Need suggestions for upNY charity paddle

Hi everyone,

I am the president of the board of an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that works with children and families impacted by alcoholism. I am also into kayaking, so I thought I would bring the two interests together for a fundraiser.

The general idea is that people commit to paddling as many hours as possible over the course of a week - this will vary by paddler. People then get pledges, similar to walk-a-thons, bike-athons, etc. Pledges are for overall participation and not per hour/mile etc.

We want to finish it all off with a party, complete with Cajun dance hall/Zydeco music in a local park.

I want to give out awards for the most hours paddled, most raised, and other fun ideas people might have.

So, any suggestions on how to make this successful are most appreciated. We are in the Rochester area.

  • Anyone on this board who would like to help out? - Anyone who could see themselves participating.
  • Can you suggest others I should contact.

    We are targeting the week of July 26 - Aug 2. We obviously want to make sure there is interest in an event like this and that people will participate.



I doubt if it will work.
but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.

I have organized several paddles for charities and the best are one day events. Make them simple and fun. Fun is the key. If you just have an event then it will be over and everyone will go home.

The best is a morning paddle, lunch and then an afternoon paddle. This allows the early risers to paddle in the morning, the late risers to paddle in the afternoon and the die-hard paddlers to paddle all day long.

Unfortunately the event will eat up the registration with food and T-shirts and other freebies unless you get sponsors. Sponsors will donate food and misc to the non-profit and maybe the T’shirts. If you have the right connections a Sponsor will donate serious money to have their logo on the banner and T-shirt and may in the name of the event. Make sure you get the media involved and have advanced advertising.

Good Luck. I’m doing one an overnight one on July 19 & 20. Newspapers will get the press release on Monday June 2 when fliers, posters and advertising starts.

Paddlin’ on


I appreciate the suggestions…
I definitely will take a wait and see approach (more like a work may ass off and see approach). Initial feedback locally is positive but time will tell.

I definitely agree that there are far fewer paddling charity events than for walkers, cyclists or runners, but I have to wonder if that is because paddlers are inherently less altruistic (seems highly unlikely) or if maybe we just have not found the right kind of event yet.

I am not sure. I do know taking out my kayak is one of my favorite things to do. And I know paddlers are some of my favorite people (and not coincidentally, some of my favorite people are paddlers). If I can take two of my primary passions - paddling and the work on family alcoholism, and bring them together, it would be great.

Again, thanks for the thought-provoking feedback.

I partly took charge of donations for a chihuahua fundraiser festival event last year. Companies get a ton of people asking for donations each month and some are reviewed on a weekly or monthly basis, so you may be a bit behind there.

They all wanted the non-profit groups E.I.N. number. I don’t know how they work it on their end, but they probably need to know exactly where their money or product is going and that it’s to a non-profit organization, and then perhaps they use it as a tax deduction.

Then again, my in law was able to get gifts like a free hair cut, oil change, things of that nature from her tiny home town to give away as prizes for the motorcycle run she holds in memory of her late step-father. She had a special bank account set up for money she received from people who signed up for the bike ride which went to various causes, one year towards a college person’s education who was in law enforcement, then another year it went to Habitat for Humanity.

If it’s a go, you have to get newspapers, radio stations, and tv public service announcements (PSA) placed to advertise the event along w/well placed flyers, word of mouth, etc.

As Georgia_K mentioned, companies like it if they will get mentioned as donators. It’s a motivator.