Country Dance-A-Thon: Participants

Jane Warner Plaza

Join the Country Dance-A-Thon

You can make a difference and have fun at the same time! Sign up now to start your fundraising. We make it easy for you. You'll have your own personalized webpage to giver to your friends and family and even strangers, where they can easily and securely donate on-line.

Then plan on dancing at Jane Warner Plaza at Castro & Market in San Francisco for up to three hours on Saturday, August 18. Unable to dance? No problem. There's no pressure and there's no pain. It's all about contributing to the greater community in any way we can.

To get started, just click on the "Set Up My Personal Page" button. Refer to the Sign-Up Instructions if you have any questions.


Sign-Up Instructions

We have partnered with on-line donation service Causevox that allows you to create your own Personal Fundraising Page. The process is straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Here are step-by-step instructions:

Create an account:
1) Click on the "Set Up My Personal Fundraising Page" button above.
2) Sign up. You'll provide your e-mail address and create a password.
3) Note: If you participated in a previous Country Dance-A-Thon, you'll use the same log in. You do not need to create a new account.

Register for the Dance-A-Thon:
1) Log in, using the e-mail address and password you just created.
2) Enter your name.
3) Optional: Upload your own photo.
4) Create a web address to direct folks to your personal webpage. It will be in the form www.countryDAT2017.causevox.com/yourtext.
5) Set a fundraising goal. Don't be shy! We recommend $1000.
6) Write a personal appeal. Or use the default message and change it later.
7) Skip the "Spread the Word" page for now.
8) Edit your profile by clicking on "My Fundraising Page."

You're done! Go to your personal webpage and check it out. (Your website link is in the upper left corner of your dashboard.)

If you need help, check out these guides from Causevox:

If you need further help, contact us.


Participant FAQs

How do I collect on-line donations?

Simply refer folks to your personal fundraising page. Send e-mails with the link, put it on your Facebook page, and write your personal fundraising web address down on a card and hand it out.

How do I collect donations by check?

You can accept checks, payable to "The Sundance Association." Include with each check a note with the name of the donor, address (for acknowledgment purposes), and participant sponsored (your name!). Checks can be mailed directly to: The Sundance Assocation, ATTN: Country Dance-a-Thon, 2261 Market St., PMB 225, San Francisco, CA 94114. (Or you can gives checks to us while at Sundance Saloon or mail them in yourself to the above address.)

Why can't I solicit donations at Sundance Saloon?

As we are expecting dozens of participants we don't want our dancers to be overwhelmed with soliciations at Sundance Saloon when they are there to have fun and dance! But don't despair: we will create designated times where Sundance Saloon attendees can donate to their participant(s) of choice. And of course you are welcome to contact your Sundance friends outside of the walls of Sundance Saloon. Most of all, think of this as an opportunity to reach outside of the Sundance community as an untapped source of fundraising.

How will folks know I am a participant?

Mostly you'll need to tell them! Your name will be listed on our Dance-A-Thon web page. And we will be ordering colorful Dance-a-Thon buttons you can wear while at Sundance Saloon.

What is the minimum amount I need to raise?

As of now there is no minimum amount, but we will probably create a minimum fundraising amount in the future for you to be eligible for benefits and prizes.

Do I really have to dance for three hours non-stop?

While it would be fun to challenge yourself and participate in the spirit of the event, we won't require that you dance the full three hours. You are welcome to dance as much or as little as your like. In the past we have had participants who raised a lot of money but weren't able to dance at the Dance-A-Thon at all. it's the spirit that counts!

Who are the beneficiaries of the Country Dance-a-Thon?

PRC is the agency formed by the merger of Positive Resource Center, AIDS Emergency Fund, and Baker Places. PRC works to address the wellness needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance use issues.

The AIDS Emergency Fund provides emergency financial aid to those with AIDS or disabling HIV who have been economically devastated by these diseases. Serving the greater Bay Area since 1982, the AIDS Emergency Fund provides direct assistance towards the cost of basic living needs such as food, shelter, utilities and medication.

Positive Resource Center offers comprehensive benefits counseling (benefits advocacy and direct legal representation) and employment services (providing vocational rehabilitation and job search services) to people with HIV/AIDS or mental health disabilities.

Baker Places provides a comprehensive array of residential treatment services to people with mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS-related issues, including crisis and transitional residential programs as well as permanent housing programs.

The Sundance Association provides country-western dance instruction and events and raises thousands of dollars annually for other charity organizations. Part of the funds will be earmarked for the performance group, the Sundance Bandits.

All donations are 100% tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

What are the administrative expenses of the Country Dance-a-Thon?

We estimate the administrative expenses of the Country Dance-a-Thon to be about 7%. This means that 93% of every dollar raised goes directly to our beneficiaries. This is an excellent return for any fundraising event! Our largest administrative expense comes from our partnership with the on-line fundraising site, Causevox, amounting to 4.5% of proceeds collected on-line. While this may seem like a large amount, this is in line with other reputable nonprofit collection services. Without this partership we could not easily accept on-line donations through personal fundraising pages. Plus all of our administrative tracking and record-keeping is now automated through Causevox, saving us a tremendous amount of time, as well as helping us to avoid errors from manual records.


Participant Hints

Here are some ideas that participants have shared with us about the Country Dance-a-Thon. If you have any great ideas you'd like us to add, let us know at danceathon@sundancesaloon.org.

Important reminder: We ask that you do not solicit donations at Sundance Saloon, except in designated locations at designated times. This is out of courtesy for our patrons who would otherwise be inundated with requests.

Some people have expressed reluctance to ask people to sponsor them. Remember that you're just ASKING people to sponsor you - not "strong-arming" them. It's really OK to ask as long as you are gracious and understanding if they don't want to sponsor you.

Rather than send one group e-mail to everyone together, take the time to send a separate, personal e-mail to each person or couple. You may wish to have variations of your letter to send to different people. Or, you could personalize a form letter by including some personalized introductory and closing remarks.

The more dancers participating in the Dance-A-Thon the more fun, and more funds we'll raise! Encourage your friends to sign up and participate as well! There is no cost to join.

It is OK if you want to participate but are not able to dance for the full three hours, or don't know any line dances, or can't dance at all. One participant has even said in his solicitation letter "I might not physically dance but my dancing spirit will be all over the dance floor!"

Begin asking for donations as soon as possible! You will definitely raise more money if you solicit contributions now rather than wait until just before the Dance-a-Thon.

Be sure to follow up with a written thank you note to each sponsor, whether e-mail or snail mail.

Here are some useful links from our on-line donation partner, Causevox:

 


Sample Solicitation Letters

THE STANDARD LETTER

Dear Lady Gaga,

I am very excited to be participating in the Country Dance-a-Thon on August 18 to raise money benefitting the PRC (the merger of the Positive Resource Center, AIDS Emergency Fund, and Baker Places) and The Sundance Association. I am writing to see if you might sponsor me.

You can find more information about the Country Dance-A-Thon at www.sundancesaloon.org/danceathon.html.

Sponsoring me is very easy. You can go directly to my sponsor page at [insert your personal page address here] and click on "DONATE" to make a credit card donation. Or you can send a check by postal mail.

These organizations do great things and are very worthy causes. I hope you'll sponsor me - any amount makes a difference.

Thank you very much!

Taylor Swift


THE EXTENDED LETTER

Dear Barack,

I am very proud to be participating in the Country Dance-A-Thon on August 18 which benefits PRC (the merger of the Positive Resource Center, AIDS Emergency Fund, and Baker Places) and The Sundance Association.

You can find more information about the Country Dance-A-Thon at www.sundancesaloon.org/danceathon.html.

Last year I raised [$XXX] and I have set a personal goal for this year of [$XXXX]. I am hopeful that I can achieve that goal (with your support of course!).

The PRC helps those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use, or mental health issues with a broad range of services including emergency financial assistance for short-term security; legal representation for access to basic income and healthcare benefits; and residential treatment, supportive housing, and employment training for longer-term social rehabilitation.

As you know, Sundance Saloon has become very important and meaningful to me personally - I have found fun, friends and community at this venue. The Sundance Association is a an organization that raises thousands of dollars annually for other charity organizations.

Sponsoring me is easy. You can go directly to my sponsor page at [insert your personal page address here] and click on "DONATE" to make a credit card donation. Or you can send a check by postal mail.

Thank you so much!

Michelle


THE BRIEF LETTER

HEY! I'm participating in the Country Dance-A-Thon on August 18 which benefits PRC and the Sundance Association.

Sponsoring me is very easy - follow this link to my personal fundraising page and remember - ANY contribution makes a difference! [insert your personal page address here]

 

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