Challenging fund raising

Once you sign up to ride in the Pan Mass Challenge, there are two things you’ve got to do: ride your bike a lot and raise money. For folks who are doing the two-day ride, they must raise a minimum of $4200. (If you raise less than that, the balance comes out of your credit card.) I’ve always managed to raise more than the minimum (knock on wood) but this year, given the economic state of the world, it figured to be harder to raise the same amount of money I raised last year.

Instead of sending out an email blast to my whole network that begins “Dear Friends,” I went the more personal route and sent the email individually to all my friends and colleagues. That was time consuming. (In fact I’m still sending out emails.) The thinking being that a more personal outreach would result in a higher percentage of donations. As to the percentage increase or decrease in donations, I don’t have the answer to that yet.

But one thing I do have the answer to is that, surprisingly, fewer people responded to me via email–just to say hello or whatever–when I sent out the individual emails. Meaning what? It was easier for people to say hi to me when I had included them in an impersonal mass emailing? This one baffles me. Unless it’s that people aren’t going to send money so they don’t want to start a conversation with me. Not sure. But one of the surprises of this fund-raising season.

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