In 2016, Running with the Bears participants raised $50,000 for Mountain Circle’s foster kids. This year, we hope to raise $25,000 more for a new record of $75,000! Will you help us??
Running with the BearsTM (RWTB) is a fundraiser BY and FOR Mountain Circle Family Services, and the foster children and families we serve.
What is Mountain Circle? We are a non-profit foster care and adoption agency in Northern California and Nevada. Every day, we ensure children in ‘the system’ are placed in the most stable, loving, and safe temporary homes as possible. Sometimes, we assist these families to adopt. Our goal is to provide the very best training and support to foster parents, and the resources and opportunities which foster children need to become happy and independent adults. Although we receive government support to meet the basic needs of foster families, we know these children need more. RWTB helps us to provide the activities which help foster children to feel normal; camp tuition, holiday gifts, back-to-school bags, after-school sports, and outdoor leadership adventures for teens. YOUR fundraising makes these activities possible.
Our goal is to raise $75,000!
Check out this short video about how you made a difference to our teens last year. Hint: This trip is not just about skiing…
The average age of a foster child is 10 years old.
Nationwide, there are 415,129 children who cannot live with their biological parents due to no fault of their own. Many have been abused or neglected.
In 2014, 22,392 youth emancipated* — or “aged-out”— from the foster care system. Mountain Circle has a program to specifically support these older youth with life skills and vocational training.
For foster children who never find a permanent home, the consequences are significant and long-term: only 50% will complete high school and 25% will be homeless.
Check out this short video to see how Mountain Circle is committed to changing these statistics –one kid at a time.
1.) Create an online fundraising page with your photo, a little about YOU, and why you care about children in foster care.
2.) Get the ball rolling by emailing your closest contacts. Use one of our templates below- simply copy and paste with your name and fundraising goals. In our experience, one of the very best ways to get your donations fast is to ask your boss or company to sponsor you! Let them know that this cause is important to you, and that Running with the Bears will acknowledge their donation everywhere. Last year, companies such as Verizon, Blue Shield, and many others, we’re excited to donate to Mountain Circle and Running with the Bears on behalf of their employees.
3.) Social media blasts. Check out how our friend Rodney did it! Sometimes all you have to do is ask (he raised $200 from this post alone…)
The Post: The Result:
Tips for fundraising on Facebook:
- Every update should include a link to your personal fundraising webpage.
- Highlight fundraising milestones as you reach them.
- Include stories about why you are fundraising, or why this cause matters to you.
- Tag your donors in your posts, and thank them for their donation.
- When you get close to your goal, encourage your friends to help you reach and exceed it.
- Ask your friends to share your fundraising webpage with their friends.
- Be sure to share videos of Mountain Circle’s work from our webpage: http://www.mountaincircle.org/about-us/videos
4.) THANK YOU’s! We send every single one of your donors a thank you note- but let’s double the effort! Thank them online, by email, or in person. Everyone wants to know that their gift matters.
Here is how your supporter’s gifts make a difference to our foster kids:
$50 means that a foster child can attend after-school sports or dance lessons.
$100 is a new car seat for baby’s safe trip from the hospital to their new foster home.
$150 buys emergency clothing for a child who comes in with nothing.
$200 is 150 hours of paid vocational training to an emancipating foster youth at our Nu-2-U Thrift Store.
$600 provides an older youth with an outdoor leadership adventure weekend.
$1,000 pays for the certification fees for ten foster parent families.
Additional Tips For Fundraisers:
Be direct and honest. Ask for what you need, as simply as possible. Be personal. Think of how you would ask for help from a friend or family member.
Need ideas on who to ask? Check out a recent blog by one of our most successful Running with the Bears Charity Runners, Angela. http://www.runningwiththebears.org/uncategorized/how-to-raise-500-in-five-weeks-for-charity. Hint: Ask your doctor, your grocery store manager, your boss, your mom or dad, your running crew….
Most importantly, remember that most people are looking to make a positive difference in the world. Here at Mountain Circle, we believe that investing in the lives of foster care children is a great place to start. If you believe that too, share the message of this fundraiser! Your supporters will appreciate the opportunity to get involved 🙂
Here are templates that you may use for your requests:
SUBJECT LINE: Help me reach my Running with the Bears goal! All gifts support children in foster care.
Dear [First Name],
As you may already know, I’m participating in the Running with the Bears race. I’m really excited about competing—so wish me luck! I’m running to support Mountain Circle Family Services, a wonderful non-profit organization that serves nearly 100 foster care children and youth each day. I would really appreciate it if you would sponsor me through my online fundraising page (or even the old fashioned way, a check in the mail…) My goal is to raise [dollar amount], which will allow Mountain Circle to provide exceptional experiences like summer camp, vocational training, and leadership adventures, to the foster children and teens they work with each day. Every dollar counts and even a donation of as little as $20 will help provide the resources that help foster kids feel more normal– like school clothes, and holiday gifts. It’s really easy to give online, and you get a tax-deductible receipt for your donation emailed directly to you.
Just click on the link below to visit my fundraising page. [Fundraising Page URL] Thanks so much for your help, [Your Name]!
“Hey friends, I need your support!! I am Running with the Bears in August (yikes!), but it’s for a great cause- children and youth in foster care. My goal is to raise over $600 for Mountain Circle Family Services. Can you help with just $10 or $20? Every single dollar makes a difference to these kids. Thank you! Check out this short video on how your donation makes a difference! http://www.mountaincircle.org/about-us/videos”
FAQ’s for Running with the Bears Fundraisers:
Q.) What is the deadline for accepting donations? We can accept donations until race day, but in order to be considered an official Charity Runner (and get the goodies…) you must raise $600 by July 20th
Q.) What do I do if I’m having a problem with my personal fundraising page? Just contact Josie at (530) 284 7007, or JLitchfield@mountainCircle.org
Q.) Can my donors make a gift offline? Yes, we can accept donations by check or cash too! Checks may be mailed to PO Box 554 Greenville, CA 95947. Make sure they make a note of your name so that your fundraising page gets credit.
Q.) What happens when I raise $600 or more? You will receive a bunch of fab swag (say that 10 times!)- including a special goody bag, tech socks, a ticket to the Post-Race Lu’au, and a lightweight Running with the Bears finishers jacket in your size.
We know you don’t fundraise just for the jacket….but it’s a nice perk, right?? A custom-designed lightweight Running with the Bears running jacket is our way of saying THANK YOU for making a difference!!
More information can be found here: http://www.runningwiththebears.org/charity-runners