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Every dollar raised helps fund critical research and programs and services for people affected by MS. Just use these tips from other Challenge Walk 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.
"Ask early & ask often."
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
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!"
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 Challenge 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."
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.
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 Challenge 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."
"Ask anyone and everyone. If you don't ask, then the answer is always no."
"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."
"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."
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."
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!"
There is so much done right here by Sarah Klein. Competitions, public thanks, tons of fun...follow her lead!
12. Ask again!
"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."
14. Hold a special event
"Do a March madness squares fundraiser to raise money early on!"
Here are 101 Challenge Walk MS FUNdraising Ideas to whet your fundraising appetite.
15. Use the mobile and tablet apps
You're going for a training walk. You snap a pic before you start, upload it to your favorite social network and ask your friends and family for support. When you're finished with your walk, you pull out your phone again, check the mobile app, and snap! You've just raised more for MS!
Go mobile. Manage and share your Challenge Walk MS experience on the go with our newly-updated Challenge Walk 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 mobile/tablet
16. Have fun
We're all serious about ending MS, but Challenge Walk 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.
17. 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:
18. We're here to help
Challenge Walk MS staff and community are here to help! Find your event and then get in touch with the event contact listed on the event site.MSconnection.org.