When you ask people to donate to the Going the Distance Ride (GTD), you are giving them an opportunity to do something good for others, and, in turn, feel good about themselves. People readily donate to participants in events like GTD because they have three good reasons to donate. By donating they can support you and the significant effort you are making for the Boys & Girls Club and at the same time support an organization that has a great local and national reputation.

Here are some steps to having a successful fundraising campaign:

1. Start early, don’t leave this for the last minute! Start fundraising by May 1st or sooner.

2. Register for the Ride and set up your personal FirstGiving (FG) page for online donations at:  (See FG Set up Directions)

3. Edit and personalize your FG page with a photo of you (on your bike) and some text about why you are doing this ride for the Club. Look at other rider’s pages (at the bottom of for suggestions. Copy and paste what is appropriate. Use the sample appeal email and the information and the facts and figures you received about the Club, in your email appeal in any way you wish.

4. Set a fundraising target on your FG page. I would suggest starting with a target of $1000 or more. It can always be changed. Look at my FG page for suggestions:

5. Make a list of people who you plan to ask for donations. We all know some of the same local people so it’s good to solicit people who know you and will not be solicited by other riders. Think of family, out of town friends, friends from high school and college, people you work with, neighbors, your satisfied customers and suppliers, people you know through church or other activities/sports you’re involved in. Look through your Christmas card list, your email addresses and your Facebook friends for possible donors. Think of people YOU have supported for runs or rides. Don’t be afraid to ask!

6. Create a short appeal letter that can be sent by email or mailed if you don’t have someone’s email address. You can use some of that text on your FG page. Let people know you’re excited about doing this Ride to support a great local organization. Don’t apologize for asking. Suggest a donation of $25 or more. Close your email by thanking people for their support. Look at the sample email the Club sent you for suggestions.

7. Include the link to your personal FG page in your appeal letter or email and have the information about donating very clear and easy to find in your text. Tell people they can donate on line or by writing a check to the Boys & Girls Club, with your name in the memo line and mailing it to: Boys & Girls Club, 17 Flat St. Brattleboro, VT  05301.

8. Don’t send your email out as a “blast email” to many people. Donors appreciate a personal approach. Send your emails one by one. Send the first one, with a personal salutation, then click “resend”, change the email address and salutation to the next name on your list and send it off.  If you’re organized, you can easily send 25-50 emails in a short time.

9. The Club will notify you weekly of checks that have been received to support you. On your FG page, check off: “send me a confirmation email” so that you will be notified when someone donates online.

10. All donors will get a formal thank you and tax deduction letter from the Club. FG will send your donors an automatic “thank you” email. It’s very simple to make a short “thank you” email that you can email to your donors as soon as you know they have donated. All donors really appreciate being thanked in a timely fashion!

If you have questions and concerns about your fundraising, contact Bob Nassau at or 387-5740. We want this to be a fun ride for you and a successful fundraiser for the Club, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.








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