Professional skier Larisa Yurkiw needs to raise $20,000 to cover her national team fees for the upcoming 2012-2013 ski season. She’s joined a fundraising program that helps raise awareness about this need among potential sponsors who want to support Canadian athletes in exchange for personalized gifts. One of the gifts Yurkiw is offering is her own hand-crocheted toques.
Who is Larisa Yurkiw?
Larisa Yurkiw is a 24-year-old member of the national alpine ski team in Canada. She joined the national team in 2005. In 2009 she was named the fastest female ski racer in the world. She was all set to represent Canada at The Olympics the following year but then she had an injury that sidelined her and she’s just getting back into national competitions with a goal of getting to the 2014 Russian Olympics. Yurkiw’s been paying about $10000 annually in fees but this year the amount is nearly doubled and she’s hoping to secure sponsorship to cover those costs.
What is this Fundraising Thing?
Yurkiw is participating in a program that allows certain Canadian athletes to get 60 days of fundraising exposure. The program, called Pursu.it, is a new form of crowdsourced funding (like Kickstarter) for athletes. The site explains, “Pursu.it is a platform devoted to micro funding for Canadian athletes. It is a vehicle offering the world of fans and supporters a personal connection to our Canadian athletes on their journey to success.”
Like with Kickstarter, the people who are asking for money offer different rewards and incentives for varying levels of financial support. The more you donate, the better your prize. The idea is for the athletes to make the prizes as personal as possible because their fans obviously want to connect with them on that personal level. So for example if you donate $50 she’ll write your name in her ski suit and you can “fly down the mountain” with her that way. For $1000 she’ll do a Skype call with you and for $5000 she’ll personally hang out with you.
Larisa is also offering crochet hats as one of her incentives. She crochets her own toques to wear on the slopes, usually only making them when she’s feeling like she needs a new color to wear. However, she’s decided she’ll gift them to people who give her donations of $250 or more. Her fundraising period runs through the end of the month so if you want to help out you can pop over to Pursu.it and give a donation.