The Ups and Downs of Fundraising

Here’s the lesson I learned today: don’t hang your hopes on one of your fundraising events until you’re sure it’s going to happen. It could very well end in disappointment. I did just that and got the bad news today that it wasn’t going to happen. In this scenario it was difficult not to take it personally initially. It is easy to dwell on the negatives. James and I took a walk to pick up some dinner and spent the entirety of it coming up with new strategies. Fundraising can be very frustrating. I work within an incredibly generous community of people, but accessing the entire community is not necessarily possible, and if it is, it could be difficult.

I think one of the greatest challenges I have with fundraising is trying to do it in a city where I am a relative newcomer. I am not nearby my family to press the cause in person. I depend on handwritten letters, facebook posts, and an internet forum where I’ve developed many friends over the years. It feels like is a weak sense of community in St. Louis– but perhaps it’s for being too large more than anything. I’ve been turned away for seemingly small things, like doing a bake sale, or having a plant sale at farmer’s markets. It surprised me because I’m from small, tight communities where helping is second nature. In cities, where need is more obvious, there’s almost too much charity– so much that some get pushed out. I think it must be the concentrating effect of the city.

Nonetheless, I have been completely floored by the warmth and support from my favorite internet forum. These are people who I have mostly never met, though we’ve bonded on the net over pop-culture, trivia, politics, and humor. Their collective generosity shouldn’t be surprising, but it is. These are people who made cartoons of me when I first forayed into triathlons, who gave me a hard time for picking James from amongst their ranks, who will destroy any poorly formed (or hey– even a well formed) argument I make, who wait with curiosity to see what ridiculous menu I’ve cooked up for myself today, and the list could go on. I would like to recognize these folks, because they truly overwhelm me!

Rebecca, Tim, Eli, Andrew, Edward, Allison, Christian, Bryce, and of course (though perhaps he shouldn’t count) my partner James.

Thanks to their most recent donations, I am now over 20% of my fundraising goal. Cheers, friends!

  1. Hey Reesh! Are you saying that fundraising, in addition to fundraising online, is not going to happen? Or are you saying that you don’t think you are going to make your goal? Or are you saying that we won’t be able to donate through the link on this blog anymore? I am still hoping to donate soon.

    • Hey Levi!

      No, mostly I was musing!!! I suppose I wasn’t clear. The purpose of my blog is to not only highlight my big adventure over the summer, but to provide future “Big Riders” with an idea of what it will be like during the training/fundraising process as well. When I was getting ready to register, I really hoped to find some perspective and ended up having no such luck. So that’s what I’m trying to do! Fundraising is chugging along though. :) Donations will be accepted until June 17th! Thanks for thinking of me :)

  2. Johnathan Mercer said:

    Yeah, fundraising can be a real tough job. I have tried fundraising certain film projects that I work on, and it’s very stressful. But keep at it, you’re doing a great job, and for an important cause. We need to raise awareness for clean air, especially in a day and age where our bodies are bombarded with chemicals. I mean places still use asbestos in certain factories! It blows my mind, but this article really shed some light on the topic for me.

    Stay strong, and good luck. I’ll be checking in on your progress.

    • This is why I love the American Lung Association– they spend a good deal of funds raised on working to prevent carcinogens from permeating the environment in the first place. Cancer prevention!!! Who would have thought it! Thanks for your comment and your support!

  3. Sherry said:

    Larissa, you’re right–cancer prevention is very important! But I still think we need to do more. I was reading that site Jonathon posted and I can’t believe that although we banned the mining of asbestos here in the US, tons of the toxic chemical are still imported from abroad! I saw that they found asbestos in children’s school science kits. Its bad enough we still import the toxic chemical, let alone expose the youth to it! What’s wrong with us?!

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