How I got the Official Support of two big Charities – Part 1

Sending a proposal to Mike Weir

So how do you approach Canada’s most successful golfer of all time, telling him you want to help him raise $1,000,000 and get their ‘official’ blessing? Well in March of 2012 i put together a 4 page proposal stating my goal and sent it to The Mike Weir Foundation (TMWF) general email address and asked them to forward to him it. Okay so in hindsight i was a bit naive to think that (1) they would actually sent it to him and (2) that he even has time to look at that sort of stuff (he is actually busy being a pro golfer after all). As you probably guessed i received no response 🙁

Part of me was thinking ‘how can they not even respond to a proposal like that?’; in their defence though, the proposal was vague (although this didn’t occur to me at the time). I had stated that the goal was to raise $1m but all i said about the ‘How’ was that i would be doing a ‘golf related challenge’ in 2013. At that point in time i didnt want to let anyone know about the idea because i was worried that someone else may try and do it before me.

I sent a follow up email a couple of weeks later and i got a response! I was very excited, TMWF said that as the money would benefit Children’s Miracle Network that they had to consult with them about it. That was the last i heard, i did leave a couple of phone messages over the next month or so, but nothing – i guess from their point of view I was just some guy talking about raising a $1m but not really giving any details of substance for them to take me seriously.

“Screw It, Let’s Do It” – Sir Richard Branson

A combination of the lack of response from TMWF combined with life being busy meant that the idea for had once again taken a seat at the back of my mind. Then in the fall of 2012 i was reading Sir Richard Branson’s book ‘Screw it, let’s do it’, the following extract from the book lit a flame inside me and helped me decide that it would be nice to have the ‘official’ blessing but i was going to do this challenge with or without it:

 If you look ahead to the end, and all the miles between, with all the dangers you might face, you might never take that first step. Whatever it is you want to achieve in life, if you dont make the effort, you wont reach your goal. Take the first step. There will be many challenges. You might get a few knock-backs -but in the end, you will make it – Sir Richard Branson.

So i set about creating the website, creating a facebook page and a twitter profile and started to share them with the world.

“Never Give In, Never Give In, Never, Never, Never!” – Sir Winston Churchill

With new determination i re-sent the proposal to TMWF in November 2012, but this time i shared the details of the challenge and a link to the newly created website; i thought to myself ” Now they must realise i was being serious right?” Nothing, no response 🙁

I followed up a couple of times more before year end, via phone and email but still nothing. As i had had a response originally and not been totally ignored i thought maybe something had happened to the foundation contact email address, so i decided to get creative. I researched TMWF online using public records and found who was on the board of directors, i then trawled the web and using my years of experience as a research analyst & some lateral thinking i found an email for Jim Weir (Mike Weir’s brother). I emailed him and BOOM i received a call the very next day from TMWF! The moral of the story ‘never give in’. The phone call was just the first step, the next step to getting the ‘official’ support involved getting on a plane….

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