In Great Sports-related Fundraising: Part 1 – Golf!, we explored how you can run a successful fundraiser on of all places—a golf course! In this post we are going to focus on how Jewish organizations can use cycling as a great way to increase camaraderie, interest, and charitable funds.
For a number of years, Chai Lifeline has been hosting biking events (four “Bike the Drives” and last year’s “Bike the Forest”). Every person who rides is referred to as, “Chai Cyclists,” and commits to raising a minimum of $180. Plus, each rider receives a custom webpage in which he or she can write a personal story about his or her need for your sponsorship. For an example of such a page, click here to view Neil Harris’s (who penned a guest post on NLEResources.com entitled 6 Things We Can Learn from The Kabbalah Centre).
As Chai Lifeline is a non-profit organization that has more than one person overseeing their web presence and social media engagement, they are incredibly savvy and aware of how you can get your message out and spread the word online. To that end, they created the Twitter hashtag #BikeforChai which created buzz, allowed people to easily be tagged, see pictures, and spread awareness about the event and Chai Lifeline. If you were to want to host a cycling fundraiser, we encourage you to think of how you can use online media to help promote the event for free.
For example, Chai Lifeline created a Twitter account called: Bike4Chai and even posted photos of people training for the event on their Facebook account here. Aside from photos, you can use this forum to update the public on how much you have raised or other technical aspects surrounding the fundraiser. It certainly also helps to look at a calendar and see when you could draw additional interest towards your sports-related event. For instance, the month in which Chai Lifeline held their event was May—which is also national bike month all across the United States! As such, there’s already a certain buzz that’s in the air towards the sport, which will help bring out the experienced rider and the novice who is just looking to participate in a good cause.
In the case of the Chai Lifeline cycling event, upon completion of the 100 plus miles, riders were treated to a delicous meal and wine tasting. This is yet another opportunity for an organization to give speeches and receive funds for all of the corporate signage that will be at this meal (here is a link to a picture that Josh Gree tweeted, while he was at this meal).
Speaking of corporate involvement, it goes without saying that events such as these are ones in which you can turn to a local Jewish grocery store (see the picture above) or any other business to see if they would be interested in sponsoring jerseys, water bottles, and other sports related items that will be handed out at a cycling fundraiser.
And finally, no good fundraising campaign would be complete without videos and a media campaign to help draw people to the cause. Below, are two that promote the Chai Lifeline event:
Chai Lifeline is not the only organization that is using cycling to bring in funds. Below, is an ad for the Cycle for Unity event that was held in Israel!
Cycle for Unity was recently founded by Rabbi Ari Solomont (pictured on his bike below). According to their website, the Cycle for Unity Foundation is a non-profit organization that allows riders of all ages to raise funds for the charitable projects of their choice through fun and challenging cycling adventures.
If you would ever want to host a cycling fundraiser in Israel—which is something that some people on your Israel Mission would enjoy—but are overwhelmed by the logistics of it, you can reach out to the folks at Cycle for Unity. Institutional and independent groups of all sizes can work with Cycle for Unity to build their own charitable cycling event in Israel!
We hope that you’ll be able to cull some great ideas from the video and links within this post. Be on the look out for the final installment in this series!
Great post. As a participant I can say that having an organized ride (like Bike The Drive) that your organization and piggy-back on is awesome. This event is fun and brings in added funds.