Hacking your First Sponsor Letter

The term “hacking” is originally from the computer world.  In the computer security context, a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network.   Ironically, the word “hack,” which originally meant someone had inadequate skill or knowledge for the task at hand, now means just the opposite.  For example, the phrase “life hack” is defined as a tool or technique that makes some aspect of one’s life easier or more efficient.  Think of “hacking” as a short cut with superior results.  It is with this more recent understanding of the word that I have written this article. Photo Credit: Flickr/Charis Tsevis

Part of a successful fundraising campaign is a sponsor letter.  Yet, many runners have never written one.  Sponsor letters are, in a way, proof that you are really running a 50 or 100 Mile race!  Think of a sponsor letter as a giant business card.  So, you ask, what should I include in a sponsor letter?  Here’s a quick outline.

If you don’t have a word processor, there’s always Google Docs.  If you don’t already have one, you can create an account for free.  Once you have created your account, click on the Create button on the left-hand side and then click on Document.  When you are done, you can email the final document to yourself and then have it printed at your local library.

The title: Pick something catchy.  Something like, “I’m Running 100 Miles to do My Part to Fight Childhood Obesity.”

Your photo: Make sure to include your photo.  Place it right next to your title so your reader sees it right away.

The introduction: You are you?  Where to you live?  How did you get into running?  Have kids?  Make a connection with your reader.  Be human.

The reason you are running: This is where you can add a few facts about childhood obesity.  For example: Did you know that 18% (or almost one in five) children, aged 6-19 in the United States are obese?  Further, this figure has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  (Source: CDC)

More about the 100 Mile Club®: The 100 Mile Club® is a 501(c)3 organization that as of this date has sponsored fitness chapters in more than 700 schools, some in every U.S. state, as well as three other countries (Canada, New Zealand and Japan). Children in participating schools earn medals, T-shirts and other incentives as they are encouraged, under supervision, to run 100 miles during the course of a school year. In the process, they incidentally also learn life lessons such as goal-setting, determination and team spirit. But the real target of these programs is to fight the country’s childhood obesity epidemic.  It only costs $10 to put a student through the 100 Mile Club® for an entire year.

What you hope to accomplish: Think big and people will respond.  How about something like, “My goal is to raise $1,000 for the 100 Mile Club®.”?

The closing and signature: Make sure to end your letter with the word “Sincerely,” followed by your name.  Next include your full name, address, phone number rand email address just in case they want to contact you later.

Putting it all together… This is the Sponsor Letter I created for Race Across USA.

 

I’m Running 3,079 Miles to do My Part to Fight Childhood Obesity.  Am I Crazy?

Darren Van SoyeI started running in 2005 after our family doctor challenged me to get a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise, three times a week. After getting a bit stronger, I signed up for my first race — a half marathon in early 2006, which I ran with our oldest daughter, Lauren.  Even though I publicly stated that running a marathon was “insane” I ran a marathon race later that year.  Now, I’m taking on an even greater challenge of running the equivalent of 115 back-to back-marathons across the country.

Did you know that 18% (or almost one in five) children, aged 6-19 in the United States are obese?  Further, this figure has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  (Source: CDC)  The implications and human cost of this epidemic is staggering.  The good news is that there is a proven, effective and low-cost organization that is helping to address this problem.  It’s called the 100 Mile Club®.

The 100 Mile Club® is a 501(c)3 organization that as of this date has sponsored fitness chapters in more than 700 schools, some in every U.S. state, as well as three other countries (Canada, New Zealand and Japan). Children in participating schools earn medals, T-shirts and other incentives as they are encouraged, under supervision, to run 100 miles during the course of a school year. In the process, they incidentally also learn life lessons such as goal-setting, determination and team spirit. But the real target of these programs is to fight the country’s childhood obesity epidemic.  It only costs $10 to put a student through the 100 Mile Club® for an entire year.

My goal is to raise $10,000 for the 100 Mile Club®

I will be pleased to receive any donation, but for your contribution of $300.00 or more, I would be happy to wear your business’s logo on my running gear. We will be speaking publicly for this event. Therefore, the opportunity for high media exposure is a real possibility.

To donate to this wonderful organization, please go to http://imathlete.com/donate/raceacrossusa, click on Find a Fundraiser (Darren Van Soye) then hit GO!

Sincerely,

Darren

Darren Van Soye
555 Main Street
Anytown, CA 90001
714-555-5555
darren@domain.com

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