Fundraising for the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride
The Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride is a fantastic community event that raises funds for a great cause: clean water in Buzzards Bay. Each rider raises a minimum of $300. Last year alone, riders like you raised $397,000 for clean water in Buzzards Bay! Check out our best fundraising tips below, and contact us if you have questions or need help reaching your fundraising goal.
What does the money I raise go toward?
The Watershed Ride is a fundraiser for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, a membership-supported nonprofit organization that protects clean water in communities across the Buzzards Bay region. Every dollar you raise helps support the Coalition's work to improve the health of the Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.
What's the best way to get started with fundraising?
Fundraising is simple if you approach it with enthusiasm and a positive outlook. The best way to get started is to set up your Personal Page in your Participant Center. On your Personal Page, you can share photos, videos, and your story about why you’re riding for clean water in Buzzards Bay. Your friends and family will be happy to donate to your Ride when you tell them why it's important to you.
From the Participant Center, you can also send emails to friends, family members, and coworkers asking to support your Ride. To make it easy, we’ve included sample emails — all you have to do is personalize them and hit send!
Have friends and family who don't want to donate online? No problem! Print out this fundraising form and give it to people who'd rather donate by cash or check. They can mail the form or drop it off with cash to our office at 114 Front Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. (Make sure they include your name so we know who it's for!)
When people donate to your Ride, make sure you thank them! Saying "thank you" will make your supporters feel good, which means they’ll be more willing to donate again next year! The Participant Center automatically sends a thank-you email when people give online. However, it’s always a good idea to personally thank each donor by sending them an email, calling them, or giving them a shout-out on social media.
What fundraising prizes can I win? (SWAG!)
There's another great reason for you to fundraise for the Watershed Ride: bragging rights...and prizes! All riders who raise more than $600, $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 will receive special prizes.
- Host a bake sale or lemonade stand
- Have a garage sale
- Consign old clothes you no longer wear
- Host a $5 dress-down day at work
- Lend a service — dog walking, tutoring, photography, or anything else you’re good at — in exchange for donations
- Start an office fundraising challenge to stir up some healthy competition among colleagues
The top individual riders, top first-time rider, and top team will also receive special fundraising prizes recognizing their achievement.
How can I raise $1,000?
Although the fundraising minimum is $300, we suggest that all riders set a fundraising goal of $1,000 or more. It might sound daunting to raise that much money, but trust us — you can do it as long as you have a plan! This handy-dandy handout is your step-by-step guide to raising $1,000 in only 10 days.
What are your best fundraising tips?
We’ve learned so many great fundraising ideas from our event participants over the years. Here are some of our favorite tips that have worked for hundreds of people just like you. (For even more ideas, download this list!)
Tip #1: Email — And Then Email Again
Whether you use your personal email account, social media, or your Participant Center, make sure to email your friends, family, and coworkers asking them to support your Watershed Ride. Make your message personal by sharing why you’re riding and what Buzzards Bay means to you.
Don’t be afraid to send more than one message. People are busy and don’t always have a chance to respond to your first appeal, so a reminder is often appreciated!
Tip #2: Write It Down (On Paper)
Stand out from the crowd by sending a handwritten note or letter. Some of your loved ones might appreciate the “snail mail,” particularly older relatives who aren’t as comfortable with email. Make sure to include a Watershed Ride donation form and a stamped, addressed envelope to make it easy for people to give. You could even include a photo of you on your bike near the water to show why you’re biking for clean water.
Tip #3: Get Social
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to share your Watershed Ride experience with your friends. Post a photo of you on your bike next to the water (with a link to your Participant Center page, of course!) to show others that you’re training hard for your Ride. Make sure to include the hashtag #savebuzzardsbay to connect with other riders and add your voice to the clean water cause. If you'll be fundraising via Facebook, be sure to set up the Facebook Fundraiser from your Participant Center so it automatically syncs back to your center and allows us to credit your supporters.
Tip #4: Work the Neighborhood
You support neighborhood businesses that you love — now see if your favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and other local businesses will support your Watershed Ride! Many local businesses are happy to help a good cause by posting flyers, placing a donation can at the register, or even donating a portion of a day’s sales to help you meet your goal.
Tip #5: Throw a Party
Put the “fun” in fundraising by throwing a party to support your Watershed Ride. Host an event that you can invite your friends (and their friends) to. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with people on a personal level and share your story in a lively environment. To raise money during your party, you can sell tickets, ask each person for a donation, or have a raffle with prizes that people donate. Your favorite local business might even be willing to host your event to support a good cause.
Tip #6: Get Creative
There are literally hundreds of ways you can fundraise for your Watershed Ride. Use your own creativity to come up with fundraising ideas that work for you! Here are a few more ideas — all tested by event participants like you:
Each rider is required to raise a minimum of $300. Teams are required to raise $300 x # of riders (e.g. A team with 5 riders must raise $1,500, but 3 riders could each raise $400, and the other 2 riders raise $150. Any combination to get to $1,500 is acceptable).