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Riding 200 miles and fundraising $1,000 may seem like a lot, but we're here to help! The 2018 Executive Committee fundraising chairs, Steven Acosta, Curtis Edwards, and Patrick Lannon support the Ride and fundraising efforts. If this is your first time fundraising for a large event, do not hesitate to send fundraising questions to the committee by emailing: Every big accomplishment begins with a small step. Give your fundraising a strong start by following these simple steps: 

1. Make it personal

First thing's first: why are you participating in this year's Ride for AIDS? What's your story? Think about why RFAC is important to you. Are you riding in someone's honor or memory? Are you riding to challenge yourself? If you're crewing, remind your donors that you aren't required to fundraise, but are doing so because the impact is that important to you! Write a few sentences about what you hope to achieve by participating. Add this statement and a personal picture to your RFAC fundraising website.

2. Know your impact

Review for information about our programs and services. Your donations support all of TPAN's programs, which are underfunded and provided free of charge to our clients. Study up on HIV in America: There are 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV, including an estimated 43,500 in Illinois; 1 in 8 do not know they carry the virus. Each year, Illinois sees 1,200 new infections. If you're part of a community partner team, your participation supports their work too.

3. Plan your ask—and ask early and often

The most important part of fundraising is asking. A good ask:

  • Shows your knowledge about HIV, stigma, and the issues RFAC addresses
  • Tells why the cause is important to you
  • Shares that you are fundraising to support TPAN's work 
  • Includes a specific donation amount

In-person asks are the most successful—it's harder to say no to someone in person—but you can send letter, emails, call people, or offer to knit, babysit, wash cars, etc. in exchange for donations. Be creative!

4. Build your network

Every single person you know is a potential donor. Friends, family, coworkers, of course. Look outside your immediate network for donors—dentist, doctor, hairdresser, realtor, financial planner, piano teacher, security guard are all potential donors. If you have someone's email address, mailing address, phone number, or they are a friend on social media, they're part of your donor network.

5. Get social

Update your status, profile picture, or cover photo to include RFAC and your fundraising webpage link. Post pictures of your training, your clothes laid out before a morning ride, and your progress. Thank your donors online! You'd be surprised by how many people donate because they, too, want to have a shout out on social media.

6. Not sure what picture to post? We have PLENTY of awesome social media images that you can use for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter here If you are participating as crew or rider, have a personalized social media ad made by filling out this form!

7. Thank your donors

After every donation, and especially after the Ride, thank your donors. Send out donor emails, postcards, or plan a thank you dinner. Show them how rewarding the experience was, how much RFAC raised, or how you thought of them on a particularly tough hill. Together, we're changing lives. Let your donors in on all that we've accomplished together!