Need some help raising money for that charity race you've just signed up for? Self has some smart tips from an Ironman pro on how to get your friends, family, and even strangers excited to help you raise funds.
In addition to most race-entry fees costing some serious bones, you might (read: probably will) be required to do some fundraising.
And if you're all like, "WTF. I have to pay $120 to enter the race, then buy running shoes, a tri kit, a wetsuit, a bike, a helmet, cycling shoes, sunglasses, and a serious supply of Aquaphor. And on top of that you need me to raise a four-figure number for a charity?!"
Well, you're not alone. It's a pretty big financial responsibility. But it doesn't have to be such a pain.
I tapped tri pro and fundraising queen Kendra Goffredo (pictured here, killin' it at Ironman championships in Kona, HI) for tips on how to make asking people for a lot of money not only easy, but also enjoyable — and because her story is so dang inspiring.
First, a little history on Goffredo: As of November 2010, she didn't know how to swim, and she didn't own a bike. She just knew how to run. Still, she signed up for Ironman Arizona 2011. (Bananas, right?!) She did this because of her father, Poppy Tony. He's fighting multiple myeloma, a bone cancer without a cure. Although progress has been made in treating the disease, the five-year average survival rate remains one of the lowest of all cancers. It is also one that Poppy Tony has well outlived: 10 years and counting! If he could outperform all odds, so could Goffredo cover distances she never thought possible. And in her first year of triathlon-ing, she completed four full Ironman races and won the amateur title at Ironman US Championship. High-freaking-five, homegirl. We're seriously impressed.
So for more on her fundraising story, I Q'd, she A'd. Here's how it went down.
JE: Since you started racing in 2009, you've raised nearly $50,000 for the MMRF, right?
KG: More than $55,000, actually.
JE: Wowza. How?
KG: In both old-school and innovative ways.
JE: Go on . . .
KG: First, I created a campaign called, "Team Poppy Tony" for my father. This demonstrated that the MMRF was a foundation that I believed in and that I didn't view any donations simply as a way to grab a bib for a sold out marathon or tri.
Then I sent emails to family, friends, classmates, and colleagues to let them know about Team Poppy Tony, multiple myeloma, and about the great work that the MMRF does for people like my father. I also highlighted my race goals and included info about the type of training I would undergo to reach those goals. I included the link for easy online donations.
JE: Do you ever use social media?
KG: I posted huge milestones (e.g., first 50-mile ride, first 4,000-yard swim, two months until race day) to Twitter and Facebook with status updates like, "Today I biked 50 miles: one step closer to completing a full Ironman. Join Team Poppy and bring us one step closer to a cure for multiple myeloma," or "On my 100 mile bike ride today, I burned nearly 2,000 calories. Join Team Poppy Tony and burn calories vicariously through me."
I also post "Team Poppy Tony Fun Facts" on my blog, which tell stories of my father's impact on my life, as well as highlight other family and friends who have supported Team Poppy Tony. These fun facts are part of building the community around the cause, and helping people see that the MMRF is making a difference in the lives of real people.