Notes from the Jumpstart

Written by on June 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

Danielle reports on the MS Challenge Walk speakers, brainstorming, and fundraising ideas found at the Jumpstart meeting hosted by the National MS Society.

Thank you to the 60 Challenge Walk participants who attended our Jumpstart Your Fundraising sessions on 2/25 and 5/19.

We greatly appreciate veteran Challenge Walk fundraisers working with new participants (and other veterans who are looking for new ideas) to help increase their fundraising.

Here's a summary of the speakers:

  • Tracy Bolduc spoke about the success of her comedy night for team "Stop MS(ing) With Us" and how other teams can replicate their success.
  • Ann Scannell spoke about the Cocktails for a Cure cocktail party and they lesson's they've learned to improve each year.
  • Jack Enright, captain of Team Brian, spoke about his letter writing campaign and how to keep expanding the pool of potential donors you reach out to.
  • Ken Gagne, Challenge Blog webmaster, bike crew member, and Captain of the MSchief Makers, explained how to use the online tools the National MS Society provides.
  • Kevin Lombardi, Co-Captain of the Lombardi Party, shared the different events his team uses to fundraise and raise awareness of MS: including a pub crawl, comedy night, concert, and raffles at each event. New this year, his team has placed lottery card trees in local salons resulting in a 300+% return on investment. He's also started an eBay account for his team, and has offered to list things for other MS Challenge Walk participants, and mail the sale proceeds to them.
  • Patty Thorpe, team captain of the Blister Buddies, spoke about presenting to rotary clubs about MS & the MS Challenge Walk, and holding 2 events, Chowderfest and Night at the Museum, to target different audiences.

Here's a list of some of the ideas discussed:

  • Wine Chest Raffle from TWA
  • Scarfs being sold by new Challenge Walker Dorrie Riley
  • Restaurant nights out with proceeds going to the MS Challenge Walk — Try to target local restaurants or restaurants that do not require a patron to use a flyer for your team to get a donation. Flatbread, Cosi, Fresh City, Not Your Average Joes and Fuddruckers were recommended.
  • Joint team events (Teams working together on a fundraising event and sharing the proceeds)
  • "Jeans Day" at work in exchange for donations
  • Sending letters to a friend or family member's address book. See Ken's blog on sending letters to his brother's contacts for an example.
  • Including return addressed envelopes in any mailed letters you send
  • Theme raffle baskets at a fundraising event
  • Balloon pop with prize numbers inside
  • Lottery basket in salons
  • Party of Gold
  • Grill Raffle from Sole Train
  • Use VistaPrint for business card and postcard purchases at a deep discount for non-profits
  • Contact your local paper to share why to walk and you may get some unexpected donations
  • Asking your donors to check if their company offers matching gifts, to increase their donation

Thank you to everyone who attended. If you have questions about fundraising, please let us know. Our speakers and National MS Society staff will be happy to answer your questions, and connect you with a mentor (if you would like one).

Danielle was a Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society, managing MS Challenge Walk 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining the staff of the National MS Society, Danielle served as a crew team captain during the 2009 and 2010 MS Challenge Walks.

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