per kilometer and pocketing the rest.











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  #7  
Old 13 Jan 2006
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Well isn't that what happens at the various charity dinners where celebs give talks/presentations. Tickets go for thousands of pounds but after everyone, venue, media, celeb etc have taken their cut there is nothing left for the nominated charity. Disgusting me thinks!!!
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  #8  
Old 18 Feb 2006
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Hi, as I am a fundraiser for a charity it is interesting to see the different opinions described here. My own view is that all fundraisers should make it clear to potential donors what their money will be spent on. So, if you decide that you need 50% of each donation to fund the ride and the other 50% goes to charity, then you should spell this out very clearly when asking for donations. In that way, each individual can decide for themselves if they wish to donate or not. As long as the donor has all the information on where their money is going then I feel that it is then up to them to donate or not donate, as they wish. I think it is only a crime (legal or moral) if the fundraiser gives the impression that a larger proportion of the collected funds will go to the charity than is really true..
Clarity of accounting is the best option here.
Thanks, Jonny.
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  #9  
Old 18 Feb 2006
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All fundraisers have overhead and operating costs. You can check on them on the web. It could be your trip where you give 50% of collected money to the charity is a better use of money than some of the international organizations. But if you give 50% to a organization and then they use up 52% in administration it kind of diminishes. How about collecting the money and then giving it somehow directly...you will be traveling in the areas that need aid. Malcom Smith supports a orphanage in Baja Mexico. And he has fund raisers and rides that raise the money.
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  #10  
Old 1 Mar 2006
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What an interesting dilemma! And obviously a highly emotive topic!

I guess the first thing we learn from this is that there is no such thing as pure and true altruism! Every good and seemingly selfless deed seems to always have some element of selfishness or self indulgance.

This could be as small as enjoying the trip, the good feeling of having helped...

Or you could go for a fully financed trip, living it large in the name of a good cause...

Or you could go sack-cloth-and-ashes and be inline for becoming a Saint...

Or go for one of the many shades in between..


Tricky one? I guess (IMHO), as long as you follow Jonny's advice about total-up-front accountability it's the donors job to decide the morality. However, YOU still have to be happy that your personal moral standards are not compromised if you don't want to have regrets afterwards!

YOU will have to live with your own actions and be able to justify them to yourself for the rest of your life. Call it home made karma or what ever you want.

Solution should be easy, though: If you have to argue the toss and struggle to justify the decision to yourself, it is the wrong decision (for you!).

Jens
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  #11  
Old 1 Mar 2006
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I am currently raising money for UNICEF by riding solo to Mongolia and back on an Italian bike through central asia. I also refused to take any of the money towards the trip expenses (could have kept 30% - but that would have been taking the piss)

There are a lot of people doing skydives etc for charity just so that they can jump for free, think that its a bit off

I am hoping that people will donate because of the ballsy nature of the trip (have only ridden 800 miles on a bike to date), and this seems to work very well with people I know (Raised 200 sterling at work). Does anyone have any techniques or tips for getting money from the general public or sponsorship as I really wanted to raise more
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  #12  
Old 17 Mar 2006
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Henry,
I have a justgiving site for save the children and have so far raised £1000 with virtually no effort. Not bad considering I have few freinds and my family often pretends not to see me in the street. See:

http://www.justgiving.com/mattcartney

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #13  
Old 9 Apr 2006
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I have been involved in a few fund raisers, and in my experience it has been the best to be upfront about what you expect to raise and what, if any, costs you like to get covered or take out of funds raised by sponsors. For example, for every $ raised you could just charge a % for your fuel and tires. Lodging and food would be on you. You eat at home too so that shouldn't be an issue. Lodging in hostels and campings can be cheap to free if you can convince the owner/manager of your cause (make them donate a night)
I see your dilemma as to what you can 'make' yourself or not. A lot of "do-good" organizations spend too much on themselves and too little on those they pretend to help.
If you go into the fund raising with a clear objective and have a good set of rules with which you want to work sponsors will line up for you. Make sure you set a minimum donation( i.e $10 or whatever) so you that have a basic income for your charity and sponsors know what they get into.
Just my 0.02 cts.
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  #14  
Old 23 Feb 2007
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How does a sponsorship work? How do the Sponsors benefit?
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  #15  
Old 23 Feb 2007
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Talking Sponsorship Proposals

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryn8a View Post
How does a sponsorship work? How do the Sponsors benefit?
Drop a $100 into my PayPal account and I'll tell you!
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