Recently, I received a few contributions from people I know. I’ve been telling everyone I meet about my adventure and people are very supportive and excited. Cheques and cash have been trickling in as people show their support with whatever amount is appropriate for themselves. I’m so touched by this show of support. From the beginning, I didn’t want to rely on asking friends and family for money because it’s hard to decide how to distribute any “extra” money that we may have. There are so many great causes. And with this adventure, it requires a leap of faith. First I need to get funded, then I need to do it, all the while raising money above and beyond my expenses towards Canadian Blood Services. But, I have faith. Seeing teams from the past, some people have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for their charity, mostly during the time that they were on the ocean rowing. And so that is my primary object, to get on the ocean. That’s where the magic happens, in all sorts of ways.
It’s heartening to see people eager to help, excited for me to succeed, and willing to contribute financially. When the budget to pull off this caper is nearly $200,000 it would be understandable for a person to think that their $100 (or $50 or $20) wouldn’t make much of a difference. But, it really does. The majority of the total funding will come from corporate sponsors as the cost of the boat, shipping, flights, race fees, etc. are each tens of thousands of dollars. But, right now, with the contributions that I’ve been getting I’m moving forward in a very important way. Here’s how:
#1 – I’m able to pay for a marketing expert to advise me on promotion and sponsorship.
I was told by the race organizers about a fantastic, experienced, and UK based public relations expert that helped a team in the last race with a successful campaign, coming onboard only 6 months before the race. After my many failed attempts to find PR here in Vancouver (they either wouldn’t return my calls or they gave me vague descriptions of their services at exorbitant prices), I thought I’d see if an international arrangement might work. Lucy Northmore of Brand Equity Group gave me a great price for a start-up plan and will be consulting with me for the duration of my campaign. This expense, that I am able to cover thanks to your contributions, is going to make a huge difference in the success of my preparations and sponsorship seeking.
#2 – I’ve reserved my ocean rowing specific training courses in the UK.
There are a few mandatory courses to take before I can race in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Seasports provides a 7 day course that covers Navigation, Seamanship, First Aid, Sea Survival, and more. I paid my deposit and booked my attendance in the course for the end of April. And already I see that there’s only one space left in the class. The deposit was half the course fee so I’m not far from totally paying it off. Seasports actually arranged to have the same course available this year in Florida, USA because there are a lot of USA-ers participating this year. But, it was actually a bit more expensive for me to travel there than to the UK (strangely, enough). And besides that I’ve decided to book an extra week in England so I can visit the boat builders, and hopefully get some training on the water in an ocean rowboat. I won’t be shipping my boat to Vancouver because it’s way too expensive so this is one of maybe 2 or 3 chances I’ll get to practise on the boat before hitting the wide open sea. Thanks to your contributions I’ll be fully trained and ready to go by the spring. This step is really important in building my confidence as well as the confidence in future sponsors who will see just how dedicated and prepared I am for this endeavour.
#3 – I can actually cover the remainder of the costs of the above.
This isn’t actually an additional thing that you’ve help pay for, but it’s the rest of actualizing the course and ongoing fees for PR. Within a few days I’ll be able to book the flight and reserve accommodations. I have until April to pay off the rest of the course and I’m pretty much there already. It’s happening!
#4 – Here and there the cost of running a campaign is ongoing.
As I prepare my presentations, set up events, liaison with media, little expenses add up: printing brochures, sponsor packs, and buying supplies (like a GoPro) here and there where needed, as well as training and transportation. All these little things add up and again, your support makes a world of difference. You keep me moving.
This is what your money is going to and this is huge for me. As much as I can I put any “extra” personal funds into this project but the costs get up there pretty fast. Your support and contributions keep me moving forward.
Thank you so much.
Upcoming expenses that your continued contributions help with:
- food and supplies for the row
- administrative expenses (paperwork)
- more training trips to the UK
- video production of the process
The biggest expenses that the sponsors will cover are:
- ocean row boat fully equipped
- race entry fee
- shipping of boat from UK to Canary Islands, then Antigua back to UK
- flights and accommodation for the team
- surprise costs