Saturday, January 30, 2010

Message #1 From Your Artful Mentor

My first note to my 2010 Summer Season mentees....

Hi Summer Marathoners / Half Marathoners,

It is I, your Artful Mentor, with the first of many weekly emails to you all. This is my way of reaching out to the participants that I am mentoring this summer season, giving you ideas, and letting you know that I am thinking of you. I would love to make this a dialog, and to hear back from you with any questions, concerns, comments, and ideas. At the least, I’d appreciate a reply to this first email just to confirm that (1) you got this note OK and (2) a home phone number and cell phone number, if you have the latter. You should each have my contact information from my introductory email, but let me know need it again.

So our team is off to a slow start. Kick-off only had myself and one other participant show up, plus Cate and the three head coaches. Training today had a foot of snow show up. What is a new TNT participant to do? Well, I say, enjoy the beautiful snow and start getting your fundraising organized! Next weekend will be a good chance to meet your coaches and teammates at training, so use the spare time to get going on fundraising. And I see that a few of you have not waited to get going – two of you in particular are off to amazing starts!

I want to give you a few things to think about in this first note. All of you have already set-up and customized your web pages. Now, it is time to promote them if you have not already. What if you created the most amazing invention but told no one? Just like with any other product that you are attempting to get people interested in, your fundraising campaign and web page needs to get into people’s consciousness. So get a message about what you are doing and why you are doing it out to all of your email contacts - and I mean all. Let them decide whether they want to donate or not. Don’t assume that they won’t want to or won’t be interested. Your message should be in your own words and personalized to your situation, but if you need help, let me know and we will work together on it.

If it might be helpful to you, I have all of my fundraising messages for my 2008 and 2009 campaigns out on my blog, and am putting this season’s on there as well. I usually do about 10 notes / updates each season, or one every two to three weeks. Just go to my blog:

And then search on the label named “Note to Donors.”

Second, fundraising thousands of dollars is not easy, and it can be more difficult in a down economy. Come up with a plan of how you will do it. You have four months to go until your race, and at least a few weeks after the race to accomplish your goal. If you are trying to raise $3,000, you will need to come up with approximately $700 a month to get there. So you might want to think in terms of having at least $750 raised by the end of February, $1,500 by the end of March, and so forth. I will be glad to meet with each of you one on one and help develop your plan. And I know that Cate is also very willing to do this. You just need to let us know what you need. Fundraising is much less difficult and even is fun if you jump right on it.

As your mentor for this season, I look on myself not just as your fundraising coach, but also someone who you can talk to about your Team in Training experience, if you want to. I’ve done four events (three marathons and one half-marathon), and will be training along with you on my fifth this season, so I have experience balancing fundraising, training, and life along the way. If my experience can help you in some way, please let me know. Of course, training specific concerns and questions and injury issues should be discussed with your coach. I am copying head coach Chuck in case he has anything to add here.

Finally, I want to close by saying that I am delighted that you have chosen to do Team in Training. As I blood cancer survivor, I thank you for your deciding to make this world a better place with your decision. I think you will have an amazing and wonderful experience, and will do all I can to help make it so for you. The San Diego Marathon was my second event, and I loved it! I think you will as well, especially with the new course and the new TNT focus!

Let me know if you need anything in the upcoming week. In any event, I hope to see you all at training next week, weather permitting! Fair warning, though – I will likely have my camera, and you will likely end up on my blog. If you want a picture for your webpage or any other use, I am glad to take it at training, and email it to you.


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