Monday, November 23, 2009

Message from the Captain (#2)

Ahoy, Mateys! It’s Mentor Captain Art, with my weekly message for you. I more or less missed this the other week, because I was in Michigan.

I hope that all is shipshape as we continue on our great spring voyage. I see from Cate’s updated rosters that we have gained considerable crew over the past few weeks, which is tremendous. In fact, at the joint training yesterday for the foot and triathlon teams, we had a really good turnout. Now it will be our job to keep everyone navigating properly on course to hit their fundraising minimum. This is always important, but especially so during these continued tough economic (and fundraising) times.

So, what are some things you can chat with your mentees about this week? Well, I’m assuming that you have already talked to them about customizing their web pages, getting letters drafted, and getting emails out. And I assume that you have offered to review letters and emails if they need help, and likewise made suggestions about their web pages if you deem it necessary. Several of you have shared your notes to your mentees with me, and they have been excellent.

If you were at the run / tri training yesterday, you heard Nancy’s very sad mission moment about the young student at her school who died Friday from leukemia. I think it is worth discussing this in your emails to your mentees this week, even though many participants were there. A lot of time with TNT, we emphasize the fun parts of our journey together – the teamwork, the fun of training together, the sense of accomplishment we all feel from completing our races. We often get mission moments from lucky patient honorees who have survived their incredibly difficult journeys through the valley of cancer. So when we hear a story about this wonderful teen-ager dying and missing out on so much of life, I think it is important to remind our participants about the serious side of Team in Training and how important is the cause for which we all work – to find humane cures. If you were not there and so don’t know about this girl’s story, you can contact Nancy. I’ve also written a short post about this girl on my blog that has some of the details:

What is the most important group of run / walk mentees to concentrate on right now? If you said “Mardi Gras”, you just earned an extra day of shore leave! This is because they have such a short time until recommitment, and indeed, until their event. If they are new to TNT, it is going to feel daunting at times to raise 25% of their minimum in just over a month. So my suggestion is to pay special attention to these folks if you are their mentor. This trip to the Big Easy is going to be a fantastic experience, and we don’t want anyone to miss out by getting discouraged early with fundraising difficulties. So let’s help each of them jump into their fundraising. Of course, if you are a cycle or triathlon mentor, you don’t need to worry about this.

Remind your mentors about the fund raising clinic at Amy’s home in two weeks. They will get a lot of good information there, and it will definitely be worth their while.

One thing that participants can focus on with their fundraising is that potential donors can make an end of year donation that can still go against their 2009 tax deductions. But because people are besieged with similar requests from so many worthy charities at this time of year, it is very important for your mentees to remind people of this in their notes.

Finally, this is the time that people should be contacting businesses for donations to the silent auction in January. Now, I know there is a lot going on with everyone right now – the holidays, end of semester stuff for anyone involved in school. So like everything else in life, people will have to prioritize the aspects of their fundraising campaigns. There probably isn’t time to do it all, which is why that fundraising plan for each participant is important.

I hope each of you has a great Thanksgiving. I know that I have a lot to be grateful for, and I suspect that each of you do as well. Please let me know if I can help you with anything. You know how to reach me.

GO TEAM! Full speed ahead!

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