Punch and Kick-a-Thon The punch and kick-a-thon are certainly standard fundraising events for martial arts schools. Part of the beauty is that they are so easy to organize. You have the facility to hold the event (your school) and you have a built in group of volunteers and fundraisers (your students). A punch or kick-a-thon also provides an opportunity to invite the public into “your house”, raise the profile of your school, show your community involvement, raise some serious money for Defeat Diabetes Foundation and, maybe, get a few student prospects by demonstrating what the martial arts is about. For those of you who might happen to be unfamiliar with the concept, it goes like this: Students will be the primary participants in the event, though there is an opportunity to incorporate the community a few different ways into your fundraising effort. Each student will commit to completing a certain number of punches or kicks in an allotted amount of time – usually an hour. For example 4-7 year olds (or lower ranked students) may be responsible for doing 500 punches and 500 kicks; 8-16 year olds (or higher ranked students) may be responsible for doing 1000 punches and 1000 kicks; the highest ranked students may do 1500. Also, the students could do a speed challenge – completing a certain number of punches or kicks in half or quarter the normally allotted time; or they could lead a “community drill team”. (More on the drill team later) Students will also be responsible for obtaining a donation from friends, family and small business owners for each punch or kick they complete to support Defeat Diabetes Foundation. Ways to coordinate donations Students will ask friends, family, peers and business owners to support their efforts by sponsoring each punch or kick they complete. Students are asked to raise $100 and, of course, more is encouraged. For example 1 cent per kick or $10 (ten dollars) for 1000 punches or kicks 10 cents per kick or $100 (one hundred dollars) for 1000 punches or kicks A flat donation $25, $35, $50, $100 could be given regardless of the number of punches or kicks actually completed by the student (though, of course, we want the student to complete what they have committed to!) You can do it the “old-fashioned way” and carry around a pledge form and take pledges as you go. The only problem with that method is you have to collect the money from the person. Some donors are also reluctant to pay until the participant has accomplished their goal. Because of the extra step involved in getting back to the donor, statistics show that waiting until after the event reduces the collection rate by nearly 40%. So, it’s best to collect the donation at the time the individual agrees to make it. You also have to keep track of what you’ve collected and you need to keep it safe. One way to make that process a bit less stressful would be to have donors write a check, which can be made out directly to Defeat Diabetes Foundation. Fortunately, there are a wide array of organizations that have been established just to help individuals and non-profits raise funds to support their programs. Defeat Diabetes Foundation has developed relationships with many of these organizations that can help do it all online. In addition to being paper free and environmentally friendly; it makes it really easy – for you and your donors. The sites allow you to create a special page that describes what you are doing to raise funds: in this case a punch and kick-a-thon. You can include information about Defeat Diabetes Foundation, including links to our website and online Defeat Diabetes®Screening Test, your fundraising goals, a picture of you in your gi “in action.” Many of the sites have a graphic that shows how close you are to reaching your goal. Some also provide a way for donors to send you messages of encouragement or challenge visitors to step up to the plate. Use one of the letters provided to send to the people in your email address book. Be sure to include a link to your fundraising page. You can even ask them to forward it to their friends who might be interested in preventing diabetes. Now, here’s the cool part – if a person wants to donate they can do it right then, online, with their credit card using the site’s secure server. The donation is processed and sent directly to Defeat Diabetes Foundation. Your donor receives an electronic acknowledgement and thank you for the donation and you never have to handle the money! Be sure to use your normal social networking sites to let friends know about your participation in the fundraiser. FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs or any other social networks you participate in are all appropriate for announcing your fundraising event and keeping donors posted on the results. Listed below are some of the online donation tools you can use to collect donations. Firstgiving is an amazing site. Just click on the link provided and that will take you to DDF’s page at Firstgiving. From this page you can build your own fundraising page in just a few minutes and it will be linked to DDF’s space at Firstgiving. Your fundraising page includes space for your own personal message, it includes your fundraising target and how you are doing toward reaching your goal. There is a space for individuals to pledge to support your cause and give you messages of encouragement. The site allows you to quickly and easily add photographs, the event name and date, share the page with people in your address book and invite them to help be a solution to the problem. You can also add special FirstGiving badges to your Facebook, Myspace or blog pages. Donors can use the secure online service and their credit card to make a donation. GiveForward is another online donation site which also focuses on building a community of people who want to give, people who need funds, and matching the interests of both. Any group or individual can set up a fundraising profile in a category, such as: Education, Entrepreneurship, Community, Non-Profits, or Friends & Family. Anyone who joins can browse different fundraising profiles and make donations as small as $1. As for your fundraising profile, on GiveForward, you can add videos, photos, and more, to show who you are (or what your organization is all about) and why people should give to your cause. Look them over and pick one that has the features you like best. Of course, you can always use online tools and paper tools. After all, you never know when you will meet a potential donor and want to strike while the donation is hot. But again, if you use paper tools you need to keep track of the donations and the money. Ways to add interest and more funds for the event The punch and kick-a-thon is a fairly straightforward event and the amount of money you raise for Defeat Diabetes Foundation is dependent on the effort you make to find donors and sponsors. One great way to add participants and interest to your event is to invite members of the community to participate as “punchers & kickers”, too! It could be your neighbor Joe, or Aunt Sally - but you should also be sure to invite the political, educational, business leaders and media celebrities from your community to participate and help raise money for Defeat Diabetes Foundation. Imagine the Mayor or local city council member, weatherman, morning zoo crew from local radio, head of the Chamber of Commerce, or prominent business person punching and kicking with the other students of your school? It will provide an extra incentive for people to donate – just seeing these celebrities sweat on the mat – and you will certainly generate additional spectator and media coverage as a result of their involvement. Community Kickers Ask advanced students or instructors to lead special community “punch and kick teams”. These special teams will be required to raise at least $250.00. They will also be responsible for soliciting individuals from the community to team up with participants from your school for the event. These could be people with previous experience with martial arts or no experience at all – but, in addition to regular folks, be sure to include some of the local notables mentioned above. We’ve included a talking points sheet to guide you through asking people to participate. Face-to-face or on the phone is the best way to ask people you know to participate. If you have a personal connection with your local celebrity targets you can do it the same way. If you don’t have a personal connection you will probably need to send them a more formal invitation to participate in the event. We’ve provided a letter that explains the event, provides information about the problem of diabetes and explains a bit about Defeat Diabetes Foundation. You will probably have to follow up with a phone call, or two, to get a commitment. If they can’t attend the event for whatever reason – don’t forget to ask them for a donation! When you get a community kicker send them a welcome package which includes information about the event and everything they need to get their own pledges. Send a reminder two weeks before the event, again - one week before the event and, once again - a few days before the event. Each community kicking team should consist of at least 4 people (including the school’s member). On event day the school member will be responsible for meeting with their team 30 minutes before their scheduled appearance. They will be responsible for warming them up and teaching them one basic punch and one basic kick that their community kicking team will perform for the event. During the event the team leader will be out front providing a continuing example of the correct form to strive for – we know they won’t get it, but we want them to get as close as possible. Board Breaking The whole idea of the board breaking is to provide a demonstration of the techniques and raising a few extra bucks for Defeat Diabetes Foundation – not scoring it as with a traditional board breaking competition. Just like individuals ask others to sponsor them for each punch and kick they complete – donors sponsor individuals for each board they break. Sponsors can purchase a board to have broken at the cost of $5/board and may specify if the board is to be broken with a punch or a kick. Participants can determine if they want to attempt multiple breaks on an attempt or a single board. The idea is to break all your boards so, don’t attempt to “oversell” your technique. Demonstration While this component won’t add any money to the coffer it will add interest and excitement to the event. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your martial arts discipline and the excellence of your students. Possible demonstrations include: Forms or katas Sparring Self-Defense Punches Kicks Weapons Volunteers You will need volunteers for event day. Though, advanced, older students and staff can play multiple roles with careful planning, it’s still a good idea to have some volunteers on hand with nothing else to do. Door Person to distribute Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test brochures as spectators enter Kick/Punch Counter/Observers -- the number needed will be dependent on the number of participants and the number of rounds Record Keeper(s) Time Keeper (1) Group Wranglers – making sure the various participants are checked in and staged in their proper place Donation/Pledge Takers - Media You are doing an event for a good cause, to raise awareness about diabetes which has reached epidemic proportions. If the event is timed within November – Diabetes Awareness Month - the media will be looking for local stories to cover. If you can include local celebrities you increase your chances of gaining media exposure. Use the press materials supplied to outreach to the traditional media (newspaper, television and radio). Don’t forget to post to local community boards and blogs, your social networking pages and school website. Kick-a-thon day On event day your studio is all cleaned up – no cobwebs in the corners, clean bathrooms, and fresh posters are on the walls. The mats are in place, chairs are set at the edges for spectators. Make sure there is a good spot for the press to set up if they should cover the event. You ordered and received Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test brochures for distributing to spectators. Your students have been working hard to obtain donors; they are trained and ready to take on the challenge. On the day of the event participants will arrive at the studio at least 30 minutes before they are scheduled to participate. They will sign in with one of the volunteers and turn in their pledge sheets and already collected donations. Participants will warm-up and prepare themselves for their event. There are multiple ways to coordinate the flow of the event – one way is to break the event up into groups according to age or ability, and the number of punches and kicks they are going to attempt. For example: the juniors may go first and complete their 500 punches and kicks; then, you may follow up with a demonstration, another group of punchers and kickers doing their thousand punches and kicks; another demonstration, community kickers each doing their 250 punches and kicks, ending it all up with board breaking. When it is time for their event an instructor, or volunteer, should make sure that the participants for the group are in position. To make things interesting for the participants and the spectators you could have the students use several different punches and kicks… For example: Select 4 different Kicks – Front ball kick, Front in-step kick, side kick, back kick, round house kick, crescent kick, reverse crescent kick, or others of your choice. Same with the Punches – select four for them to complete: front two knuckle, back two knuckle, hammer, spear hand poke, etc. A volunteer will be responsible for keeping the time. Each group will have an hour to complete their attempt. Other volunteers will be there to count out the punches or kicks. And still other volunteers will be there to make sure that each participant completes their punch or kick as pledged. Best form must be used for all punches and kicks! Here is an approximate break down of the time that can be allocated for each punch or kick based on the number to be completed. 500 Punches or Kicks 1 every 3.75 seconds 1000 Punches or Kicks 1 every 1.8 seconds Spectators Encourage sponsors, family and friends to come out and watch! Plus, it’ll probably set up a means for people to donate before or after the Kick-a-thon. Prizes So, you can’t compete at World Championships, yet, but you can compete with each other to raise the most money! The top 3 fundraisers will win the following prizes: 1st and 2nd place: a private lesson each with either lead instructor 3rd place: a t-shirt, hat or other small prize.
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