Fundraising examples

We have asked three chapters to describe their fundraising process and if they could come with some good advice, so that you can do the same.


Making a campaign video and create awareness in your funding process

23nd of Nov 2017
by Carson Sage – Cycling Without Age Canada, Victoria, BC

  1.  Secure a relationship with a care home from the start. Ideally, frame the program as the ‘first in the city’ or ‘first in the province’ to help bolster the idea that their choice to participate in CWA is meaningful, exclusive, and exciting. This will be a key point to gain the attention of newspapers as well.
  2. Gain the support of family members of the residents in the home. It is surprising how many of them will pledge financial support in order for the benefits to reach their loved ones. Show the Grey Escape movie to really get the idea of the trishaw across.
  3. Purchase the trishaw early. This won’t be an option for everyone, but we decided to purchase the trishaw with our own money with the agreement that fundraised money will be used to refund us. Having the trishaw in your possession is extremely important if you want to create a (local) video or other promotional materials. Non-cyclists need the physical object in front of them to truly understand what you’re talking about.
  4. Enlist the support of a local filmmaker, videographer, photographer, or Youtuber for your campaign video. Ideally make this connection through your personal network. Ideally they will donate their time to the cause.
    Make sure you reward their efforts by hosting the video on their channel, providing shoutouts on social media, providing lunch on the filming day, and giving whatever you can to say thank you (ex. gift cards or certain amount of the fundraised money depending on the final sum).
  5. Make the videographer’s life easy when filming your campaign video. Scout your locations, plan your movements to each location, create a script, and match the script to your locations and storyboard. The filming day will be the most efficient this way. The only details that should change are based on weather and the videographer’s own skills and
  6. Get your inner social network to donate first to reach the 10% mark of your goal.
  7. Regularly post your campaign and progress on social media. Communicate a clear goal and purpose.
  8. Wait to deposit your campaign’s money. For some crowdfunding sites, it is better to have one transaction fee rather than multiple fees for multiple deposits.
  9. Get involved in your community. Attend community events, markets, and parades. The best way to increase awareness of CWA is by talking with people directly.
  10. Be prepared. From the start, consider all the tasks that you will need to complete in order to have the program operating once funded. Do as many of the tasks before gaining too much publicity. This will stall your chapter’s fundraising efforts, but will reduce stress in the long run once your chapter gains momentum.
  11. Write grants on behalf of the care home you are operating out of. Staff generally do not have time to apply for grants so you can help. Generally most grants have items that CWA organizers can answer independently. Once complete, a staff member can finish the organization’s answers and submit it. By having the care home’s name on the grant, the
    granting organizations are more likely to support their efforts than a brand new CWA chapter that might not be incorporated as a non-profit entity yet.

If you have any questions regarding above feel free to contact Carson.

How to get nursing home foundation to fund your CWA project

23nd of Nov 17
by Gary Harty – Cycling Without Age US, Lakewood, CO

  1. I made liberal use of Ole’s Ted Talk whenever I have had an opportunity to make a presentation.  I have yet to meet anyone who is not moved by the presentation made by Ole.
  2. I was lucky to have a community like Eaton Senior Communities in Lakewood.  I became aware of Eaton by attending monthly business association meetings in Lakewood, namely the South Lakewood Business Association and The Alameda Gateway Association.  Both organizations are networking opportunities for small businesses, but they also support non-profit organizations that provide volunteer services to help the less advantaged members of our community.  I became aware of Eaton, because they hosted the Alameda Gateway Association once each year.  Alameda travels to different venues every month.  In this manner they host their members without any out of pocket costs in exchange for the host to do a presentation telling about the services they provide for the community.  Also, Eaton provided a free holiday breakfast to the attendees of the South Lakewood Business Association.  SLBA meets in the same location every month and Eaton generously provided breakfast prepared by their chef.
  3. We also have a number of for profit senior communities provided independent and assisted living for seniors.  The problem is they are expensive and the newest ones are luxurious and offer wonderful amenities, but they answer primarily to their stockholders over the residents that they are serving.  Eaton differs in that they are locally owned and operate on a non-profit basis.  The average resident earns $17,000 per year, which doesn’t go very far when rents for apartments start at $1,000 per month.  With their foundation, a 510(c)(3) tax exempt organization, they use fund raising and donations to the foundation to bridge the services that they can provide and what the residents are actually able to afford.  My reasoning was that if anyone would be receptive to Cycling Without Age, it would be Eaton.  I assumed the for profit organizations might be interested, but would provide little or no help in the purchase of a trishaw.  Or they might be willing to purchase a trishaw, but not until it went through the organizational chain with lots of debate.
  4. I approached Eaton asking for 15 minutes to discuss a “community engagement” program.  I never mentioned cycling.  I met with Sarah Schoeder, their director of wellness.  I told Sarah that I wanted her to watch a 15-minute video before we talked about the program.  After the video, I told Sarah we would either have a very short or a very long conversation.  After watching only the first 5 minutes of Ole’s presentation, she said that she loved it and would be presenting the concept to the leadership team of Eaton.  I met with the leadership team a couple of weeks later to begin working on the details.  The leadership team included the CEO of Eaton, the director of the Foundation, and a couple other members of the executive staff.  Eaton agreed to use their foundation for fundraising.  This gave me access to their 501(c)(3) status, plus their resources for fundraising.  They have the ability to collect donations online and reach a fairly broad audience of supporters of Eaton.  See the link to their website:
  5. Their expertise and tools for fundraising made my job much easier.  I also belong to the local cycling community, both as a racing team member and as the founder of a local bicycling advocacy group.  I reached out to my teammates with pedalRACING and to the members of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team.  I hate asking for money, but my wife and I made the first $500 donation to start the fundraising.  It is easier to ask for money if you have demonstrated that you are not asking for anything that you haven’t asked of yourself.  Both organizations reach well over 100 members.  Not everyone responded, but enough responding so that we were able to raise close to $5,000 in the first couple of months.  At this point, Eaton committed to finding the funds to close the gap.  Also, some of their big donors stepped up with a donation of close to $2,000.  Some donors like to work anonymously and like to see you get close to your goal.  Then they quietly ask how much you need to get the job done.
  6. David Smart, the CEO of Eaton Senior Communities, and I then decided to approach the City of Lakewood to purchase a 2nd trishaw.  We told them about the program and how the residents of Lakewood would benefit from a program that got them outside and also gave them the opportunity to interact with the larger community of Lakewood. David told City Council that Eaton’s philosophy is that Eaton isn’t a place where seniors go to die, but rather a place to go to live. Lakewood staff could see the benefit and scrambled to find the funds for a 2nd trishaw.  I think they were partly motivated by my commitment and dedication to make the program happen.  See the PowerPoint we used for the Lakewood City Council Presentation.
  7. So that is our story.  Since all of this has transpired, I was given the opportunity to make a presentation to update the status of Cycling Without Age in Lakewood at the Alameda Gateway Association on October 4th, 2017.  That meeting was hosted by Metro West Housing Solutions, a non-profit organization working to bring affordable housing options to a variety of residents who cannot afford market rate housing including seniors.  In attendance at the meeting was the CEO of Metro West.  She approached me after the meeting to indicate that the program would be perfect in some of their affordable senior housing.  Subsequent conversations have taken place and I believe Metro West Housing Solutions is close to making a purchase of our 3rd trishaw.  See the presentation used for that presentation at Metro West’s CityScape in Belmar.
Just like CWA worldwide, actual numbers are a positively moving target.  To date (23nd of Nov. 2017), CWA Lakewood has provided 55 rides to 78 residents.
Conversations are now taking place with Pedal Bike Shop of Littleton – our race team sponsor, the City of Littleton, Visiting Angels – a company providing in home assisted living for seniors, and myself and one of my pilots who is a manager for Visiting Angels.  Time will tell if Littleton, Pedal, and Visiting Angels will pop for the purchase of another trishaw to operate in Littleton, but interest is high.

If you have any questions regarding above feel free to contact Gary by