RDG – ’20 so far and a look ahead


Hey everyone! I hope this finds you well. It has been an absolute roller coaster of a year and it just got me thinking about where we started at the beginning of the year, where we’re at now, and where we’re going. We’re only in May but wow, a lot has happened!

Where We Started:

  • We started January with the idea of working towards becoming fully functioning in 2020. We started selling wristbands like what you see above as a way to raise funds outside of just leaning on sponsors. We had to be more self sustaining. That’s the next step. More on that later.
  • We also began January that along with trying to become self-sufficient that we would also work, as we have, in the past to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne so that we could pull off another fundraiser like we have every year to date. We scaled back on the team and registered for Ragnar Relay Trail Michigan which greatly reduced our expenses because there were just a lot less moving parts:
    • Fewer runners = fewer costs
      • 0 vans = huge savings
      • 0 condos rented = huge savings
      • Overall, expenses were cut about in half
  • Optimism reigned supreme

Where We Are:

  • The work towards self-sustaining the team is still “in progress.” We’ve sold enough wristbands to make our money back so with more then 375 of them still to go, there’s a lot of potential in them at $5-$10 each.
  • We kicked off our fundraiser and while the first month or so was quiet, we received a commitment from a long time donor to match every donation in the month of March. This led to a $1466 match in March, for a total of $2932 – our highest fundraising month EVER.
    • In perspective, that’s almost 3 times as much as our ’15 goal and about $700 more than we raised in that year and we did that in one month.
    • Currently we’re at $3,032 of our $5,000 goal – all from private donations and the donor who matched.

So that’s where we’re at with our efforts towards a fully functioning team and the fundraiser to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Covid-19 happened and this is the bigger picture:

The team’s effort towards self sustaining ourselves slowed and is “still in progress” because we needed to get the fundraiser up and running. It’s just me doing most of this so trying to do both things besides all of life’s other requirements for work and family, the fundraising is what got us here and we couldn’t let that slide.

The fundraiser took off like lightning and we raised more in the first 10 days of March than we did in the previous year’s matching opportunity. The next 10-14 days were when new of the Covid-19 pandemic became more ominous and the uncertainty of it all let to a major decline in momentum in our fundraising. Understandably so people needed to figure out their finances.

By the end of the month, we had a pretty awesome surge to hit that $1466 but we’ve done little more. Our work to raise an epic amount of money, for a small group, was always tied to running an epic event.

Ragnar Trail Michigan was postponed to a weekend that our team couldn’t attend and which, quite frankly, we’re unsure if it’ll go off anyways and we’ve committed to running it in 2021. More on that later.

Uncertainty reigns supreme at the moment

Where we hope to go:

This is the part of all of this that’s so difficult. It’s just not knowing what’s going to happen as things begin to reopen. We just don’t know if another spike in infections is going to happen or not because everyone is slowly being released towards what felt normal once.

So if I could pull off my wildest dreams and turn this into a massive comeback story for 2020, this is what it’d look like to me:

  • We have a $5,000 goal for NeighborLink. While this is $2,000 less than what we hit last year, my hope is to, in this crazy climate, hit our goal.
  • Get the wristband sales moving. Right now, if we sell just 20 of them at $10 a piece, we will cover the costs of our website and set up an official email address so that we’re one small baby step closer to being official.
  • Start work on ’21. There’s a lot to be optimistic about 2021. If things work out like we hope, then we’ll be able to run Ragnar Trail Michigan and we’re starting from a place where our registration is already covered and there’s an outside chance where if we sold enough wristbands, we could fully fund the rest of our expenses on our own, which would be a huge victory.

At this point, again, optimism, even with a little uncertainty – it reigns supreme. Thanks for reading and expect more in the coming days.

Have a great day everyone.

Take Care,







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