Posted in Badass, Feeding America, Hoka Hey Challenge, Motorcycle, safety, Women Riders

A Bit About Me – Julie “Squirrel” Andrews

Larry Patten #941, Squirrel #942, Chip Parisi #942 at Black Hills Harley Davidson
Hoka Hey Riders #941, #942, and #943.

I learned to ride in the mid-90s on a 1972 Harley-Davidson Ironhead but didn’t know may other riders back then. Basically, I spent a few years operating a motorcycle. I gave up riding for a time when I become a mom. In 2015, I resumed riding, seriously this time, and became active in the women’s motorcycle rider community online and at women’s riding events. It was at one of these events I met Junie Rose. Junie has ridden every route of the 10-000-mile Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge since it began in 2010.

When the opportunity arose for me to ride the 2018 Hoka Hey, I saw it as a great way to inspire women riders to do more of what they love and challenge their limits. I’m grateful to the entire crew at Taboo Harley-Davidson in Alexandria, LA, my 2018 and 2020 HHMC sponsor, for opening this door to me and supporting women riders in general.

In 2018, online fundraising and BADASS patch sales (see link on right-side margin of this page) covered ride costs and Feeding America donations to provide “10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles.” Feeding America is a top-rated, national non-profit network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. After the ride, I mailed a BADASS patch to every female HHMC 2018 Finisher.

Riding the 2018 HHMC on stock 2014 Dyna Glide was a challenge in every sense of the word, but I finished. Yes, in 21 days. Let’s just say it hurt the Dyna more than it hurt me. And it did hurt riding all day every day, sleeping outdoors next to the bike, navigating the route (and getting lost) without the aid of GPS. I’ve since taken a hard look at everything I could have improved on that ride. Which was…ya know, everything.

At Legend Suspensions in Sturgis, SD
At Legend Suspensions in Sturgis, S.D.

In preparation for the next Challenge, I’ve search obsessively for the best riding solutions. I’ve asked many riders and industry experts about riding gear and aftermarket parts. And I’ve been lucky to form friendly relationships with the people (who cheerfully answered endless questions) at Legend Suspensions, J&P Cycles, Klock Werks, Law Tigers Texas, Wolfpack App, Denali Electronics, and Twisted Throttle.

In addition, Ride Texas magazine and J&P Cycles’ Countersteer blog have given me opportunities to share some of what I learned. When not riding, I’m writing about riding.  Or obsessing over how I’ll make espresso on the HHMC.

This year, I will ride fully equipped and finish in fewer days. I’ll be on my ’19 Road Glide with, first and foremost, upgraded suspension and lights. Better windshield, lighter helmet, all-weather riding suit, waterproof boots. Better coffee setup.

For 2020, I doubled my charitable goal to provide 20,000 meals with Feeding America. Sales of BADASS patches, BADASS stickers, and BADASS magnets will launch February 2020 on Facebook and Instagram @womenridetheirown and @hokaheyrider942.

Posted in End Hunger, Feeding America, fundraising, Hoka Hey Challenge

Meals for Miles: Meeting and Beating the Challenge

Final Tally: 20,000 Meals!

woman wearing silver diamond ring biting green apple

September is Hunger Action Month.  Find Your Local Food Bank and Donate Today!

From July 16 through August 6, 2018, I participated in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, a 10,000-mile ride winding throughout the U.S. As part of this endeavor, I launched a social media campaign not only to participate in the ride, but also to raise funds to provide 10,000 meals with Feeding America.  The campaign tagline was “10,000 meals for 10,000 miles.”

I’m proud to say we doubled our initial goal. Funds raised by the “Hoka Hey Y’all” campaign will provide hungry families with 20,000 meals.

How were we able to achieve this? I say “we” because more than 70 individuals contributed to the campaign– and some donated multiple times. I cannot thank everyone enough!

First, I researched non-profit organizations to identify one that could best leverage our donation dollars. I learned of Feeding America, a national, non-profit organization with top-ratings from Charity Navigator. Ninety-eight percent of donations to Feeding America goes to programs. This level of efficiency is exceptional in the non-profit world. Furthermore, Feeding America can produce 10 meals for every dollar donated.

I then scoured the Feeding America website to determine the various ways to donate funds and otherwise support their cause. There I discovered a matching grant from a Feeding America partner (Tony Robbins) that will give the organization an additional dollar for every dollar donated. By leveraging this matching grant, each of our donated dollars will now produce 20 meals. Wow!

Finally, I sought to maximize participation in the fundraising campaign by using multiple online platforms. These were: Facebook, GoGetFunding, and Instagram. I was careful to research these platforms to incur the least amount of fees possible. I encourage everyone to do his or her own research on fundraising platforms at any given time, as terms may change.

No matter how one slices it, the recipient of electronic funds transfers will pay  fees.  Payment processing fees are rolled into the percentage a given fundraising platform will retain for its services. The use of a platform does facilitate and lend legitimacy to online fundraising campaigns. At the same time, it is important to know just how much in flat fees and/or percentages will be retained for platform services and to calculate whether these deductions are justifiable fundraising costs.  Some platforms may retain as much as 15 percent of funds received. My goal was to keep costs below five percent.

On the back end, I established a dedicated PayPal account to receive funds for fundraising sales of #Badass patches and from individuals requesting to donate directly, while still paying applicable fees. PayPal processing fees are presently 0.29 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. Finally, I opened a dedicated bank account to accept and easily track fund transfers. I made sure this online bank account was free of charge. In short, I wanted to keep the gap between gross donations (before costs) and net donations (after costs) to a minimum.

Of the platforms used, Facebook provided me with the broadest reach, in large part because I had an established network of followers and group memberships. Some of my posts were about the fundraiser and others strictly about the Motorcycle Challenge, but all created branding and name recognition surrounding the campaign.

Other recommended best practices for social media fundraising include: 

  1. Be specific about what you what you need and exactly what donations will pay for. I published a simple itemized budget as part of the fundraiser description.
  2. Put a face to your campaign. Whether this is your face or the face of a beneficiary, people want to support people.
  3. Know your audience! Identify group(s) of people with similar interests and values. Join and participate in their groups (without self-promotion) to learn more. And don’t be afraid to reach out to individuals.
  4. Post frequent updates about your progress with donations received and what remains to reach your goal. This includes making repeated “asks.” Sometimes all people need is a reminder and/or to see that others are supporting the campaign.
  5. Educate people about your cause. Let them know what impact they will have and just whom they will be helping by pitching in.

Finally, a contributing factor to the success of this fundraiser was the modest request for donation dollars: $20, $5, $1. My message was that every single dollar counted and was deeply appreciated. After all, one dollar would provide 20 meals! Any contribution was significant, and this made giving do-able for individual donors.

If you have additional tips or questions about online fundraising, please share them!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Badass, End Hunger, Feeding America, Fundraiser, Hoka Hey Challenge, Motorcycle, Women Riders

1 BADASS patch = 100 Meals

watch me

 ***10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles*** campaign. All July BADASS patch sales go to Julie’s Hoka Hey fund for donation to #FeedingAmerica.

Buy one $5.50 patch, feed 100 people!

Get Your BADASS Patch Today: https://facebook.com/commerce/products/1730103200438091

FREE SHIPPING with Discount Code HOKA HEY.

With @FeedingAmerica, and a matching partner grant, just $1 will provide 20 meals to hungry families this summer.

THANK YOU for making this all possible. #BeTheChange #EndHungerInAmerica

Badass Porkchop