Friday, August 8, 2014

Fundraising 101

Fundraising 101

Training for an event such as a race is extremely rewarding but I always find it even more rewarding if I fundraise for a cause.  I have fundraised multiple times for the leukemia and lymphoma society.  I have raised over $6,000.00 over the course of a few years.

The first time I went to a Team in Training meeting I didn’t know what to think.  I went into it thinking, Oh I am just going to train with them and then drop out if I can’t make the fundraising minimum.  Come to find out, the fundraising wasn’t so much the difficult part, it was the training.  Never before have I “ran” more than three miles before I stepped foot at the first practice.  

This blog post came to mind after Denise posted asking for ideas.  Unfortunately I never get phone service in my house to call her and if I am going to send an email, I may as well give a guide to other people.  I hope my tips help!

Tip 1.
Include your link everywhere!  
Simple as that.  On the bottom on your email signature, websites, send out letters with it, facebook, twitter.  The more people see it, the more money you can get.  People may start to get annoyed but hey, they are seeing it!

Tip 2.
Write letters and send them out.  
You can email them or actually mail them.  My first two years I mailed letters with a personal story.  With those mailed letters I added a self addressed envelop so it was easy to be mailed back.  I gave recipients the option to check the amount they wanted to donated.  I included the website on it incase they wanted to go back.  You can now add QR codes too.

Dear Friends and Family,

I have once again signed up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training.  This time I am running a marathon!!  In case you were wondering, a marathon consists of 26.2 miles. In under 5 months, on November 5, 2011, I will run for all those who cannot.   Training is going to take a lot out of me and I can use all the support I can get.  

As many of you know, Team in Training is a program that trains ordinary people (and you can’t get more ordinary fitness-wise, than me) to participate in events such as marathons, while raising money to battle against blood cancers.  Leukemia is the number one disease killer of children, and it strikes ten times as many adults each year.

That’s why I do this.  Before I began running with Team in Training, I never thought I can run more than a 5k (3.1 miles)… and I’m sure that my friends and family never believed I could either.  But more importantly, I never realized how many of my friends and coworkers had been touched by these diseases.  I have met so many great people who are all working towards a common goal.  You can’t help but become passionate about it.  It is the passion that keeps us going.

I’d like to invite you to assist me in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In 
Training Program by making a donation to this worthy cause.  By accepting this invitation, you’ll be reinforcing our commitment to our community and its citizens.  It’s more important than ever for families like ours to demonstrate caring and responsibility in our communities.   

Please take a moment now to fill out the donor card below and return it to me at ADDRESS XXXX.  Please make your checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Please return your donor card and tax-deductible donation by Friday August 12, 2011.  Or if you prefer, you can donate right online at my Team In Training Website.  

You can also visit my website for more information and the latest news on my progress. 

Much Love and Thanks,


Yes, I/we would like to support the vital work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Enclosed is My Donation of:  __$200   __$150   __$100   __$75  __$50   ___Other 
(Please make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) 



City:  State:  Zip: 


Tip 3:
QR Code is a scannable code that phones can scan and donors are directed to your fundraising page.  There is no need to worry about typing in anything wrong.

Tip 3.
Sell Stuff.
If there are items you no longer need or use; sell them.
Put them on Amazon, Ebay, etc.  Put a note that all money received will go towards a cause and sometimes buyers spend a little more.  
Host a garage sale

Tip 4.
Have a donation box.  
If you’re able to, keep a little tin on your desk and put your spare change there.  Have coworkers put their spare change there.
I used to carry a donation box to the bars

Tip 5.
Create a Product
Create a product in which you can make a profit off of.  One of my training buddies purchased Team in Training towels from another chapter.  After the all the costs are paid for, you keep proceeds.  My cousin actually is a distributer so if you need ideas, here is her info.
Here are some ideas..Tumblers, shirts, swim caps, flip flops, charms for jewelry, cozies.

Tip 6.
Host an event
Many places host fundraising events for a minimal fee, if that.  I have been to many at the Melting pot.  You can charge what you would like for your guests to pay and all you need to do is tip the servers.  ALL proceeds are yours.
Splitsville bowling will donate a late or two and you get to charge what you think is an acceptable amount to charge.
A gym class for a cause
Splittsville, bowling for a cause
Other ideas: (many of these can be done in the comfort of your own home)
Wine tasting, painting parties, Drag Queen Bingo
People are more inclined to fork over a few extra dollars knowing it is going to a good cause.

Tip 7.
Babysit and have the money you would have made go towards your charity.

Tip 8.
Go and get some items, hopefully you can find donated items and include a 50/50 raffle.  

Lyle winning some free bowling passes

Tip 9.
Jello Shots
This is somewhat a controversial topic.  I haven’t done this one.  You purchase the condiment containers and make jello shots.  You can ask for donations in exchange for jello shots.  (I think that is how it works since you can’t just sell alcohol) - *I think that is how it is*

Additional ideas:
bake sale, book sale, Jamberry nails, stella and dot, car wash, bingo, game night, contests (superbowl, march madness), cook offs

Always write a thank you note.  This is something I do, for everything.  I handwrite a thank you note to show my appreciation.  Its a simple gesture but goes a long way.

Here are a few links of friends who are currently fundraising.  Please go check out a site.  $5.00 goes a long way :)

Steph from Orangespoken for Susan G. Komen 
Michelle for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Ashlee for Ronald McDonald House
John from Fat Slow triathlete for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society

What fundraising ideas have you participated in or hosted?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The end of summer..

What going on with me you ask?

Nothing like meeting up with a few bloggers to get your creative juices flowing.  The last time I posted was right after school and now I post again when school is about to begin.  I had the whole summer to write but I had no desire to turn my computer on.  As much as I always enjoyed blogging, after i met more and more people blogging I felt like I was trying to compete or keep up with people and that is not why I started this blog.  I started this blog to journal my first half marathon then first marathon.  I needed to refocus.  Last night at The Sweet Tooth Cakery made me miss blogging and sharing my thoughts so hopefully I will muster up the time and energy to blog on my own watch.  Also, even though I had the whole summer off I did attempt some wedding and house projects.  

I saw Meghan’s post a while back about what she is currently doing and I liked the format and wanted to make it my own :) 

currently entertaining:  The thought of having to go back to school in just a few days.  I had a great summer but I can use a few more weeks!  This past week I entertained two of my girlfriends!  We had delicious turkey tacos and one friend brought her 3 month old!! She is just the cutest!!! I also had the thought, instead of getting married I can just have babies..NO?  I wish I was a better picture taker because this would be a good place to add that picture!

Take me back please!
currently loving: Daytime TV!  I do not watch TV during the school year but man, I have a schedule until 5pm!  I seriously do not know what I am going to do once school starts.  DVRing isn’t worth it because I won’t ever watch it!!  Seriously!  Today show, Kelly and Michael, Hoda and Kathy Lee, The Chew, The Doctors, Dr. OZ, then Ellen.  Behn and I have been watching Law and Order: SVU before bed every night.  It’s lovely! I am loving getting in workout and not having a time crunch..  I am also loving morning smoothies!  I am the worst at fueling after a workout and I have had two lovely smoothies this week..delicious :)

currently working on: Marathon training.  Marathon training started this week and it’s going well!  I also have to work on my classroom next week so I should start putting things together and make a Walmart or Michaels trip!

currently thinking: Do I really have to go back to work?  
How lucky I am to have a few friends who will meet me in the morning to get some speed work in or long runs in!  
I am also thinking how I don’t want to do laundry but its hot out and my workout clothes are pretty nasty!

currently looking forward to: Winter Break!  Just kidding :)
We are looking at a venue on Saturday and Behn is pretty excited about it.  I hope it is reasonably priced because this whole budget thing is cramping my style.  Unfortunately due to unforeseen events, our budget was pretty much cut in half and my dream beach wedding at a resort will probably be thrown out.   I am thinking maybe a private beach ceremony.
Anyone have any fun idea?

currently wearing: Maxi skirts!  It has taken me years to find a maxi skirt that fits me because I am shorter than the average and have a tummy so nothing fits me currently.  I saw Meghan had a cute one and I stalked her for it!  I stocked up.  I am also loving pajamas because only for a few more days I can wear them ALL day!!

currently reading: I just finished two books while I was on vacation and currently in the middle of Wild, by Cherly Strayed.  I have a few other books by James Petterson out from the library and have to pick up another one today by Bette Midler.  

currently watching: daytime TV!! See above :)

What would you add to a list of things you're currently doing?

How did your wedding planning go?  What tips do you have for me?    I am so lucky to have a great support system and so many people giving me ideas.  I think I am on idea overload though!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Letters: It's almost over

I cannot believe the day is finally here!  It is the last school day with the seniors.  Summer vacation doesn't start until June 9 but the next few weeks shouldn't take as much energy out of me.  I haven't done Friday letters in a long time because my life has been run by a long work commute and I finally have a few seconds to sit down and write these, so here they go.

Dear Friday,
I am so happy you have showed your face once again and it is such a glorious thing!  I am excited for the many activities this weekend including tonight's little happy hour for Carol for her pre-wedding!

This picture made it into the senior yearbook :)
Dear Seniors,
Even though you will never see this (most likely) I want to wish you luck!  You have really grown up over the last few months I have taught you.  Not only did I get the privilege to teach you but I learned many lessons along the way from you.  Each one of you has the ability to succeed as long as you put your mind to it.  Show good energy.  Remember to be a good person.  I am excited to see you walk across that stage in a few weeks at gradation.  I am excited to see you all dolled up and excited for prom.  I hope you remember the good times you had in high school and learned from the bad.  Good luck and enjoy life:)

Dear House,
I love you!  We closed on our house a few weeks ago and it is coming along slowly.  There are a few big pieces of furniture we need in order to finish unpacking so there are still some beautiful boxes laying around.  If anyone would like o come over and help us that would be great, or give us a bookshelf or two, DVD holder, or ever put together a bed that would be great!

Dear Florida Weather,
I wouldn't mind if you cooled down a little or weren't so humid.  I know I shouldn't be complaining because there are some states have it so much worse but I am warm, very warm, and having a classroom in which the air conditioner isn't working right now is not fun.. AT ALL

Do you have any plans this weekend?
mine consist of Prom, Alumni Get together, and joining a new running group! Ahh wish me luck:)

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's almost show time

... and by showtime I mean raceday

I still here writing his and it is just about 36 hours until I get into that water to start the 1500 meter swim for St. Anthony's Triathlon.  

So many thoughts are going through my mind right now I don't really know where to start nor am I going to put them out here.  My anxiety is elevated but I do know however long it takes me to finish.. I will finish.. Unless there is a flat tire then I really do not know what I am going to do, besides cry.

So here are my goals

1.  Finish
2.  Not die
3.  Be able to function on Monday :)

Ok, so here are my other goals.


I want to make it out of the water and not be the last one out.  I have never done a tri before so I ideally have no idea how long it is going to take.  1500 meters, can I be out in 45 minutes?  I hope so.  

The Bike

Not fall or break the bike.
The Bike is 40k which is about 25 miles.  I am not a strong biker (yet) so I am hoping to finish under two hours.  There are turn on the course and well, knowing me, I will fully unclip for those and slow down.  Better safe than sorry in my book.

The Run

I am looking forward to this run.  I am looking forward to being done with the swim and bike and just going.  The temperate has been on the rise for the last few days and by the time I am ready to run it will probably close to 11:30?  My original goal was sub 11 min miles but with the temps being close to 90, I really don't know what will happen.  I will still strive for that goal..

so Final goal.. Finish around 4 hours.

And there you go ladies and gents, my very high goals for my first triathlon.

Also, thank you to everyone who has donated and supported me along the way.  This was NOT an individual effort.

What are your tips for my first tri?
How much am I completely forgetting?