GETTING STARTEDgetting-started-1069.jpg

Achieving your fundraising goal takes work, planning and strategy. We have many tools to help you get there. To get started read below and follow the steps. Contact the Ride office with questions and additional support. 

Your Participant Center

Your Participant Center is your main source for information and fundraising. Ride information, news and announcements will be posted in your Participant Center. You can check on your fundraising progress, send fundraising emails and track the results. The first step is setting up your Participant Homepage. 

Logging In

To log into your Participant Center go to the top of the Red Ribbon Ride website. Fill in your username and password and then click Log In. If you do not know your username try your email address. If you don't know your password, enter your username and click login. This will bring you to another page which will give you the option to reset your password. Follow the instructions. If you still need help please contact the Ride office.

Starting Your Fundraising

 Kicking off your fundraising right is critical to your success. Starting early will help you achieve your goal and go well beyond. Setting up your Participant Homepage, raising your goal and seeding your fundraising campaign are the first steps of your plan for success. 

Step 1: Setting up your Homepage

 To set your your Participant Homepage you need to log into your Participant Center. Once you are logged in you will see several options at the top of the page, Home, Email, Progress and Personal Page (if you are a Team Captain you will have an additional option of Team Page - this is exactly the same set up for your Personal Page but for your Team). Click on the Personal Page option. You will notice a few things on this page. On the right side of the screen you will notice 3 options, Content, Photos/Video and Components.


At the top is a place to customize your URL link to your Homepage, a place to enter a title for your page, and a text box for your to write a story of why you are participating.

  • To set up your customized URL click on URL Settings. You will be able to enter in a short cut like your name in a field box. Once you have entered in your customization click save. You will notice an option to make your page public or private, we highly recommend that you keep your page set to public.
  • Next you will enter a title for your page. For example "I'm Riding to Make a Difference". 
  • The large content box is where you will enter your personal story. This is one of the most important pieces to your fundraising. Your personal story of why you are participating can help motivate your friends, family and the people you know to make a donation and potentially a higher donation then they had planned on. Your personal story can be anything from you knowing someone living with HIV, wanting to make a difference, wanting to challenge yourself, or being personal affected by HIV. There is no right or wrong and everyone has a story. Just ask yourself "why did I sign up?" It's a great place to start. The more personal you get the more powerful the impact. We recommend that you write your personal story in a Word document or another type of document prior to logging in. This way you can just copy and paste your story into the text box. You will also be able to change font, size and color of the text. 
  • The most important thing you do will be to click the SAVE button. It's never fun do all this work and have it lost. So click save and click it often. If you need help with this section please reach out to the Ride office. 


 You are allowed to have one photo or video on your Homepage. 

  • To select a photo or video click on the Photos/Video option on the right side of the screen.
  • To add a photo click the circle next to photo. Click Choose Image. Select the image from your computer. Write a caption and then click save/upload. 
  • To add a video click the circle next to video. You will need a YouTube link to your video. Enter that link and click save.


In the components section you have the option to enable a personal blog which will be located on your Homepage. The personal blog is a great place to write updates on your training, fundraising and overall experience. This can give visitors to your page additional reasons to donate. 

  • Simply click Enable Blog and Save and it will be set up.
  • To make blog entries you will need to go to your Participant Homepage and be logged into the system. 
  • At the bottom of your Homepage you will see the option to Post a New Topic. Click this and enter your content here. 

Step 2: Raising Your Fundraising Goal

Raising your goal may seem a little daunting but there is good reason to do this. You are required to raise a minimum of $1,500 but that doesn't have to be your goal. Your goal should actually be higher. You want your goal to be something that is attainable but slightly out of reach. You might discover that you need to increase your goal as you go which is great. 

Why Set Your Goal Higher

  • Your donors will base the amount of their donation on the goal you set and how close to that goal you are. If you have a higher goal they will donate more money. Pretty simple. 
  • Some Participants stall out on their fundraising when they get near the $1,000 mark. A few things are going on here. 

    1. Some donors see how close you are and make a smaller donation thinking "they are almost there, I don't need to give as much".
    2. Some see this and think "They are so close, I don't have to give at all".  
    3. Then there are some who want to be the lucky person to push you over your goal.
  • Setting a higher goal means you will reach your minimum sooner. So if you have to raise $1,500 and you set your goal to $3,000 you will not stall out around $1,000 but likely reach $3,000 rather easily. This is where you may have to increase your goal, keep going and raise as much as you can because it makes a big difference.

  • A higher goal means you are willing to go above and beyond to make a difference. Letting your donors know what the minimum is and what YOUR personal goal is will impress them with your cmmitment and motivate them to give more. 
  • You could even earn incentives! We have different incentives to keep you motivate and to show off the amazing generosity of your friends, family and people you know. When you earn an incentive and wear it you are representing your donors contribution.
  •  The best part is when you set a higher goal you do not owe Red Ribbon Ride any money if you do not reach that goal. If you want to participate on the event you are required to individually raise a minimum of $1,500. If you don't reach the minimum you don't get to participate. Who wants that to happen? No one! If you set that goal higher, reach the minimum earlier you will have less stress and peace of mind that you can do the event. So you have nothing to loose and everything to gain by increasing your goal.

How to Reset Your Goal

Resetting your goal is really easy. 

  • Log into your Participant Center and go to the home page of your Participant Center.
  • Near the top you will notice a thermometer with "Your Fundraising Progress". 
  • This will show you your Total Raised, Goal, % to goal and how many Days till the event.
  • Next to Goal there is a link that says Change, click this.
  • Enter a new amount (higher than $1,500 for Riders) and click save.

Step 3: Seeding Your Participant Homepage

We know how exciting it is when you register and telling everyone is great but you want to make sure you have a few things in place before you start your fundraising. Seeding your fundraising campaign is one of the most strategic things you can do to kick off your fundraising. This can make or break your efforts.

Why Seed Your Fundraising

If you just tell the world you are doing the Ride someone who loves you will be so excited they will go to your page and donate $25 with good intentions. It's not ideal because other donors who have the intention of donating $100 or more might come to your page and see the $25 as a suggested amount. Which leads them to donate less than they originally intended. 

If you have a limited network of friends, family and people you know seeding your fundraising can help maximize your potential. If you have set a high goal for yourself this will help kick things off in a good way. Either way seeding your fundraising will bring you good results. 

How to Seed Your Fundraising

You want to start your fundraising off with 3-5 donations of $100 or more before you tell the world you are doing the Ride.

  • Identify 3-5 people you know will donate $100 or more.
  • Let them know you are doing the Ride and why.
  • Ask them to help get you started by being on of your first donors. Explain to them that you want to kick off your fundraising in a big way and need their help. They will likely be honored that you are including them in this way. 
  • Let them know you are looking for donations of $100 or more and ask for that.

*If you already started fundraising and the amounts are low don't panic you can still go far! Contact the Ride office if you are concerned and need help. 

The Importance of Self Donations

Making a self donation is a great way to let everyone know that not only are you willing to Ride your bicycle or volunteer as Crew for 4 days, 300 miles to make a difference in the lives of those living with HIV. You also believe in this cause and want to donate to ensure the services being provided are possible. It's a big statement and your donors will respond favorably to seeing this. You can make a donation of any level but if you make one that is $100 or more you will be able to leverage this as a matching gift. So if you donate $250 you can then turn to your potential donors and ask if they can match your gift. 

If you are worried you can't make a large donation take advantage of the monthly payment option. This option allows you to make a larger donation and breakout the payments over a maximum of 10 monthly installments that are automatically charged to the credit card you provide at the time of your donation. So if you can't do $250 maybe you can do $25 a month for 10 months or $100 would be $10 a month for 10 months. 

This can also be one of your 3-5 seed donations. One down, only a few more to go.

Once you have your page set up, your goal raised and your campaign seeded you are ready to share with everyone that you are doing the Ride and they should support you with a donation. The next steps are about forming a plan.