Madison Wisconsin’s very own Conor Smyth shot up the Summit for Someone “Climber Spotlight & Fundraising Leader board” recently, generating nearly $4,000 for his Mount Whitney climb this summer! How did he achieve this pinnacle you ask? Read the intricacies of Conor’s fundraising panache below. Could you be our next featured climber? SFS Slots are moving quickly, so lace up your Keen’s and jump on board http://www.summitforsomeone.org/main.php. See you on the mountain! ~BCM
BCM: Why did you decide to climb with Summit For Someone this year? How did you first hear about Big City Mountaineers?
Conor: I decided to do the climb this year because my last alpine climb was in 2008, and life is short, the clock is ticking. I knew this was my chance to climb, but more importantly, it would be an opportunity to share the rewards of climbing with many under-privileged youth.
Just as I was wondering how to pull off a climb this summer, I saw BCM on Facebook. I also had a buddy who was familiar with Big City’s work.
BCM: Why is supporting Big City important to you?
Conor: BCM is exactly the kind of organization that I can get behind. They do fantastic work with kids and spend funds the right way (on programs)—all while tracking the benefits to the kids’ lives. BCM is clearly making a difference for a lot of youth. It’s tough business growing up, especially when you don’t have a lot of advantages, and being outside is good medicine.
BCM: What fundraising strategies did you unleash? What has worked well for you?
Conor: I jumped in with a blend of strategies. I used creative videos, a periodic e-mail newsletter (software is free and easy to use: http://mailchimp.com/?pid=GAW&source=website&gclid=CMXUoeuywa4CFbAEQAod4ECsOg), incentives (expedition T-shirts, DVD compilations of my videos), Facebook promotions, “business” cards, flyers, and direct requests. Personal donation requests, mostly via e-mail have worked the best.
Seeing people get behind this in a very generous way has been both humbling and inspiring.
BCM: How much money do you hope to raise overall? What has surprised you the most about the fundraising process?
Conor: I have hit my $3,800 goal for Mt. Whitney and I plan to keep raising funds. If I can get past $4,000, that would be fantastic!
The most surprising part of this process has been the generosity of the individuals donating to my climb. Many people have given $100 or more, which is really unbelievable. Don’t be afraid to ask confidently—you’ll be humbled and inspired, too.
BCM: What are you looking forward to the most about your climb?
Conor: I’m most looking forward to meeting my fellow climbers. This is a great way to enjoy people who are has interested in climbing as I am. Also, I can’t wait to be “back on the mountain,” of course.