1. Lead the way by making the first pledge.
2. Have a bake sale.
3. Hold a garage sale.
4. Ask friends and family to donate items for you to auction off on EBay or sell on Craigslist. Ask them to donate one item that they don’t want any longer but is of value to other people. Include kitchen equipment, designer clothes and shoes, sporting equipment, bike stuff, computer and technology related gadgets, and games. Check into EBay’s charitable section, which comes with lesser fees. This can be a great money-maker!
5. Ask your company to match the amount of pledges you receive through their Corporate Matching Gift program.
6. Ask a friend to get their company to match pledges.
7. Research local major corporations and inquire to them directly about sponsoring you completely.
8. Distribute “Extra Change” boxes to friends and family as a place to deposit their extra change at the end of the day.
9. Start your own “Extra Change” box.
10. Speak with your office coworkers. Get them to challenge each other to raise the highest amount. Give movie passes or a gift certificate to the winner.
11. Ask your local bartender to donate a portion of one night’s tips. Create a sign for the bartender to place on the bar stating “All tips collected this evening will go directly to ______, who is riding for better cycling in California”
12. Post a message on an internet chat room. It’s amazing how many people you don’t know are willing to help out.
13. Change your incoming message on your cell phone and home phone with a short message telling them what you’re doing and that you need their support.
14. Have a house party! Collect donations while you entertain. Consider a barbecue, cocktail hour, or a hoedown. (Be careful not spend more on the party than you take in.)
15. Ask your favorite restaurants(s) to place a money jar in a high traffic area (cash register, bar, reception).
16. Ask your favorite restaurants(s) to hold a fundraising dinner for you.
17. Have a car wash. Ask friends and family members to help out on a Saturday morning at conveniently located gas station or parking lot.
18. Hold a themed dinner party for 10 or more. Ask guests to donate $50.00 each, spend no more than $20 per person on food, and you’ll have raised over $300 by the end of the night. Think Mexican Fiesta!
19. Ask a local movie theater to donate several pairs of tickets. Sell or auction the tickets and use the money towards your pledge.
20. Host a movie night. Grab a great movie, some popcorn and drinks, and invite friends and family over for a minimum donation.
21. Ask a local theater or playhouse to donate tickets to a live performance and auction them off.
22. Consider asking for a Birthday Gift Pledge instead of a gift. It will make birthday gift-giving a lot easier on friends and family this year.
23. Ask a local artist to donate a piece of jewelry or art that you could auction off. Consider asking them to create an item in mass quantity that you could sell, donating a portion of the proceeds.
24. Ask your hairdresser to donate $2 of every haircut done over a weekend.
25. Host a Fourth of July picnic for donations.
26. Have a mow-a-thon! Coordinate ahead of time with your neighbors and ask if you can mow their lawns for $50. Offer to water, weed-whack, sweep, clean gutters and do minor repairs. A great way to get your kids involved!
27. Offer to be a personal assistant/errand person for a day for a larger donation, $200 or more.
28. Utilize newsletters at your company office and intra-office mail to spread the word.
29. Offer to babysit for an evening, giving your friends the night off.
30. Offer to pet sit, charging usual kennel prices, and donate the funds.
31. Be a house-sitter for friends when they are away.
32. Can you carry a tune? Sing at a Karaoke bar for pledges!
33. Host a poker night, with the winnings going to your fund.
34. Collect used books from friends, family and neighbors, and have a book sale. Ask your local used book store for donations of overstocked items.
35. Put out a curse jar in your home and office, and collect a dollar for every violation.
36. Place a notice in your church bulletin about your intent to ride and fundraise for the California Dream Ride. Consider coordinating it with a bake sale, car wash, book sale or garage sale.
37. Offer to help busy parents with tutoring, carpooling or homework for a donation.
38. Ask your kids to come up with fundraising ideas. You’ll be surprised at how creative they can be. Lemonade stand? Chores for elderly neighbors?
39. Have any friends who are musicians? Ask them to hold a benefit show and donate the proceeds to your fundraising.
40. Contact the national chapter of your sorority or fraternity and ask them to make a donation.
41. Contact your college or university and ask them to place an ad in the alumni newsletter asking for donations.
42. Be a masseuse for a day. Promote one particular day -- for every contribution of $100, offer a massage to the donor.
43. Contact local pizza parlors and chain restaurants to learn about fundraising night opportunities.
44. Send a letter to your local Shriners, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, etc., to request their support.
45. Dress up like a clown, magician or super hero at a kid’s party for a donation.
46. Contact your local Wal-Mart to inquire about their Sunshine Fund supporting individuals in the community.
47. Consider offering an incentive to all persons who donate, offering a special raffle item such as tickets to an event, a homemade item or housekeeping service, at the conclusion of your fundraising.
48. Start a cycle training group. Seek out friends who would like to join the group and ask a local coach to donate some time towards riding and training. Ask a local bike shop to demonstrate basics mechanics, flat repairs, etc. Charge individuals for the program and donate the money to your fundraising.
49. Use your skills to raise money by offering your services in exchange for a donation, rather than asking for money. Are you a hairdresser? Put a poster on your work station and ask clients if they would be willing to donate an additional $5 or 10 to their service. Talk about your upcoming trip with enthusiasm! Maybe you’re a personal trainer. Start a six week program with the proceeds going towards your fundraising goal. Teach piano, guitar or the trombone to a neighborhood child.
50. Take inventory of the things you pay for every month. Consider your gym membership, hairdresser, car service, massages, bike store purchases, etc. Negotiate free service or a discount on the items in return for putting the money in your fundraising. Send a screen shot of the donation to the donor, and a thank-you note on Facebook and your fundraising page to acknowledge their donation. It’s a great way to promote your favorite shops and service providers.
51. Are you good at asking for freebies? Spend some time asking for donation of products, then set up an auction at a local bar. Ask them to consider donating 50% of the profits of beer sales for a block of time. Invite everyone you know to the auction!
52. Ask a house party salesperson (Avon, Pampered Chef, Silpada, etc.) to donate a portion of the proceeds from a party you host, rather than taking the hostess gifts. Ask people who book parties through your party to do the same.
53. Use colored paper and envelopes to mail your potential sponsors, and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. They’ll definitely stand out and make an impression.
54. Make up some calling cards with all the important information (your name, the name of the event, your fundraising URL and your address and phone number) to hand out to everyone you meet.
55. Ask your doctor, chiropractor, therapist and dentist to consider donating the deductible for your office visits.
56. Ask your local gym to place a pledge jar at the front desk.