The Realities Of A Biking Fundraiser – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Earlier this 12 months, Bicycle Touring Professional awarded its annual scholarship, a monetary enhance for younger folks heading out on their first bicycle tour, to 24 12 months outdated Polish-Canadian bicycle owner Kasia Szewczyk. Kasia’s plan was to cycle throughout Europe, from Barcelona, Spain to Istanbul, Turkey, combining her first ever bike tour with a fund elevating venture – that of elevating $10,000 for Canadian charity “World Literacy Canada”

Now, after finishing the journey, Kasia shares her tales and experiences with BTP in a 3-part sequence of articles centered round biking, fund elevating and life classes gained on the highway.

For info on the biking side of Kasia’s Experience to Learn bike tour venture, click on right here.

Fast Info

Charity: World Literacy Canada (WLC)

Funds raised for: WLC’s training and literacy applications in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most impoverished area

Aim quantity: $10,000 CAD

Precise quantity raised: $4,500 CAD

Fund elevating mediums: on-line or mail-in donations

Promotional instruments: occasion weblog, Fb, Twitter, on-line and print articles, posters and flyers, phrase of mouth

The premise: the thought was to fund elevate on the private entrance (donations from family and friends) to assist me cowl bills of motorbike + gear and to have the occasion bills incurred throughout journey (meals and occasional lodging) be coated by the fund elevating on the WLC entrance. As a third-party fundraiser, WLC and I signed a typical contract entitling the Experience to Learn to 33% of the entire of funds raised as a part of protecting occasion prices.

Why Cycle For A Charity?

Merely put: I wished to offer again. I knew that the venture would carry me a number of advantages, the unbelievable and novel expertise of bicycle journey being the best reward, so I wished to make it possible for I might give again ultimately as nicely. Plus, it was an exhilarating concept to consider channeling funds to not me, however via me, to the place I felt they might do a number of good.

Which Charity Did You Select?

I selected World Literacy Canada as my recipient charity as a result of they fulfilled all of my beforehand outlined standards: they’re Canadian based mostly, they’re a well-established and trust-worthy group (about WLC) and so they actually wanted the funds (click on right here for extra info). I contacted them about signing on as a third-party fundraiser in early February of this 12 months and our contract was signed and able to go later that month.

A certain factor : By direct participation, I knew that I’d be taught loads about grassroots fund elevating. Contracts, sponsors, blogs and social networks, advertising strategies, radio exhibits, movies, companions and contributors… it’s a complete world of fund elevating on the market!

Got here as a shock : creating, coordinating and collaborating in a biking fundraiser is a 100% full-time job! For the 6+ months that I labored on the Experience to Learn (February-August 2012, of which I used to be biking for two months) I labored 7 days every week, day and night time, on the venture. Then, I needed to cycle too!

I Obtained Some Issues Proper

As a biking and fund elevating first timer, my instinct and customary sense helped me make some good selections.

Hiring My Digital Assistant (VA)

About 5 weeks earlier than I set out biking from Barcelona, I used to be rudely shaken awake by actuality: I wanted an assistant. There was merely an excessive amount of to do – from creating the weblog, selling the occasion, contacting potential company sponsors and many others. – I used to be swamped with work and saved wishing that I might cut up myself into three to get all of it achieved! With my departure date looming, I did what I knew I needed to – I positioned an advert, a request for a Digital Assistant (VA) – on the favored Elance web site. One week and a number of other interviews later, I had Stefani, from Vancouver, Canada working with me on the Experience to Learn venture. She had agreed to work for half her normal hourly wage, owing to the charity nature of the venture. Nonetheless, it will be yet one more expense so as to add to the rising record of occasion prices.

Contracting a VA was one of many smartest strikes I made.

I didn’t realize it then, since I had by no means bike toured earlier than, however my visions of free time in the course of the journey, the supposed hours that I’d spend drafting letters and donation requests whereas tucked away in a restaurant on the facet of the highway, have been pure fiction. I labored intently along with my VA in the course of the weeks main as much as my departure from Barcelona, and as soon as I received on the highway – as soon as survival, navigation and biking grew to become my all-consuming actions – the VA was the one to orchestrate the numerous aspects of the fundraiser on my behalf.

Creating the official Experience to Learn video

This too, got here as a pointy plonk to the top, as I spotted someplace across the fourth week of the journey that there have been barely any photographs, a lot much less movies, of me really driving the bike! At the present time, saturated as we’re by photos, movies, podcasts and extra, I used to be pissed off with how troublesome it was to visually doc my journey. Picture and video requests from associates, household and followers elevated, and I used to be at my wits finish. Firstly, as a result of I used to be touring alone (and couldn’t envision handing off my digital camera to strangers as I posed with my bike on the facet of the highway) and secondly, as a result of I didn’t have an actual digital camera (with the dreamed-of timer and tripod!). I solely had an iPhone.

When my VA discovered a keen freelance movie crew in Szeged, Hungary, I contacted Gergo with the hopes of making a brief video displaying my each day life on the highway, on this manner bringing the Experience to Learn supporters nearer to the realities of my biking journey.

This mini-project was an entire success!

On July 1st we filmed for 9 hours non cease, and whereas I continued on the highway, biking into Serbia from Hungary, the movie crew reduce, edited and compiled the ultimate product into an artsy and inspirational 3-minute clip. I had my new promotional instrument (to not point out a incredible memento) one week later. We distributed it as far and as vast as doable, thus growing Experience to Learn’s visibility and the potential curiosity for brand new sponsors.

Stay And Study – Errors Had been Made

Life and expertise will all the time be our biggest lecturers.  Right here, just a few remarks on what I might have achieved higher.

There’s no rush, take your time and plan it proper

In the beginning – I ought to have began organizing this fundraiser manner earlier.

As an alternative of leaving three months between my first contact with WLC and commencing the journey, I ought to have allotted at the least 12 months to the preparation. Gaining company sponsorship, which everyone knows is the place the massive bucks lie in wait, is an extended and tedious course of. Every firm has its personal particular kinds to fill out, and even after you have accomplished the required paperwork, they typically take months to answer. Bike or gear sponsorship works in a lot the identical manner. It’s to not say that these choices aren’t viable, they only take a number of analysis, time and vitality to offer fruit. In my case I attempted for company sponsorship and received no the place, in actual fact, the five hundred$ scholarship from Bicycle Touring Professional is the closest I received to monetary help from the “huge wigs”.

Shed a tear in your trigger – aka. Make it private

It’s not that WLC’s efforts for training and literacy aren’t near my coronary heart. I learn, write, be taught overseas languages and benefit from the freedoms that include fixed entry to training and knowledge. And sure, I actually have tried to ascertain what my world can be like with out these luxuries, and it’s left me feeling unhappy, stressed, with the will to shake off a looming fog of powerlessness. Nonetheless, I might inform from the primary day of the journey, by the reactions of these I met on the highway, that my trigger was in a roundabout way private sufficient. My causes for driving, my dad and mom’ cancers and quest for various therapies (books about therapeutic most cancers, results in studying, results in literacy… get it?) have been too summary to clarify in short. My conversations whereas on the highway changed into a sequence of fast details : age, nationalit(ies), biking from, biking to… but I used to be at a loss to clarify why I used to be driving for literacy. Had I personally labored at these Indian training facilities? No, I’ve by no means been to India, I’d reply…

Ethical of the story : should you’re driving for a trigger, be sure it comes connected with a direct, emotional and private story. And ensure you can clarify all of it clearly and concisely (and, ideally, in a number of languages!) because it’s a query you’ll get requested loads!

Enjoyable Fundraising Info From The Experience To Learn

For the 67 days that I used to be on the highway, biking from Barcelona to Istanbul, the one piece of expertise I used was my iPhone 4s. From this small, helpful and full of apps instrument, I used to be capable of write full-length articles and put up each day to my WordPress weblog, put up new Tweets, add enjoyable quotes to Fb, take photographs and movies, examine and reply to emails, discover WarmShowers hosts in my space… and way more. This iPhone-only strategy has its downsides, however for essentially the most half it supplied me with all the things my fundraiser’s coronary heart might want and the flexibility to coordinate the occasion from afar… and in a really small and lightweight bundle.

One time, in a campground in France, I spoke with a French girl who had really heard of World Literacy Canada! How might this be doable? She had lived for about 20 years within the Toronto space and had been concerned with the charity. Amongst many “global-village moments” in the course of the journey, this got here as a really welcome shock!

Discovering an web WIFI connection in the course of the journey was typically difficult. Unusually sufficient, I discovered Bulgaria had essentially the most free, open and dependable WIFI of all of the nations I cycled via.

 Official Experience to Learn web site


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The Realities Of A Biking Fundraiser – Bicycle Touring Professional  
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