Fundraising Tips

Thank you for registering for Climate Cycle’s Ride/Stride to Recharge! You are about to embark on an exciting challenge. If you have never fundraised, there is no need to worry. With some planning, effort and creativity your fundraising goals are very achievable! We are here to help you along the way to make sure that your fundraising effort is a success.

The following steps should give you an idea of what you need to do to reach your fundraising goals. The most important key to fundraising is to be consistently doing something. Being active in your efforts in small ways makes fundraising much more manageable. We are very excited and grateful to have you on the Climate Cycle team, so let’s get the fundraising started!

Oh, and here’s a PDF version (of the eight steps seen below) to share with your fellow fundraisers.

We’ve also thought up Forty Fun Fundraising Ideas.

For those who participated in past years, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to look up your past donors so that you can ask them to donate again this year.

All right, let’s get this party started!



Well, not technically this second, but once you finish reading this start RIGHT AWAY! The more time you give yourself, the more money you can raise without the pressure of an impending deadline. Starting early will establish a bond and a level of trust between you and your future donors, which will only help you in your efforts. The sooner you spread the word about your involvement with Climate Cycle, the more interest you will generate, and in the fundraising world interest equals donations!



There is no need to settle for the minimum! Setting a goal higher than your donation expectations can never hurt your efforts. This goal should still be reasonable (you don’t want people to think you are crazy), but you will probably surprise yourself in terms of how much more money you can raise without a lower “limit”. It’s a phenomenal cause – set the bar high. That’s exactly what you did when you decided to bike or walk for Climate Cycle, so take the same approach with your fundraising efforts.



A great place to start spreading the word about Climate Cycle is by telling your closest family and friends about your fundraising goal. Send out individual personalized emails to your friends and family. They will be your allies in your fundraising process, so informing them about Climate Cycle and your journey with the organization as much as possible is very important. For some sample text to use in a letter or email, see Step 4. Old-fashioned phone calls and face-to-face conversations work wonders as well, and it’s a great excuse to catch up!

The people who are closest to you will give you the boost of confidence (both in a monetary and emotional way) that will help you gain momentum in your fundraising efforts. They are also the most likely to contribute larger amounts of money to your goal. Even though they may not contribute exactly the amount of money that you ask them too, their donations will probably be more than the average Joe Schmo’s, so don’t be afraid to ask! In the end the larger donations that your closest friends and family will set a standard for Joe Schmo to live up to, so it’s a win-win situation for all. Even Joe.



The fundraisers who raise the most money are the ones who really make an effort to tell their stories. Explain to your donors what you are raising money for and why it is so important to you.

You can begin to tell your story by customizing your personal fundraising page. Put up a photo of yourself and include a heartfelt description of why this ride and cause are important to you. In your emails and social media posts, tell your story of why you are riding or walking for the cause. Here’s some sample text for your personal fundraising page:

Dear Family and Friends,

I am thrilled to be participating in Climate Cycle’s Ride/Stride to Recharge! Inspiring youth to green our world is very important to me, and I would love your help in reaching my fundraising goal. Please support my effort to help Chicago area schools go green! Funds raised will go towards the purchase and installation of solar panel arrays and environmental projects in schools. Please make a secure online donation today by clicking on the “Support Me” button. You will receive a receipt for your tax deductible donation via email. Thank you for your help and cheers to charting a bright future for our youth!

Please keep in mind that this is only a sample, and the more you personalize the better.



Throw a party, have a bake sale, do something at work. Fundraising shouldn’t be a chore. It should be a fun activity. If you’re having fun with it, your positive energy becomes contagious and will make friends and family want to donate.

To help you along the way, we have created the Climate Cycle Party Toolkit. It has posters, postcards, and buttons that you can use to help you meet your fundraising goals. Email Elizabeth at and let her know what tools you need.



The more you promote your fundraising page the better it will do. Here are the best ways to promote:

Email everyone you know! Even if you haven’t spoken to them in years, you’ll be surprised at how many people will decide to donate when you ask. Remember to ask friends and family first (see Step 2).

Use social media. When posting an update on Facebook, Twitter, Google+Flickr, LinkedIn, or other social media, include a link to your fundraising page.

Sample Posts:

Facebook and Google+

Join me as I ride a bike (or walk) to support youth education during Climate Cycle’s Ride/Stride to Recharge. Any money I raise goes towards creating environmental education projects at schools around Chicago. Thank you in advance! (insert link to your donation page)


Support environmental education in Chicago. I’m riding a bike (or walking) for #C2Recharge. Donations are appreciated: (insert link to your donation page)

Invest in our children. Please donate as I ride a bike (or walk) for #C2Recharge (insert link to your donation page) Supporting #EnvEd in Chicago!

Ask your friends & family to spread the word. Friends and family like to brag when you’re doing something cool. Have them use some friendly peer pressure to get their friends to donate too.

Add the URL from your fundraising page to your email signature, GChat, etc., to keep everyone reminded about what you are doing. For example: Help John & I raise $1,000 for the Climate Cycle Ride/Stride on June 1st! Click here to give:

Don’t forget about corporate matching either!



An important key to fundraising success is to be persistent. It may take at least three to four friendly reminders before people make donations on your behalf. Keep in touch with people about your progress on a weekly basis. Send funny email updates about your training (including things like photos of you sweating it out on your bike) and keep people updated through the social media that you use. This will generate excitement, which is an awesome thing when asking for donations.

Here are a few ideas for fun updates:

• Let people know when you hit a fundraising milestone (a numerical amount or a percentage of your fundraising goal).

• Update your friends about your training efforts. There are always interesting stories when you go for a long ride!

• Share news about Climate Cycle. You can get information from our newsletter or our website,

• Anything funny that you can somehow relate to your efforts. We are talking things like ripped Spandex here. Seriously.

• Any catchy fundraising ideas that you come up with. For example, when it’s the 17th (or whatever day of the month), ask for $17.00.



Make your mom proud by displaying your good manners and thanking the people who have supported your fundraiser. Sending thank you emails is a great idea if you ever plan to fundraise again for Climate Cycle (or any cause) and hope to ask the same people.


Now go have fun and raise some money! You can do it!!