50 miles in March 2021

The '50 miles in March 2021' challenge for Autism Assistance Dogs is asking supporters to commit to walking (or running) 50 miles (80 km) over the 31 days of March.

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The ‘50 Miles in March 2021’ 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, that’s just 1.6 miles a day. 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 provides a lifeline for these children and their families. 

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 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 provides a lifeline for these children and their families.

When is it taking place?

‘50 miles in March’ is taking place from the 1st to the 31st March 2021.

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/50milesinmarch2021

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 E22,000 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. You can register via the 'register' button at the top of this page or by joining the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/50milesinmarch2021 and following the instructions in the announcement post.

Is there a sponsorship card included in the fundraising pack?

Yes there is! You can use this card to ask for support from your friends and family in person if you would prefer to use that instead of setting up a facebook fundraiser. If you’re worried about asking for sponsorship online you can always ask people to share your fundraising page (instead of asking them to donate) to help raise awareness for AADI ?. Please remember it is illegal to solicit members of the public, in a public space, or by going door-to-door for funds unless you have our permission AND a permit from An Garda Siochana. The sponsorship card is for use when collecting sponsorship funds from friends and family and it does not give you permission to solicit members of the public for sponsorship.

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 our website it is the easiest option. Just be sure and register with us to get a fundraising pack and your FREE T-shirt.

https://www.autismassistancedogsireland.ie/fundraise/diy

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. Just remember to keep your supporters updated on your Facebook fundraising page and drop into the group to let them know how you are getting on as well. The majority of participants will be starting on 1st March but we understand that life can be busy and things happen, so feel free to start whenever suits you best

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

No, the great thing about this 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 jog, run, 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 3-5 working days of our receipt of your registration form. Please allow up to 7 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 

- A fundraising tips and tracker sheet

- A Cover Letter with your unique reference number

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

Fantastic!  Get them to fill out the registration form again to request extra t-shirts here: https://givp.nl/erf/uOBb2D2f

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 1st April 2021. 

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. 

If this happens, we recommend you set up a new fundraising page, change the end date to the 1st April and put a post on the new page explaining what happened and thanking those supporters who have already donated to your fundraising page.

How do I 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’, your name & unique reference no 

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   

BIC/SWIFT:  IPBSIE2D    

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

All the funds raised will go towards the training of vital 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.

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://givp.nl/erf/uOBb2D2f

We will send them a fundraising pack and they can set up an online fundraiser on our website - https://www.autismassistancedogsireland.ie/fundraise/diy

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/105616563307791

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. We suggest you sign up for our waiting list on www.aadi.ie and we will notify everyone when we are accepting applications.

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

No, we place assistance dogs to people on our waiting list depending on needs. Each application is taken on a case by case basis.

I registered for a fundraising pack already but it hasn’t arrived yet?

If you are wondering about the location of your fundraising pack, please email sarah@aadi.ie with your details and we will check it out for you. Please note that packs take 3-5 working days from registration to be sent out.

I’m having difficulty finding the Facebook fundraising page that I already set up?

On the mobile app or computer, go into your own profile page and down the left hand side there should be a link to your Facebook fundraising page (underneath the intro box). Alternatively go to the drop down menu “More” underneath your cover photo on the top of the page and select ‘Fundraisers’. If you are still having trouble, email sarah@aadi.ie and we will try and help you.

I want to do the challenge with my child and they would love a T-shirt too. Is this possible?

Yes certainly, please email sarah@aadi.ie with your request and the child’s age and we will organise it for you.

I got my t-shirt but it’s too big/small. Can I change it for another size?

We try our best to fulfill everyone's requests but we may ask you to wait for registrations to finish before changing a t-shirt size. We want to make sure that all the participants get a t-shirt as I am sure you can understand. Please email sarah@aadi.ie with your request, unique fundraising number and alternative t-shirt size and we will see what we can do.

I want to register for more than one t-shirt as a family member wants to do the challenge with me but I can’t seem to select multiple t-shirt sizes on the form?

It’s great that you want to do the challenge together. Could we ask that you please complete the form individually each selecting their own t-shirt size. It makes it easier for us to keep track of registrations even if they are going to the same address.