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View Full Version : I Need Help Starting a Hike For Charity



JohnnyQuest
05-20-2004, 10:16
Well, first of all, I'm new to this forum, so "Hello" to everyone. My reas on for posting? I'm planning on a 2005 thru-hike and I want it to benefit a charity, but I need help with getting it started.



I've been hanging around these boards for a few months now and I've noticed how a lot of people hike for different charities. I think this is a great idea (if you're going to be out on the trail anyway, why not help someone else), and I'm planning on doing my hike to benefit Baltimore's Public Schools, which are facing a $58 million defecit.

I need some help from those who've hiked for charities in the past. How did you go about getting sponsors? What's the best way to approach a corporation? Any help or insight you could provide would be immensely appreciated.

Post here, or e-mail me at jdmann13@yahoo.com THANKS!

Lone Wolf
05-20-2004, 10:24
Check with the ATC. I think it's against the law to raise $ on the AT.

Blue Jay
05-20-2004, 11:10
Check with the ATC. I think it's against the law to raise $ on the AT.

That was unfair, now I have to work all day while laughing my A$$ off.

orangebug
05-20-2004, 12:35
I need some help from those who've hiked for charities in the past. How did you go about getting sponsors? What's the best way to approach a corporation? Any help or insight you could provide would be immensely appreciated.

If you have no track record of hiking or fund raising for charities, I doubt that you will find much interest from corporate sponsors or other donors. You might try to garner interest by actually partnering with the school system, although I doubt even a challenge campaign would do anything that substantially impacts a public school system's budget. I'd recommend that you become involved with volunteer activities and civic groups on a routine basis, rather than expect a thru hike to be a successful fund raising activity.

Bill...

steve hiker
05-20-2004, 13:04
I'll donate a pile of dawg doo. :bse

Desert Lobster
05-20-2004, 15:32
Could you be broke and want a free hike? There are some wealthy hikers, but I think it will be difficult to raise 58 mil!

JohnnyQuest
05-20-2004, 18:25
Could you be broke and want a free hike?
That's not my motivation at all. I'm paying for my gear, food, etc. I'll be asking corporations (and individuals) to pledge a dollar amount per mile I walk. So, if I complete a thru hike, and someone had pledged a penny per mile, they'd owe $21.60...or there abouts.

I'm going to obtain non-profit status from the IRS, so all donations will be tax deductable. I'm also in the process of setting up a web site which will explain everything.

100% of the donations will go directly to the Baltimore City Public Schools. I know I can't raise $58 million, but that doesn't mean I can't help.

At this point I'm just trying to get a feel for the best way to approach corporations with my idea. For anyone who's done something similar to this...any tips?

Chappy
05-20-2004, 18:38
www.thawookie.com

eyahiker
05-20-2004, 19:28
:sun You'll need to start up a 501C (3), file a ficticious name with your state as a legit business if you are going to do all the stuff in your last post ( except start a website) of course there is the issue of liability if one of your 'sponsors/donors' wants all of the legal paperwork and accounting for all monies raised and their actual dispersion, otherwise they can file fraud charges against you, especially if you claimed if their donation was tax deductable ( not that this is your chosen route)

To avoid all the hassle.........

I would suggest the following:

1) pick an established, legitimate charity which you wish to suport
2) Let the charity know your intentions, they will most likely provide you with some of their literature.
3) Tell people what you are doing, however their funds would need to be directly donated to the charity itself, with no collecting or passing through of your hands, thus you will not be liable...........

Unless of course you don't hike that far and someone get's pissed if they find out that you misrepresented yourself, however they probably will just give the money to the charity anyway if they are the kind of person who would consider doing the above in the first place.....

Lone Wolf
05-20-2004, 23:44
You're motives are all well and good, admirable actually. Your chances for success really ain't likely. hike or raise $. Not both.

JohnnyQuest
05-21-2004, 09:21
Why are people viewing a charity hike as an anomaly? Based on the trail journals I've read, hiking to benefit one cause or another is fairly common.

Secondly, even if my family and friends are the only ones to contribute, the hike will be a success. The city schools will have "x" amount of dollars that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Even the greatest journey must begin with a single step. I thought hikers, if anyone, would understand this mentality.

Chappy
05-21-2004, 09:32
Why are people viewing a charity hike as an anomaly? Based on the trail journals I've read, hiking to benefit one cause or another is fairly common.

Secondly, even if my family and friends are the only ones to contribute, the hike will be a success. The city schools will have "x" amount of dollars that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Even the greatest journey must begin with a single step. I thought hikers, if anyone, would understand this mentality.
JohnnyQ: Don't get discouraged. It's an admirable cause...make it happen. I'm not familiar with charity drives or fund raising, but would start with the school system. Get them to buy into your vision. When that happens you'll probably be able to get pledges from teachers, administrators, parents, etc. Maybe there are charitable foundations that have matching gift programs.

Just some thoughts to help you get started.

A-Train
05-21-2004, 10:34
Johhny Quest-

I'd recomend skipping the middle man (i.e. this site board) and going straight to the folks who have sucessfully hiked for a charity. Jan Liteshoe and Wookie are two that come to the top of my head. Also One Leg from this year. If you search trailjournals you can probably get a bunch of email addies for these hikers, and avoid all this bullying your getting for stating your intentions.

That being said, I don't really agree with using the App. Trail as a vehicle to raise money. That is not the purpose or reason for the AT existing. However, your intentional is very noble and worthy and I wish you the best of luck if you find a way to make it work!

eyahiker
05-21-2004, 10:35
Well said A-Train.

orangebug
05-21-2004, 11:48
Why are people viewing a charity hike as an anomaly? Based on the trail journals I've read, hiking to benefit one cause or another is fairly common....

Even the greatest journey must begin with a single step. I thought hikers, if anyone, would understand this mentality.

I hear you trying to reinvent the wheel regarding fund raising and support of a local charity. I strongly suggest that you partner now with a local civic and charitable association (Rotary International, for instance) and be involved with something with one of the Baltimore public schools. From that point you would be able to partner with a bona fide 501 (c) 3 not for profit charitable foundation if you find hiking and fund raising to be desirable.

If you really wish to try to plan a hike _and_ create your own foundation _and_ deal with corporations and other donors, you are a bigger man than me. I think you are making this more difficult than necessary.

Bill...

Spirit Walker
05-21-2004, 12:29
Besides, it costs quite a bit of money to set up as a non-profit, and there's a lot of paperwork. I seem to remember it costs at least $500, though that may be wrong.

Mini-Mosey
05-23-2004, 10:53
A former thruhiker named Jeff Alt hiked the AT to raise money for the homes where his disabled brother lived;he hiked in 1998. He wrote a book about it and included suggestions on how to go about a charity hike. I believe it is called "A Walk for Sunshine". The last time I was at the ATC in Harper's Ferry, I saw copies of the book. Also, I've seen it in libraries. Check it out.

JohnnyQuest
05-26-2004, 12:48
Thanks! I'll be sure to search the libraries for a copy of that book.

Tha Wookie
05-27-2004, 00:39
Keep the faith. You can do anything you don't believe you can't.

And build legitimacy.

You'll do well.

(sorry I wrote a big long post but it disappeared and all this typing is keeping up Island Mama so you get the boiled down version)

:sun