AUG. 10, 2019


how to fundraise

Thank you for helping to save lives faster through Obliteride! We’re here to help you meet your goals for fundraising. Bonus: we have tips and tricks for all levels of fundraisers.
  • NEW fundraisers: If you’re thinking, “How am I ever going to meet my fundraising goal?” we’ve got good news for you — it’s easier than you think. Start here
  • PRO fundraisers: If you're looking to raise your game, we’ve got you covered. Check out these clever ideas to raise the stakes.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the asking-people-for-money thing and just write a check for the minimum yourself, that’s OK too.
Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro, follow these six steps to Obliteride fundraising success:


Why are you Obliteriding? Your story is your most effective fundraising tool. Spend some time now to think about why you’re participating in Obliteride. Here are some questions to guide you:

What does Obliteride mean to you? Why is it important to you to raise money for cancer research at Fred Hutch? Have you or a loved one been affected by cancer? Are you excited by the fitness challenge? What’s your passion?

But don’t take our word for it, take the advice of David Lazar, an experienced rider, veteran fundraiser and Obliteride supporter: 

“Asking will be 10 times more meaningful ― and easier ― if you’re clear on why you’re asking.”  — Read more of David’s tips for “the dreaded ask.”

For inspiration, read about the latest breakthroughs in cancer research at Fred Hutch or visit the Hutch campus to learn firsthand how people like you are accelerating lifesaving science.

step 2: set your goal

What’s your fundraising goal? Don’t be afraid to push yourself. If you’re new to fundraising, we promise: you can do it. Are you an experienced Obliteride fundraiser? Challenge yourself to raise more than you did last year to fuel Fred Hutch's ambitious goal to cure cancer faster.

And if you need a little extra nudge to stretch yourself, check out these incentives for our top fundraisers!

Remember that each route has a fundraising minimum that you must hit. 

“Who would have thought that after just five personal fundraising asks and posts on my social media, I achieved my goal?” – Newbie fundraiser Bo Jungmayer. Read more about how fundraising was easier than Bo expected.

step 3: plan

How are you going to reach your goal? Writing a fundraising plan now will help keep you on track. Your plan might start out something like this. What fun ideas would you add? If you need inspiration, check out the fundraising ideas we’ve gathered. Need more help? Download an example fundraising plan.

My fundraising goal: raise $5,000 by june 29
Date idea notes estimated amount to raise
tomorrow send individual emails to potential top givers in address book tell personal story; ask for stretch-goal minimum gift  
this weekend send indivdual emails to rest of address book tell personal story; ask for minimum gift  
  your idea here    
  your idea here    

Don’t forget to capture matching gifts! If your donors’ employers match gifts, it doubles their impact ― and helps you raise way more for cancer research at the Hutch.

Remember: Your fundraising deadline is a month after Obliteride: September 12, 2019 at 11:59 p.m., but some of the fundraising incentives have earlier deadlines. So start early and send reminders often.

Whether you’re a wary new fundraiser or a fundraising champ, keep these tried-and-true tips in mind as you make your game plan (and then check out our full list of Obliteride fundraising ideas).

Top 5 tips for new fundraisers

1. Just ask
2. Just ask. There’s a reason this tip is No. 1 and No. 2! Cancer affects everyone and people want to help you. Think of it this way ― by asking, you’re giving your donors a gift: the opportunity to make a difference. And if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
3. Make it personal. Share your story of why you’re Obliteriding. And avoid mass emails ― people will be inspired by the effort it took you to write them personally. 
4. Make it easy. Include a link to your fundraising page when you send a fundraising email, and be ready to share the link in person. You may want to make a short, easy-to-remember URL for your page using a service like tinyurl.com.
5. Offer incentives. For $10, dedicate a mile or kilometer to a person of your donor’s choice. For $25, put ribbons with your donor’s name on your bike handles. The possibilities are endless! Get creative, and don’t be afraid to get a little silly — it’s for a good cause.

Top 5 tips for fundraising pros to raise their game

1. Ask in person. An in-person request for donations can be harder, but it’s more likely to inspire giving. Make it fun ― enjoy happy hour or coffee with a friend you’re asking for support.
2. Don’t be shy asking for a stretch donation if you think a potential donor has the capacity and the inspiration to give big. Share your story and ask for their help in meeting your ambitious goal.
3. Leverage matching gifts. Arrange an enthusiastic donor ― or yourself ― to double every gift made to your ride. Or make a self-donation and challenge others to match it. Any way you do it, you’ll inspire more gifts by multiplying donor impact.
4. Tell your story with video, and share it widely. For inspiration, check out these videos created by some of our dedicated (and talented!) supporters, Bob Pattillo and Team Celebrating Carol and Movin' for Marilyn.
5. Form a team. There’s strength in numbers; pool your talents and energy to go big. Really big.

step 4: create your fundraising page

Log in to your Participant Center and personalize your fundraising page. (We recommend using the Chrome browser while you’re in your Participant Center.) Tell the story you crafted in Step 1, enter your fundraising goal and don’t forget to add a photo of yourself.

If you need help setting up and using your Participant Center after you log in, see the “Resources” link in the upper right corner of your screen. Resources include a step-by-step guide for working with your Participant Center, sharing your page on social media and more.

step 5: just ask

Now you’re ready to start asking for donations. Make a list of everyone you’re going to ask. Think about:

Colleagues Friends Businesses you frequent
Clients Family Acquaintances
Neighborhood businesses Employers Alumni groups
Clubs Neighbors Religious groups
Doctors and dentists barbers and hairstylists People whose causes you have contributed to

For each donor, think about how much they might be able to give: people just out of college might only be able to give $20, but some of your donors could reach $250 or beyond ― even $1,000.

Approach your highest-value donors first — studies have shown that donors will base the amount of their gift on what others have already given. From each person, request a donation you think they could hit. And for some people, ask for a stretch amount!

There are a lot of ways to ask, from email and social media to asking in person and holding fundraising events. Check out the fundraising ideas we’ve gathered for inspiration.

Inspire people to give by telling your story. Remember, 100% of every dollar you raise goes directly to cancer research at Fred Hutch; be sure to let your donors know.

Incorporate your excitement for Obliteride in everyday conversations, and see where the conversation takes you ― you may be surprised at the opportunities you have to ask for support!

Be persistent, and don’t be shy about following up. Everyone is busy. Someone may have intended to donate but forgot, and it’s OK to remind them.

A spreadsheet can help you keep track of everyone you’ve asked, their responses, and your follow-ups with them, including thank you notes.

One of our dedicated supporters offers this advice:

“My best fundraising tip is to never miss an opportunity. Always be prepared to send out the link to your fundraising page by text, email, Twitter, whatever.” – Rex Miller, fundraising guru. Read more fundraising advice from Rex.

step 6: say 'thank you'

Remember to thank your donors. You’ll give them another opportunity to enjoy the feeling of helping you ― and helping to end cancer by accelerating research at Fred Hutch. Plus, they’ll be more likely to donate again or even participate themselves in the future.

Thank your donors shortly after they make their gift, after the ride and after you complete your fundraising. Keep them posted on your training, share news about discoveries at the Hutch and update them on your ride or walk ― make them a part of your experience!

Use Facebook? Tag your donors in a thank-you post after they give. This often reminds other friends to donate, too!