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YOU can be a fundraising powerhouse.
Every dollar raised helps fund critical research and programs and services for people affected by MS. Just use these tips from other MS fundraisers, take advantage of the resources available, and aim high!
1. Start now
There's no time like the present. And results show the sooner you start, the more you'll raise. Use this helpful Team & Participant Guide.
"Ask early & ask often." -Chris Lennert
2. Know your networks
Make a list of every person you know — friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, and business associates. You have just created your donor list. Need extra help? Use the Know Your Networks Worksheet (.pdf).
3. Aim high
Set a goal that seems just out of reach. It will inspire you and the people you're asking for support. A World Free of MS is going to take everything we can collectively raise.
4. Be ready to educate
People may have questions. Luckily, we have lots of answers. See: What is MS?, Progress in MS Research, and Impact.
5. Give to yourself
You'll set the example and kick-start your fundraising!
"Donate a dollar to yourself now and then so that your total doesn't end in a "0" or "5". People will tend to add 4 dollars to their donation to round out the number. Works every time!" -Mike Figliulo
6. Set up your fundraising page to tell your story
Within the participant center, you have your very own web page. Be sure to customize it with your story and your pictures.
Another great way to tell your ongoing Walk MS story is to blog within your Participant Center.
"One of the tools available on your personal page is a blog. I post something every week. People can like or comment just like any other blog except this is integrated into your personal page." -Kevin Fischer
"Use the blog tool regularly. I use it to relate interesting stories. I have found that about half of my email list goes to the blog regularly to read. If they are getting that far, they are only a click away from donating." -Jan Thomas
7. Ask far and wide!
Many think the initial ask can be difficult, but it's easier if you tell everyone WHY you are doing what you are doing. The excitement is contagious and your story will inspire others. Your commitment and passion will be the reason they choose to give you a donation! Remember, you aren't asking them to give YOU a donation, you're giving them an opportunity to make a difference in the world THROUGH your Walk MS event!
"Create an email campaign that shares the real-life challenges of one person that you know that has MS. Include pix if possible. Mail broadly to everyone you know." -Craig Mason
"Ask anyone and everyone. If you don't ask, then the answer is always no." -Brian Jones
"Facebook does well for me. So does sending a letter to professionals to whom I give a lot of business (my vet, my doctors, the dealership where I bought my last car, etc) — they often have a budget for things like this to show appreciation to their customers and to give back to the community." -Kelly Knox
"Just ask. Every donation counts. This year I raised the most I have ever raised in the 7 years I have been participating. This year we held a very successful 50/50 raffle. I also make sure I thank each and every person who donates." -Brittinee Huntley
8. Share your progress
Keep your donors and your network updated your fundraising progress — they are a part of this journey too. Who knows, maybe they'll make another donation!
9. Be thankful
"Share a lot and try to give someone something back when they donate. I sold cheesecakes to raise money, but you don't always have to sell something. Make sure they at least get a thank you note (which is just polite anyway), but personalize it with a photo or a story about how why you're doing this." -Kelly Rodriguez
10. Get social, and creative!
"Use Facebook sharing. I always get help unexpectedly from friends I might never have considered asking." -Lisa Hanson Tilley
"I do well on Facebook. Share facts about MS & give public shout outs to those who support you. Many times people think, "Oh, I'll do that!" But if they only see it once, they'll forget. So keep the reminders coming!" -Daralee Champion
11. Go mobile
Get social and go mobile. You will find the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter Facebook page a great resource to help stay connected with stories, inspiration and up-to-date information about the chapter. Make sure to “Like” our page.
Success is only a click away!
Hike MS participants raise an average of $250, but they don’t do it alone. There are many resources to you in your fundraising efforts. From basic fundraising tactics to how to use social media to become a fundraising superstar, we are here for you every step of the way.