Some of you have probably heard me mention "fundraising minimum" a few times and have wondered what I meant by it. It is really just exactly what it sounds like - the minimum amount I needed to raise to be able to be a part of the team in San Francisco.
Of the money I raise, 75% goes to the research and patient service programs that Team in Training is famous for. The remaining 25% is to cover the administrative costs associated with running the program and supporting the athletes. For a participant from Calgary to participate in Nike Women's Marathon - they need to raise a minimum of $4500. 25% of that pays for our flights, entrance fees to the event, hotel, and other transportation expenses for the event weekend - plus paying for the support people who help us along the way. It is this breakdown that has helped Team in Training raise over $1 BILLION DOLLARS since it's inception in 1988! That is over $45 MILLION dollars a year on average!
Once the fundraising minimum is met - ALMOST EVERY PENNY RAISED goes towards the research and patient services. So, of the $5000 that I have raised, the first $4500 was my minimum ($1125 to cover my expenses and admin fees and $3375 to the research and patient services), but the $500+ I have raised since is going straight to the programs that will one day find a cure for these cancers! Pretty incredible! And since I would like to raise $6500 before I go..that will mean that together we have raised over $5300 and will provide the researchers and care givers with the resources to do what they need to do to find that cure…or the drug that controls the cancers (drugs like Gleevec - for leukemia - were developed from Team in Training dollars)…and the support that patients need to beat these cancers.
What happens to those who don't meet their fundraising minimum? Team in Training has a set number of dates throughout our training. One of these is called the Recommittment Date. It is about 2 months before the event. Basically it is where you make the decision on whether you will continue or not. If you have not met your minimum by this date and you want to continue, you need to sign a form and provide your own credit card number - stating that if you have not met the minimum by the Credit Card Charge date (about 2 weeks before the event) then you are agreeing to pay the remaining amount yourself (you do have up until one month after the event to keep fundraising and can put in for a reimbursement of the money if you happen to make enough donations to cover what was charged to your card).
Amazingly, my team for Nike Women's this year had a 95% recommitment rate! That was the best that our TNT office had ever seen! Not everyone is at their goals yet, but with the support of the office, their team mates, and their loved ones - most will likely earn at least their minimums before it becomes necessary for a credit card to be charged. This is why you will occasionally see me posting events for my team mates on Facebook. You never know when they are doing something that someone might be interested in :)
That is the same reason I have tried to vary my fundraising - to appeal to as many people as I can. The thought of donating to a cause you have no interest in may keep you from supporting me, but through my other fundraisers - the jeans days, the tupperware, the magazines, the pub night, the weight loss challenge, the art auction - I've found a way to reach many of you who may not have wanted to help otherwise. And I appreciate every ounce of that support!
So, for those of you who are tired of my tireless pleas for donations…please know that I am doing it for the people who are suffering through living with a blood cancer. The patients, their families and their futures.