Please advise on how to organize an Alleycat style bike event fundraiser for my nonprofit workplace, and how to make it AMAZINGLY FUN.
October 20, 2010 1:37 PM Subscribe
Please give me some advice on how to organize an Alleycat style bike event fundraiser for my nonprofit workplace, and how to make it AMAZINGLY FUN.
posted by ialwayscryatendings to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I work at a Minneapolis sustainable food systems-related nonprofit, and we are thinking about doing an Alleycat style bike event fundraiser for ourselves next year, probably in the fall. This is our first time trying to do an event like this, and I am doing the preliminary research to see what bases we would need to cover to make it happen. I have other event planning experience, but haven't done something like this before and there are a lot of things I don't know. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has participated in this kind of event about what things can make it great/not so great, and I would especially appreciate advice from anyone who has helped put on such an event about whatever they wish they would have known ahead of time.
I've read a past question on how to get sponsors, but any recent advice on that would be great. I'm very concerned about safety and insurance issues, since events I have planned in the past have not had that extra danger component. We want the event to spread publicity for our org in addition to raising funds, but any thoughts on how to make sure we make money putting this on would be very appreciated. I will not be able to pitch the event unless we have a strong case for the fundraising component.
For those who want more information on what we have thought of so far (if you don't please skip the following):
We are still in the very early stages here so please forgive my naivety, but allow me to describe our preliminary plan to see if you deem it feasible: In alley cat style, we will not plot out a course for riders, but instead will give them a list of destinations (10 or so) in the city that have significance to our organization. We will give a certain time that people need to be at the final destination, but they can visit the others however they like. We will give them the addresses and a map on which they can chart their own courses. I have heard that this eliminates the need to get expensive insurance for the event, but please tell me if that's not the case. We would give some time at the start of the race for people to check out the maps and locations, since they wouldn't be revealed ahead of time. At each stop, we would like to have some person or activity, with the idea being that riders would be learning about our organization as they do the ride. We hope that this means we will not only raise funds, but also get some publicity for our org. We have also thought about having a list of questions about our org that riders could try to find answers for, one for each destination, or having people collect some kind of tokens hidden at each location.
We don’t want this to be a very competitive race, and would encourage people to participate as they feel comfortable—so a new rider could just visit half of the destinations, while a seasoned biker could try to do all ten. We could offer prizes not only for the fastest person, but also for whomever got answers to the most questions or who had the craziest outfit or who collected the most tokens etc. The focus would not be on speed, but more on visiting cool places around the city and spreading the word about what we do. The final destination would host a party for the participants, probably with an address from our president and hopefully some other fun draws. Our city is very biker-friendly, but of course I am worried about safety. We want it to be something families could participate in together.
Our org is related to sustainable food issues, so in addition to visiting our headquarters we would visit restaurants that promote local farms, farmers markets, community gardens, co-ops, and the locations of some offshoots that we started. If you have any ideas about how to incorporate the theme of sustainable food into an Alleycat, or what kinds of activities we could do, I would love to hear them.
As far as fundraising goes, we had brought up the idea of a $25 dollar entrance fee (it’s our 25th anniversary year) that participants could raise by asking around for sponsorship. It would be great if the participants could tell other people about our cause while trying to raise the money, gaining us publicity at the same time. Perhaps we could have some prize for people who go above and beyond and raise extra money, too.
So, I’m sure I’ve left out a bunch of important things. If you have any advice based on your experience, I would be very grateful if you would share it. I am planning on talking to local groups who have put on similar events as well (both for advice and to make sure our event doesn't conflict with anyone else's) but Metafilter always seems to come through so I wanted your perspective.
Thanks so much!