Fundraising in the 21st century

When Elmet Lions Club decided to resurrect the Great Selby Bike Ride after Selby Lions Club closed down we decided to bring it into the 21st century in terms of its organisation and set about doing so in the following manner:-

We set up a Paypal business account and applied for charity status with Paypal to reduce the fees charged for transactions.

The website dedicated to the event included an e-commerce plugin from Woocommerce so that we could sell entries online, using Paypal to handle the payments and Mailchimp to handle correspondence with entrants.

We also needed to recruit marshalls to manage cyclists en route. This was mainly done via our Facebook pages, where we now have approaching 1,000 followers. Communication with marshalls was then managed via Gmail using Sheets and an extension called Yet Another Mail Merge.

The two routes were written up as Google Docs downloads from the Bike Ride website and also mapped with the phone app Bikemap so that they could be downloaded to cyclists’ own devices.

The club registered with HMRC for a GiftAid number. We then signed up to Justgiving and created a discrete fundraising website that riders could sign up to. This simplifies fundraising as all donations are automatically sent to the club and Justgiving claims GiftAid on our behalf in return for a 5% fee.

GiftAid is worth a net 20% extra to the club.

Historically (the event is more than 30 years old) many cyclists enter on the day and 2022 was no different. More than a 100 riders entered on the Sunday. Handling the amount of cash that this involved made the club members a bit nervous and would have added to the insurance cost of the event too. 

The previous two years of Covid restrictions had seen a quantum leap in the use of contactless payments so the club invested in card readers to be used in conjunction with a mobile app.

This wasn’t without problems though. We initially purchased a number of Square card readers and found that multiple readers would not work in close proximity to each other. We then approached Zettle who assured us that their readers would be able to function at a number of pay stations near to each other, which they did.

We were able to take more than £1,000 in entries during the hour before the event started.

Mobile phones provided direct communication between riders, marshalls, the club’s HQ, mobile first aid, and the lost child managers.

If you are a charity and have any queries about this article, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Steve Cooper, Elmet Lions Club CIO trustee

Great Seby Bike Ride
Balby, near Selby,
Starting on
May 22, 2022
Ending on
May 22, 2022
A sponsored fundraising cycle road around the Selby district raising money for the British Heart Foundation, Martin House, Macmillan Cancer Support and St Leonard's Hospice
Offer Price
£ 10.00