So it's finally arrived; two months after initially spotting the North Pole adventure on the Charity Challenge website and pestering the team to find out when it might run in 2012, as you know they confirmed it and now .... oh my.
I went through a real roller-coaster yesterday with the euphoria of knowing it's a 'go' followed by the reality of trying to raise £100k and being bloody freezing for 14 nights in total without a warm hotel to retreat to. I think the latter actually scared me more than the former. Anyway, it is green for go so here's my thinking.
I will try to support 4 charities; Yorkshire Candlelighters, The Samaritans, Muscular Dystrophy and one other (have 3 in mind; might put it to a vote). To do so I have 4 strategies to raise money: -
a) Pay between £5k and £7.5k of the costs myself (well, through my company)
b) Get corporate sponsors to fund the other £8-10k as well as starting the charity donations. These will be split into a BIG SOLE sponsor for £15k who gets to call it their North Pole adventure, plus 3 mid-sized sponsors for £5k each (one of which will be me), and around eight smaller sponsors for £1k each.
Already got one company considering the £1k deal and had 3 friends/colleagues already offer personal donations but also had a decline from a medium-sized company who seemed a sure-fire fit with the theme of protecting yourself from the cold. Have written to an ex-boss about his organisation maybe playing a big part but we'll see.
c) I'll also aim for 2000 companies to donate just £50 each to one of the charities; I'll call them the 'cast of thousands' sponsors and be looking to drive some PR and maybe even leaflet drops to attract attention. I mean SURELY £50 isn't beyond that many companies ... is it?
d) PR; as much coverage as I and the charities can muster. My network on LinkedIn and friends/colleagues may help spread the word and the local monthly colour magazine has said they'll put a feature in but it needs to be bigger and wider than that. So many thoughts running round in my brain; sooooo exciting.
A lovely lovely offer from a fellow cross-Cuba cyclist to help wherever they can was a delight to receive tonight (thank you sooooo much Jane, and get well soon) and last night another ex-Cuban rider said I could go visit her in Germany where the cross-country skiing is amazing (so thank you Tania).
Big meeting next Friday with my mate Marc Rocca. He is Mr Creative (but realistic) so I'm hoping things like a cheap iPhone app as well as social network media will allow people to keep up to date with progress, but Marc knows his stuff so I'll try to bite my over-excited tongue.
Must also approach SnoZone at Xscape soon to see if they'll provide free access to the ski slopes and maybe approach my health club too. There must be some great PR in it for them, although I recognise if they do it for one member, they might find it difficult to say no to others.
Oh yes, and of course I've the small matter of training to be fit, athletic and full of stamina (mentally and physically) to squeeze in alongside all this and my client work.
Head buzzing !! Any and all thoughts gratefully received folks.