What’s the ‘50 Miles in March’ challenge?

The ‘50 miles in March’ challenge for Autism Assistance Dogs is asking our supporters to commit to walking (or running) 50 miles over the 31 days in the month of March. Each participant will commit to fundraising for us during this period to raise vitally needed funds to train our assistance dogs for children with autism. Each trained assistance dog changes the world for a child with autism and transforms the lives of the whole family.

Do you have a question?

When is it taking place?

‘50 miles in March’ in taking place from the 1st to the 31st March 2020.

What is the Facebook Group for?

By joining the Facebook group, you are joining a group of like minded, enthusiastic people who want to take on the challenge but also raise badly needed funds and awareness for Autism Assistance Dogs. The group will support and encourage you to complete the challenge as well as answer any questions you may have. They are there for you!

Join the Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/774168339744169/

How do I raise money?

By setting up a Facebook Fundraising page, your Facebook friends can donate directly to us. Facebook don’t charge for this service so all the funds received will come straight to us. If you wish to raise money offline, that’s no problem. There will be a sponsorship card included in your fundraising pack and you can lodge or post the money to us when you have completed the challenge.

Set up your Facebook fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/fund/AutismAssistanceDogsIRL/

What is a Facebook Fundraiser?

Facebook have now included a fundraising option on their pages. You can set up a fundraising page and all of your friends can donate directly to your challenge without having to leave Facebook.

Set up your Facebook fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/fund/AutismAssistanceDogsIRL/

Where will the money my friends donate go?

All the money raised from this challenge by each of the participants will go towards training more dogs to be placed with a child with Autism. We are working on developing our puppy training programme so we can train and place more dogs each year. It costs €22,000 to train one dog and that dog provides a lifeline to each child and the family they are placed with.

How do I get my free t-shirt?

Register with us and we will send out a t-shirt with your fundraising pack. Included in the pack will also be a sponsorship card, more information about the challenge and how to get started.

Can I raise money on another online platform like Just Giving?

Yes, if you would like. Facebook lodges the money directly with us and doesn’t charge you or us any fees but if you would like to set up a fundraising page on another online platform we recommend Just Giving or iDonate. Just be sure and register with us to get a fundraising pack.



What happens if I don't complete the challenge?

That’s no problem, we understand that life gets busy and things happen. You can just lodge whatever sponsorship you have raised with us at the end of the month or if you still want to complete the challenge, you can do this in the following weeks.

What if I don't raise much money?

We have no minimum or maximum amount that we would like our participants to raise. From our point of view, no matter how much money you raise it will go towards changing the world for a child with autism.

Can I start late/early?

Yes, certainly. The Facebook group will be active for the month of March so if you start a bit late or early you can still contribute and get the support and encouragement you need to complete the challenge.

Do I have to do ‘50 miles in March’ at once?

No, the great thing about this walking challenge is that you can spread the 50 miles of walking throughout the month of March! If you need longer, that’s no problem, do it at a pace that suits you.

Do I have to do ‘50 miles in March’ all in one go?

No, you can start and finish the walk whenever you like! We know people are busy with work, families or may be on holidays! The Facebook group will be active for the month of March so if you start a bit late or early you can still contribute and get the support and encouragement you need to complete the challenge.

Can I do another exercise to achieve the 50 mile target?

Yes, of course. We are promoting this challenge as a walking one but if you would like to run, jog, swim or cycle it instead that’s absolutely no problem. Just be sure and post your progress and updates on the Facebook Fundraising page so everyone can cheer you on and we can see how you're doing too!

How do I keep track of how much I have walked?

The best way is to use your smart phone! If you have an iPhone or Samsung there will be a preinstalled ‘Health’ App that tracks your daily steps and distance walked. Other apps you can use are: Strava, Runkeeper, Map My Walk. We will send you a paper mile tracker too so you can tot up your daily miles!

Do I have to prove I have done the challenge?

Post pictures and updates on this Facebook Fundraising page with your daily or weekly miles so we can see you’ve completed the challenge. It is also a great way to show your friends and family who have sponsored you that you’re committed!

Can I walk more than 50 miles in March?

Of course. Setting a goal of 50 miles and exceeding that goal would be fantastic! Many people will walk more than 50 miles.

When will I get my fundraising pack?

All fundraising packs will be sent out within 2-3 working days of our receipt of your registration form. Please allow up to 5 working days to receive it. If you haven’t received it by then, please contact us and we’ll follow it up for you.

What is in the fundraising pack?

- A T Shirt

- A sponsorship card

- An information booklet with tips to get you started

- A Pledge Card

- A Cover Letter with your unique reference number and a daily mileage tracker.

My family want to do the challenge with me. Can you send me extra shirts?

Fantastic! Get them each to fill out the registration form to request extra t-shirts here: https://forms.gle/DspjXQHRnDfsP2YP7

How do I set up a Facebook fundraiser?

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/AutismAssistanceDogsIRL/ and wait for the pop-up to set up a page. Be sure to add ‘50 miles in March’ in your Fundraising page title so we can easily find and thank you!

Do I have to set up a Facebook fundraiser?

You will be sent a sponsorship card with your T-shirt and fundraising pack when you register but setting up a Facebook fundraiser is a great and easy way to get sponsors and share updates with your friends and family. All funds raised on Facebook get sent directly to Autism Assistance Dogs so less work for you!

How do I edit the end date of my fundraising page?

This is a quirk of Facebook Fundraising pages. They are automatically set to run for just 7 days!

You need to manually change the date to 31st March 2020.

Here’s how to do that:

Go to your fundraising page

Click “Edit” under the main image and headline

Scroll down to the box that says “Set the End Date”

Select DATE

Then click Save in the top right.

My fundraiser ended before I finished the challenge. Can you re-start it?

This is a quirk of Facebook Fundraising pages. They are automatically set to run for just 7 days! Unless you edit the end date, it will automatically end. Unfortunately, the only way around this is to set up a new fundraising page so make sure to edit your end date as above.

How do get my raised funds to Autism Assistance Dogs?

If you have set up a Facebook fundraiser then you don’t need to do anything. Your donations will automatically be sent to Autism Assistance Dogs

If you have raised money via a sponsorship card then you can:

1. Donate raised funds online via our website www.aadi.ie

2. Lodge the funds directly to our bank account. See details below:

Reference: ‘50 miles in March’ and your name or unique reference no (found on the letter you will have received in your fundraising pack)

Bank Name: Permanent TSB, Bank Place, Mallow, Co. Cork
Account Name: Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland
Account Number: 17263776
Sort Code: 99-07-13
IBAN: IE54IPBS99071317263776

How will the money I have raised help Autism Assistance Dogs?

All the funds raised will go towards the vital training of Autism Assistance Dogs. During the challenge we will post updates to the group to show you how your funds will be used and the impact that having an assistance dog has had on our current clients. To help show how your miles really matter, we will share a story every week over the next month via Facebook and email that tells you how you’re making a difference to our clients lives through this fundraising challenge.

I need help fundraising! How can I raise the maximum funds?

There are lots of great fundraising tips in the ‘Guide to Fundraising’ booklet that is included in your fundraising pack and if you are fundraising via a Facebook fundraising page, please see our ‘tips for hosting a successful facebook fundraiser’ for information on how you can maximize funds.


My friend doesn’t have Facebook and wants to take part in the ‘50 miles in March’ challenge?

If you have a friend or family member who wants to take part but is not on Facebook that is no problem at all. Ask if they fill out the registration form here: https://forms.gle/zcsbr6uNGoSgJsgG7

We will send them a fundraising pack and they can set up an online fundraiser on Just Giving or iDonate.



A friend accidentally donated to my Facebook fundraiser. Can you issue them a refund?

Unfortunately Autism Assistance Dogs can’t issue refunds, Facebook must do this. People can request a refund themselves from Facebook by following the below steps:

Send them this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/162031714239823

Select - I donated to a fundraiser on Facebook

Select - I want a refund for my donation(s)

Select - I made a donation by accident. Find their donation in the dropdown and request the refund.

I have another question not answered here?

No problem feel free to post any questions in the Facebook Group as someone may be able to help. If you would like to contact us directly, please email sarah@aadi.ie

How do I apply to get an assistance dog for my child?

Currently our waiting list is closed for applications for an assistance dog. Please sign up to our mailing list on www.aadi.ie and we will be able to stay in touch and notify you when we are accepting applications again.

If I fundraise enough, can I ‘buy’ an assistance dog?

Sadly we don’t have the resources to supply dogs privately and our ethos is that we provide dogs without charge and without discrimination to those who meet our application requirements. We operate a first come first serve waiting list with the top 5-10 families being assessed for careful matching of to the dog(s) that are due to graduate.