Peanut butter and jelly…Hammers and nails…Tires and tubes. These things go together like Mike and Karen Powers, FCBA’s dynamic duo from Summerfield, FL. Mike and Karen are first-time FCBA riders this year, but quickly rose to fame by winning the inaugural March Madness competition, when they raised over $3,000 in just 18 days! With almost $7,000 raised in total, the “Powers Couple” is now zeroing in on their joint goal of $8,000. Mike and Karen are whole-way riders on the San Francisco to Savannah ride this summer, and took some time off from training and fundraising to share a few nuggets of wisdom with us this week.
Read more about the Powers’ ride – and consider donating to their campaign – at: https://fullercenter.donorpages.com/BikeAdventure/KarenPowers/
FCBA: Why did you decide to join the Fuller Center Bike Adventure this year?
K & M: “We were looking for an opportunity to volunteer for a wonderful cause and have a summertime adventure for ourselves at the same time. We wanted to do something big! We researched various options and discovered that the Fuller Center and their Bike Adventure had the best reputation. We are more than happy to raise the money and put in the practice miles to help families in need of a home they can be proud of, and we are looking forward to a summer spent biking across our country with new friends!”
FCBA: It’s awesome that you are riding as a husband and wife team. What strategies/methods have worked well for you two so far, as you’ve worked together to meet your big goal?
K & M: “We planned a multi-faceted approach to fundraising since we are trying to raise a fairly large sum of $8,000. We started off by using Facebook as a quick and easy way to tell our friends and family what we were about to accomplish; we created a fundraising group on Facebook and have been using it to update our friends and family about our fundraising and training. We have also been able to round up a few key people who have helped us fundraise by reaching out to their own networks of friends and family. We got a good response sending out letters to all of family and friends.
The March Madness contests motivated us to start contacting businesses we frequent in our area, and that worked out well. We learned a lot from that particular contest, most importantly that, when asked, most people are willing to help. The key is to ask.
In summary, we started early and stuck with our plan. We do not have much experience with fundraising, but we learned early on that there are a lot of good people out there willing to donate, whether for the cause, for us, or to be part of something big – something greater than themselves. We just had to ask them!”
FBCA: Can you offer any final tips for Bike Adventurers as they kick their fundraising campaigns into high-gear this spring?
K & M: “Tell everyone you know what you’re doing and why, and then ask them to tell everyone they know. Seek donations early and often. Don’t be afraid to ask; the worst someone can say is no. Finally, use all of the resources that the FCBA offers: publicity help, the wealth of knowledge that Henry and Connor possess, and the support community of fellow riders. FCBA veteran Ann Coleman has been a big inspiration and support for us, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the riders who come back year after year to raise money for the Fuller Center. It is clearly a cause they believe in, and they have been raising lots of money for several years now, so they must be on to something!”