1 min

Pleading for pledges

Begging for pledges isn’t hard, once you get into the swing of asking.

This year’s AIDS Walk chair Tim Martin regularly rakes in around $1,000 in pledges – mostly by just by tapping into friends and family.

“And then you have to start asking your friends’ friends and your family’s friends,” says Martin. “And the people at your office. And your co-workers’ friends.”

Be bold, says Martin, an eight-year veteran of the art of pleading for pledges. Don’t hesitate to ask for at least double of what you expect the person will be willing to pay up. They can always politely turn you down.

Waiting until the last few weeks before the Sun, Sep 24 Walk isn’t necessarily bad planning. When the date looms closer, donors are more willing to contribute.

“Participants collect most of their funds during the last three weeks before the big day,” says Martin.

The Canadian AIDS Society recommends putting a large donor at the very top of your pledge form, to influence others; and ask an employer to match the money you raise.

Martin says the event’s success depends on 500 logistical volunteers for the day itself and the thousands of pledge-collecting walkers.

For those not ready to hold out their hands for sponsorship, or for those who can’t hack the 8.3km, it is possible to sponsor one of the celebrity participants, including singers Kim Stockwood, Jann Arden, The Tea Party, The Matthew Good Band and former mayor Barbara Hall.

Information can be picked up by calling (416) 340-WALK, or you can register directly on line at

The average pledge collector brings in about $150 which, Martin points out, logistically covers six hours of counselling services, or a whole week of practical assistance for someone infected with HIV.