359 days: The Plan

Last Saturday I introduced WHAT: raise $10,000 for charity by Sept. 22, 2013.

On Sunday I discussed WHY. “And this time I have a plan.”

The rest of this week I’ve been focusing on the WHO and the HOW.

  • From Monday through Thursday I introduced you to the 4 organizations I would like to support over the next year. We’ve met: HerShe, the ASPCA, LIVESTRONG, and the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
  • Today I am finally going to explain the mechanisms behind my plan, and describe how YOU can get involved. I’ve tried to keep my posts short to this point… this one is going to be loooooooonnnnng. Because this plan is ambitious. But don’t worry… I’ll be repeating this information this year. A lot.

Let’s be honest here. When I turned to Lauren as we were sitting on the couch one night and said, in a moment of crazed inspiration,

“Hey, I have a GREAT idea! I want to raise some money for some worthy causes while training for Ironman Lake Tahoe next year! In fact, I think I can raise $10,000!!!”

you can be certain that I had a bit of liquid courage flowing through my veins. Maybe it was during our weekly Vintage Cocktail Friday evening after a Rob Roy or two, or perhaps I had rediscovered that wonderful bottle of Scotch that Papa Jeff and Suzanne gifted me on my birthday. At the moment it seemed like destiny. Piece o’ cake. Hey, it’s only $10,000.

And then I woke up the next morning, staring at the ceiling, glad I didn’t have headache. Until I started thinking about the snowball I set in motion the night before. $10,000. Ouch! How the hell am I going to raise $10,000!? That is when the real headache set in.

And then, out of nowhere, a plan started to fall into place.

Very astute readers of this blog for the past week may have noticed a few things.

  1. As I introduced each of the 4 organizations this week, the very last “for more information” link was to that organization’s Crowdrise page.
  2. I keep on saying that I am going to get YOU involved.
  3. I introduced 4 organizations and set fundraising goals of $2,000 for each. 4×2… Ummm, that is only $8,000. Aren’t we supposed to be raising $10,000? And, Jeff, aren’t you supposed to be a mathematician?

Let’s address these one at a time by tackling the basic question that each of these answer.

1. Crowdrise

How the heck was I going to organize this effort?

I needed a way to accept donations online, allowed me to track progress toward the goal, let me support multiple organizations, let those who contribute realize the tax benefits of their charitable contribution, and didn’t suck away all the donations in overhead costs.

Does such a place exist? Yep. Crowdrise. Go check it out. It took just a few minutes to get it all set up. In the blink of an eye the administration and bookkeeping aspects of this effort went from extremely daunting to quite simple.

2. YOU

How the heck am I (are we) going to raise all this money?

I did some quick budgeting and realized that I could probably put together $2,500 this next year toward this goal, and if I packed my lunches more often, took the train and bus to the office more regularly, and cut a few corners, I could probably increase this by another several hundred dollars. I also realize that there are really only so many times I can go to y’all for the contributions. BUT, if I can motivate you all to also adopt some element of this cause as your own, our combination of creative ideas plus our combined networks of friends/family… wow! If I can pull that off, this wouldn’t seem so daunting.

But how do I get YOU to own a piece of this goal? I make sure YOU get something out of this deal. More on this in a bit.

3. $8,000 ≠ $10,000

What mechanisms are at my disposal to get my friends and family to buy in to this thing?

I think the organizations I selected are really pretty awesome. Lauren loves HerShe. Lori thinks the ASPCA is the bee’s knees. Mike is a Sarcoma Foundation of America devotee. Suzanne (both of them!) applaud seeing LIVESTRONG on the list. But I know many of you have very specific causes you want to support that aren’t on my list. I saved some room for you to bring organizations that you support to this effort, too. Almost any non-profit you can think of has a Crowdrise page… and if they don’t, we can help remedy that.

But, let’s get back to this “YOU” part.

I’ve established that I have budgeted at least $2,500 toward making this happen. How can I convert this $2,500+ investment into $10,000? I could contribute a few hundred dollars each month to a cause, beg you to do the same… but that would get really old, really fast. And we would likely fall short. So, I want to put this money to good use, and am willing to lose my ability to take this as a tax deduction in order to make that happen. I think it’s a fantastic investment. Here is how I propose we do this:

1. Donate If you feel inspired, at any time over this next year, please jump on over to the Crowdrise page for this event and throw in a few bucks to the organization of your choice. Each organization has its own “team” on my Crowdrise event page; contribute there and it counts toward the goal. I’ve even seeded each team a bit. And on Saturday I am going to challenge you to make that seed grow!

2. Events Over the next year Lauren and I, and hopefully some of you, will be hosting events. The proceeds from these events will be applied toward a designated charity. These events will include wine tastings, dinner parties, fishing the Columbia River on a jetboat, group ballroom dancing lessons, poker nights, bowling (both real and Wii!)… the list goes on. Your nominal contribution toward the targeted charity gains event admission and I, out of my own pocket, will fund the activity and make sure you are fed & beveraged. And those who’ve been to a Duda-Oram event in the past know that we don’t skimp on those parts.

3. RACES! I am willing to sponsor several races over the next year. If you want to run in a 10k or marathon, or bicycle your first century, or give triathlon a tri (ha!), let’s have a chat. If we agree on the race:

  • I will pay your entry fee.
  • I will help you train and prepare for the race.
  • In some cases I can even help with equipment needs and logistics.
  • In return you will help me raise funds toward the goal, due by Sept. 22, 2013.
      • If you choose one of my charities, I ask you to raise 2.5x the race entry fee.
      • If you choose some other charity, I ask that you raise 4x the race entry fee.
      • For example: The race costs $100. I will pay that. And prepare you. By Sept. 22, 2013, you need have raised $250 (or $400 for your own cause).
      • And you get to do your fundraising via Crowdrise with your own team at the Tri-ing for a Challenge event page.

Prepare yourselves. I am going to call out a couple of you by name on this. Suzi. Cousin Paul. James. Karl & Emily (& Juniper!). Marc & Amy. Daria (& Michael!). Blackwell. Steph. Joelle (& Chris!). Even Papa Jeff & Suzanne! And I’ll be calling out more of you this year. Think about the race/event you want to do… and I am going to push you a bit. Probably to do something you didn’t think you could do… but can.

And on this topic I am THROWING MY FIRST GAUNTLET. I am sponsoring a team for the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage on July 19-20, 2013. I joined a group of awesome people last year to do this race and had one of the absolute best times of my life. Seriously, seriously fun. The general idea: 12 runners, ~36 hours, 200 miles from Blaine, WA to Whidbey Island. You will run in the daytime heat. You will run in the dark. You might even run in the rain. You will sleep on crowded gymnasium floors and shower in high school locker rooms. You will spend hours in a smelly van. You will be in pain. You will eat reconstituted powdered eggs for breakfast (and swear it was the best meal you’ve ever eaten). But you will have an awesome time, quite possibly one of the most fun times in your life. The race entry fee works out to about $125-ish/person… and I need 11 additional runners willing to raise their 2.5x or 4x in contributions (because I am going to be running!). Let me know if you are interested…

4. I Challenge You There will be times I throw a random challenge out there. Do something, and I will contribute my own money or provide a prize. In fact, I have one in mind that will start tomorrow. These might include any of the following, or perhaps a mix of some of these:

  • Donation matching – you kick in some $$, I’ll match it.
  • Do something specific on a certain day, I’ll donate $$. Wear the right thing… bike the right distance… run a certain amount…
  • Every donation over a period of time gets an entry, and one or more of those entries will be randomly rewarded with something really very cool.

5. You Challenge Me (or Us) I am a confident man. I am a competitor. And so are many of you. Bring your own challenge out to us like outlined above. Or we can make a wager, with the wager proceeds going to one of the 4 organizations. It can be anything. Running, cycling, swimming? I’m in. Golf, volleyball, checkers, backgammon, a staring contest. I am so there. BRING. IT. ON.

So, now you know the plan. It is big. And I have more ideas.

Honestly, this $10,000 challenge scares the holy living poop out of me. Ironman Tahoe Lake scares the holy living poop out of me. Working together, I hope you can help me be less scared, and help a whole bunch of deserving causes in the process.

This entry was posted in Challenge, Ragnar, The Journey. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 359 days: The Plan

  1. OK Jeff, BJ laughs at me, but I’m a big believer in something somewhere between Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “The Secret”. In other words, don’t be scared. Just know that it will happen. You have loads of awesome friends who all have different sets of friends. We also all have different causes which are near and dear to us. I have three causes which always open the checkbook: Animals, Hospice, and Alzheimer’s. You happened to pick one of my three.

    Since we have some time, I have some time to think of something clever I can do for ASPCA to help raise money using some of my “Lori skills”. They’re very specialized, you know…. ha ha (I’m so conceited!)

    In the past, I’ve built a website for a school program (my donation was a website and the school won), but my web skills are old and tired. I have new more amazing skills. I’ll come up with something… you just wait and see….

  2. Daria says:

    BTW, Michael has requested that in lieu of your sponsorships for our races, you arrange access to the telescope… =)

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