Turn every email into a fundraising opportunity

Written by on July 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

How many emails do you send each day? What if you could make each one into a fundraising opportunity? Here's how.

Asking for money is perhaps the hardest part of the MS Challenge Walk. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so. I rely primarily on postal mail, having sent 142 letters of solicitation with self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASEs) back on May 7th.

Another approach is online, and if you're reading this blog, then you're probably a computer maven. Perhaps you don't rely on online communication to the extent I do (since May 7th, I've sent 1,368 personal emails… make that 1,369), but you probably send at least a few messages each day. Why not add an innocuous reminder to each outgoing email that you're campaigning for a world free from multiple sclerosis?

You can do this by adding a brief line to the end of your emails. If you already sign your emails with your name, just extend it a bit further by writing, "I'm walking 50 miles to end multiple sclerosis. Can you help?" Then include a link to your online participant center (which you can make really short — easy for including in an email!).

You can automate your emails so that they always include this closing text by default. Look in your email program on how to define a "signature". For example, here's how to do so in Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.

Adding a signature won't cost you any money, and once it's automated, it won't cost you any time, either. Make every email you send work for you!

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

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