Team Building

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How to recruit and inspire your teammates.

 

March 2012 update

Written by on March 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Walk MS event season is upon us!

You can use any Walk MS event as a training walk for the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod. You For MS Challenge Walkers, there are no registration fees or fundraising minimums to participate.To find a Walk MS event near you, visit www.walkms.org.

Five Good Reasons to Start Walking (Besides the MS Challenge Walk)

  1. Reduces cholesterol levels
  2. Decrease high blood pressure
  3. Reduces risk of heart disease
  4. Increases energy
  5. Decreases stress

Five Ways to Find Time for Training

  1. Use your lunch hour. Find a nice place to walk during lunch and use that time to get outside. It will not only help your physical self, but it's also great for work stress!
  2. Make it a family activity and hike with the entire family. It will be fun and you can spend some quality time with your family as well as train.
  3. Find a buddy. Having a buddy really helps to keep you motivated!
    Set a schedule and keep it written down. Post it on your refrigerator and it will be a reminder.
  4. Reward yourself! Set goals and when you meet them, treat yourself. Get a pedicure, go to the movies or get that hard back new novel you were going to wait for to come out in paper back.

Team Apparel for the MS Challenge Walk

Are you considering making team shirts or other apparel for the MS Challenge Walk? Consider ordering them through the MS Challenge Walk Spreadshirt page. We have partnered with Spreadshirt to create an easy-to-use application to design and order apparel. The best part about it is that Spreadshirt will donate 20% of each order back to the National MS Society.

Thank You!

Thanks again for your participation in the MS Challenge Walk. If you and/or your team would like to get together to discuss training, fundraising, logistics of the Challenge Walk, please reach out to the MS Challenge Walk Team at mschallengegne@nmss.org. We are happy to assist in any way we can.

All the best,

MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod regional staff

P.S. Are you a member of Facebook? If so, like the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod page. Stay in touch with your friends from the walk and meet new people dedicated to the cause. You can post pictures of past events, discuss fundraising ideas, and receive invitations to upcoming events.

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.

MS Challenge Walk apparel

Written by on September 29, 2011 at 9:36 am

I've received a few questions from participants asking how they can purchase MS Challenge Walk Apparel.

If you purchase items through the MS Challenge Walk Spreadshirt.com store, 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the National MS Society.

The items can be fully customized with your team's name, the MS Challenge Walk logo, or any other design you wish to upload.

Please contact us if you have any questions!

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.

Team Apparel

Written by on July 13, 2011 at 9:09 am

Are you planning on purchasing team t-shirts or other apparel to wear during the Cape Cod Challenge Walk? If you purchase a tee shirt through Spreadshirt, 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the National MS Society. The shirt can be fully customized with your team's name, logo, or any other design you wish.

If you order merchandise between July 13 and 20, use coupon code CHALLENGE (case-sensitive!) during checkout to receive 15% off the orders. Spreadshirt will still donate 20% of the pre-discount price.

Looking good while raising funds has never been so easy!

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.

Team captain update & registration discount

Written by on January 10, 2011 at 11:05 am

Greetings, MS Challenge Walk Team Captains —

It is truly amazing that this year will be the 10th Annual MS Challenge Walk! Because of you, we have raised over $11.5 million towards a cure. Although we will be celebrating this incredible achievement at the MS Challenge Walk on September 9–11, 2011, our friends and family still need us to once again join forces and continue the movement towards a world free of MS.

I am constantly moved by your commitment to our cause and honored by the the new friends made during my involvement as a participant in the annual MS Challenge Walk. As leaders, the future growth of this event begins with us.

As ambassadors for the Walk, recruiting new teams and team members remains critical in moving forward. Advancing the network through recruitment and coaching our team members is equally important as raising the money that you all do individually. More walkers mean more revenue for our cause and we can never afford to lose momentum. To help our teams recruit, our chapter would like to offer a special discount code for team captains to pass along to team members. This discount code will entitle the team member to $25 off the $75 registration fee when registering for the MS Challenge Walk on our Web site.

Please use and share this discount code: TEAM25

Your success is our team success and our success helps the individuals and families living with MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Just this year, there have been three new medications approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, including the first oral disease modifying MS therapy.

I want to personally thank you for your past participation in the MS Challenge Walk and affording me the opportunity to participate — my family remains grateful. With each step you and your team members take and each dollar you raise, you truly propel promising research that will ultimately lead to a world free of MS.

Feel free to contact Kara Kelley or me via email or at 978-314-2338 for any information or assistance that you need to help in growing your team.

Thanks,
Kevin Lombardi
MS Challenge Walk Steering Committee Member
Team Co-Captain,
The Lombardi Party

Kevin lives on the North Shore with his family. He first walked in 2005 to honor his brother's battle with MS. In 2006, he created the Lombardi Party Challenge Walk Team. Today, he is the co-captain of the team and walks in memory of his mother, Carmella, who was also afflicted by the disease. This year will be his sixth MS Challenge Walk.

Get the kids involved!

Written by on July 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

This is the second year that my team and I participate in the Challenge Walk. My 8-year-old son, William, is too young to participate in the Challenge Walk but wants to help in any way he can. He loves to help us put the mailings together — his job is the stamps and closing the envelopes! He also helps with raffle item solicitations and many other jobs at the fundraisers we hold.

This past spring, William signed up to do one of the one-day walks as a walker. My husband and I felt that this was his endeavor, so we let him take the lead on what he wanted to do for his fundraising. Since he watches us put on fundraisers to raise money for the Challenge Walk, I don't think he completely understands that we also ask people for donations.

To raise money for his walk, William wanted to sell something. We took a trip to our local craft shop and purchased a large box of beads and some nylon thread so he could make bracelets. He made all kinds of wonderful variations, being careful that each one was different. The bracelets were made in two sizes to fit kids through adults. We bagged each one in a snack-size bag with a label stating what the money was for and that they were hand crafted by William himself — then off he went!

William first hit up the neighborhood, then the family (aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are always interested in something made by a child!). On that Sunday morning, he brought his merchandise to church; between coffee hour and the parking lot, he sold out! I don't think one person he approached said no, though of course, he only asked the people he knew. He also brought them to school and sold a few to his teacher.

The bracelets were sold for just a dollar, but many people gave more. Though this task's main purpose was to raise money for the walk, I think it taught all involved a good lesson. William put his heart into those bracelets, and he was as proud as could be each time one was purchased… although probably not as proud as his mom!

So, get the kids involved in any small way possible. Kids love to help and want to do something but may not ask. As William says which we ironed it onto his t-shirt, "I help MS!" He certainly does help in more ways than he knows!

Wendy, the captain of Team WWW (Walk With Wendy), was diagnosed with MS in 2006.  Although she cut down on her work hours during the past year, she still loves her job as a teacher.  Wendy lives in Attleboro, MA, with her supportive husband and 9-year-old son, who provides inspiration for her daily!

Spreading the joy and making connections!

Written by on July 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

Raising money for the Challenge Walk can be a difficult undertaking. Luckily, I have a great team that supports my efforts! There have been a few things that I have discovered after committing to this walk for a second time:

First, I spend a lot more time talking with my teammates due to planning and such, which to me is a bonus in all of this. Would we be talking this much if not for a common thread? Our lives, like everyone's, are busy ones, and sometimes we don't take the time to talk like we should.

Second, I've met people that I wouldn't have had a chance to meet otherwise. I met a few people with MS through my church after publicizing our fundraiser in the church bulletin. One woman had done the MS Challenge Walk for the first few years but couldn't now. She had some wonderful words of wisdom for me — as well as a donation!

Team WWW fun-draiser

Team WWW knows what to do with too much food!

Third, due to an overabundance of donated food items for our recent fundraiser, I connected with a local soup kitchen and gave them all our extra food. We had enough salad to feed 200 people left over! It was a great feeling, spreading this joy of food. We were not expecting particular donations, and when they came at the last minute we were not turning them away! The interesting part is the man who I contacted, randomly, knew about MS because his wife was an MS clinic nurse until she retired. He was just another twist of fate spun by this event which inspires me in the daily challenges of MS!

Who knows what other joys or connections I will make over the next few months or even during the walk itself? I look forward to it all!

Wendy, the captain of Team WWW (Walk With Wendy), was diagnosed with MS in 2006.  Although she cut down on her work hours during the past year, she still loves her job as a teacher.  Wendy lives in Attleboro, MA, with her supportive husband and 9-year-old son, who provides inspiration for her daily!

Fundraising and team-spirit contests

Written by on June 19, 2010 at 11:35 am

Raising $1,500 is a challenge for all walkers. The NMSS's goal is to support and encourage your fundraising efforts every step of the way. With that in mind, we are offering two special fundraising incentives for walkers and teams at the Challenge Walk.

One of the keys to successful fundraising for the MS Challenge Walk is to ask absolutely everyone for support. The more donors you solicit, the more donations you get! The walker with the highest number of donors as of August 15th will "feel the love" and receive special recognition along the walk route and lunch stop each day and during the evening programs.

Another important part of the MS Challenge Walk is teams, which help their members strive for even greater heights. The team with the highest per-walker fundraising average as of August 15th will also be given special recognition along the walk route each day and during the evening programs. In addition, they will receive premium transportation on Sunday from the Wixon School Prefinish BBQ to the Hyannis Transportation Center before the finish line walk and closing ceremony.

Keep up the good work fundraising and recruiting others to join the movement at the MS Challenge Walk. We need your help in continuing to grow this wonderful event. Don't forget to utilize the new and exciting MS Challenge Walk videos on YouTube as a fundraising and recruitment tool.

If you would like to discuss your fundraising campaign and brainstorm new fundraising strategies, please contact us at mschallenge@nmss.org or 800-344-4867 option 2. You can also sign up to receive regular email updates , including a weekly fundraising idea.

Todd, formerly the Director of Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is now the the Regional Director of FAS Capital Giving at Harvard University. In addition to reading his blog posts, you can also find Todd on Twitter.

Fundraising Tip #6: Hold a bowlathon

Written by on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

When your friends and family donate to your MS Challenge Walk fundraising, they're usually giving a flat amount. I've never met someone whose donation was calculated by the length of the walk, such as a dollar per mile. That's because few donors have undergone such a challenge themselves, and so the difference between 30 miles and 50 is an abstract concept to them.

What's more concrete to most people is — bowling pins. Everyone has at some point tried this most athletic of sports, whether it's the traditional tenpin or the New England variant known as candlepin. So why not capitalize on this tradition by having a bowling party?

Jeri EllsworthA bowlathon, in which people promise to donate money based on your performance in a string of bowling, is easy to organize and potentially very profitable. A perfect game of bowling has a score of 300, in which case a pledge of as little as a dime per pin can net you $30 toward your fundraising. Of course, few of us are perfect bowlers; not even on the Wii can we aspire to such heights. But a decent game still ends with over 100 pins knocked down, which at fifty cents per pin will earn $50 — and that's from only from one donor to one teammate. If five walkers each have five donors donating 50 cents per pin, and each walker knocks down 100 pins, that's $1250!

I recommend these steps:

  1. Contact a local bowling center to see about reserving a date and time (especially important if you're on a team!) at least a week in advance. See if they will donate an hour of lane time for the cause.
  2. Create a form with which to collect pledges. There's an excellent Microsoft Excel template that you can download for free and modify for your purposes.
  3. Print one copy of the spreadsheet each for you and your teammates.
  4. Circulate the spreadsheet to your friends, family, and co-workers. Tell them you'll be bowling one string, and ask them to pledge a certain amount per pin — anywhere from one cent to one dollar. Invite them to come watch or play with you (just for fun!).
  5. Have your bowling night. Remember to record your final scores!
  6. Report back to your donors with your score. Calculate their pledges for them and let them know how, when, and where they can donate.

A more verbose timeline can be found here.

A bowlathon is not only an effective fundraiser but also a great team-building opportunity. We so often associate our teammates with training and grueling exercises that we forget to have fun with them. Why not treat them to a night at the lanes and raise some money while you're at it?

Ken, an Arlington resident, 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.