Fundraising Tips & Tools
Every dollar raised helps fund critical research and programs and services for people affected by MS.
YOU can be a fundraising powerhouse just use these tips from other Bike MS fundraisers, take advantage of the resources available, and aim for the stars!
1. Start now
There’s no time like the present. And results show the sooner you start, the more you’ll raise.
"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.
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. Check out these 10 facts about MS. See also: What is MS? Progress in MS research, and Where does the money go?
5. Give to yourself
You’ll set the example and the pace for others to draft behind!
"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 Bike MS story is to blog within your Participant Center.
"When you sign up for a ride 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. Use the blog tool regularly. I use it to catalog my training and 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." — Kevin Fischer
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 Bike MS ride!
"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 riding. 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
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
Get social and go mobile. You will find the Bike MS Facebook page a great resource to help stay connected with tips, stories, inspiration and up-to-date information about upcoming rides. “Like” our page, then download our Bike MS Facebook app. It allows your Facebook friends to donate right on your Facebook page.
And finally, manage and share your Bike MS experience on the go with our newly-updated Bike MS mobile & tablet application. This FREE app lets you fundraise and connect with others through social media and email, update your web pages and check your fundraising progress—all from the palm of your hand. iPhone/iPad | Android
11. Get social, and creative!
"Utilize FB 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 that 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
There is so much done right here by Sarah Klein. Competitions, public thanks, tons of fun…follow her lead!
12. Ask again!
"Ask EVERYONE...twice" — Eddie McKeon
"Ask EVERYONE you know to donate. Most will and surprisingly [it’s] those you least expect." — Tara Sweitzer Jones
13. Double your impact with matching gifts
"Also ask around about matching donations. A lot of companies do it for their employees, but a lot of companies also do it for good customers. One kid on our team is having every donation matched by his bank, for instance." — Kelly Rodriguez
14. Hold a special event
"Do a March madness squares fundraiser to raise money early on!"— Kerri Kaplan-Ellison
Here are 101 Bike MS FUNdraising Ideas to whet your fundraising appetite.
15. Have fun
We’re all serious about ending MS, but Bike MS is also about having fun in the process. The combination of having fun and having a huge impact on people affected by MS will have a huge impact on you.
16. Even more resources
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here are even more resources to make it easy to make a difference:.
Bike MS Participant Center Guide
Bike MS Fundraising Thermometer
Bike MS Pledge Sheet
The 4 + 1 Very Simple, Very Easy, Not-At-All Intimidating Steps to an Ask, by Jeff Shuck
17. We’re here to help
The Bike MS staff and community are here to help! Find your ride and then get in touch with the event contact listed on the event site.