Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: EtherealGyre on March 04, 2009, 02:12:16 pm

Title: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: EtherealGyre on March 04, 2009, 02:12:16 pm
I have been dreaming of taking a cross country bike trip for some time now. I figure if I don't start really working toward this goal I'll always be sitting here reading other people's travel journals rather than making my own. One thing I really want to do when I do this ride is raise money for a good cause.

Being an Army National Guard Soldier I would like to support the military and military families so I will likely choose to raise money for my state's National Guard Family Assistance program or something like that.

What I am looking for is some advice from people who have perhaps raised money with a ride. What is the best way to approach businesses, groups etc.. for sponsorship and donations? Are there ways to register my fundraiser so people can donate online? What sorts of legal issues might I need to tackle so I can set this all up properly?

I am looking to try to do the ride in 2010, so that would give me a year to prepare, get my gear together and raise money for my chosen cause.

Thanks for any advice anyone out there has.
Title: Re: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: kenstrandberg on March 04, 2009, 08:34:53 pm
Being a soldier, you should try to contact the United States Entertainment Force ( and talk to Jerry Payne, the founder. He is known as one of the leading contributors to the causes of soldiers and their families.
Title: Re: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: jimbo on March 05, 2009, 09:20:59 pm
My fund-raising and touring experience is limited to "once" but we raised 40K for a non-profit land conservation organization in our home area. Our journal is at 
What I learned: Be clear 100% of funds go to "the cause" and not a penny for trip expenses.
Find local stories that  faces on the cause.
Find donated print/internet media help for a brochure/website.
Raise the money locally for the most part. It is not easy to get substantial gifts on the road from strangers.
"Quietly" look for someone(s) that would put up a dollar for dollar matching gift(s). This is not an easy task but can yield much better dividends. (This starting gifts could be 25-50% of what your total goal amount is.)
Once you have that  "starting pot" go public with your pledge drive and use the matching dollar grant as an incentive.
Make sure checks are payable to a secure not for profit or some agency etc. and not to you or some individual.

Riding (and blogging) for a cause is a super incentive to stay focused on finishing the tour and also connecting to your donor base. Good luck.
Jim K
Title: Re: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: Westinghouse on March 06, 2009, 12:45:13 am
If you google the Gobin Guards Association in Carlisle, Pennsylvania you might be able to acquire some help. The Gobin Guard is a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families. There is a war college in Carlisle, PA where the Gobin Guard is located. There is also Gobin Avenue leading up to or near the war college. I think I read it is the largest war college in the country. The Gobin Guard was named after its founder J.P.S. (John Peter Shindel) Gobin who was a prominent veteran of the civil war, president of the state senate of PA, lieutenant governor, major general commanding the PA national guard, and United States commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR was by far the largest and most powerful veterans organization in the USA with some 410,000 members at its zenith of power.

I don't know, but it seems like they might be able to help you, or know somwhere you can get that help. It wouldn't hurt to try there considering the nature of your ambition. A statement dated 1993 said the Gobin Guards were independent of local, state, or national organizations. I was thinking it might be different from what you could expect from the usual VFWs or other official veterans' organizations.
Title: Re: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: cyclebum on March 09, 2009, 12:43:28 am
You'll have much greater credibility and exposure if you can find a non-profit willing to lend their name and support to your ride. The two fellow I am personnaly aware of who had sponsorship raised a lot of money and had web surpport and publicity from the agencies.
Title: Re: Cross Country for a Cause?
Post by: BIGRIDE on March 29, 2009, 10:45:43 am
I'm also planning on taking a ride for a cause later this summer.
so I kind of know what is involved in the organizing of a charity ride. let me tell you one piece of advice. start early and get all of the help you can. because I needed it and it caused a bunch of sleepless nights so far and I'm sure more to come.