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Fundraising Tip #16: Keep fundraising!

Written by on August 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

[Note: Today being the last Wednesday of the month, this will be our last entry in the weekly Fundraising Tips series. We'll continue to publish three times a week on other subjects up until the MS Challenge Walk!]

The MS Challenge Walk is a once-a-year event, but the cause that motivates us to participate is perennial. For many of us, that means the fundraising never stops. Whether your fundraising efforts span the entire year or just the few months leading up to the event, hundreds of walkers have proven time and again that $1,500 is not as insurmountable a goal as it first seems.

The National MS Society can work with those walkers whose fundraising must extend beyond the MS Challenge Walk deadline. Although submission of donations before or at the event is strongly encouraged, if you need a few more donations to make your goal, please do keep fundraising for the 2010 walk after the fact. We won't keep you from walking the route! We appreciate your dedication to the cause, as will your potential donors.

Online donations will be accepted through November 15. If you have any questions, please contact the MS Challenge Walk team.

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.

Using your Participant Center to enter offline gifts

Written by on July 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

Do you have checks from donors that you would like to instantly show in your fundraising total on your Participant Center? Instead of waiting until after you send in your donations to the National MS Society (donation processing is currently taking up to three weeks), you can enter in these gifts as offline donations. Using this method, you and your donors see their name scrolling on your page and the updated total of your fundraising without waiting.

To enter offline donations, just follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your Participant Center.
  2. At the top of your Participant Center, click on the "My Progress" button.
  3. When the page appears, look to the "Gift Summary" box.
  4. Click on the link "Enter gifts received offline".
  5. The page that will appear will be a form for the information of the check holder/donor. Fill out this form, indicating how the payment was made and for what amount and how they would like their name displayed on the "Fundraising Honor Roll".
  6. The donation is now listed in your fundraising as type "Offline (Unconfirmed)".
  7. You can then send them to our P.O. Box address (with the proper paperwork), and they will be confirmed by our data entry department.

We have created a visual demonstration of these instructions on YouTube:

For more details, see our offline gift guidelines. If you have any other questions about entering offline donations or logging into your Participant Center, please feel free to contact the MS Challenge Walk Team.

Kara is the former Development Coordinator for the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

You just never know…

Written by on June 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

Fundraising is always a challenge to everyone. I'm noticing that last year, since it was my first year asking people, the donations came in pretty quickly. This year, well, maybe the economy has something to do with it, as it seems to be going slower. Asking people for money isn't always easy but, I've learned that you never know until you ask! People do surprise you!

My team and I put on a large fundraiser last year that went well, and we are hoping this year also goes well. How do I get the donations, money, or raffle items for these events? Just ask! Make copies of your letters, flyers, tax information, and whatever else you'll need, and get out there! I keep event flyers in my car and in my purse, because you never know when you might need them. When going to a party, dinner, or shopping, you might ask the business there for help — or you just might run into someone that you haven't seen in a while and invite them to your event.

As for personal donations: reminders are essential! I know a lot of people send out donations via email, but I've found that some people need that hardcopy, so send them out regular old snail mail. Be sure to include a stamp — it will come back to you faster. For those who you send via email, send a gentle reminder; some people just really do forget.

Good luck to all who are fundraising, and thank you for all you do!

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!

Charity Checks make the perfect holiday gift

Written by on December 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

This month, you may find yourself exhausted from shopping expeditions for the latest knick-knacks to give the loved ones in your life. Or maybe you'll be regifting what you received last year and never found a use for, making room to receive more well-intended but useless junk. Buying more "stuff" and "things" can leave you feeling disconnected from the spirit of the season. So why not give a gift that not only everyone can use and appreciate, but actually will make the world a bit of a better place?

Charity Checks are gift certificates that can be redeemed only by registered 501(c)(3) non-profits. When you order checks — which come in denominations of $25, $50, $100, and $250 — the recipient field is blank. You can then give a Charity Check to anyone as a gift, and they'll fill in their favorite charity's name and mail it to that organization. There is no additional cost or hidden fees or caveats, other than the cost of shipping (usually only $5). Checks can be ordered by check or credit card and ship US Priority Mail usually within two days, in time for the holidays. Plus, your gift will be tax-deductible.

Charity Checks let your loved ones choose the non-profit to benefit from your generosity.

Charity Checks let your loved ones choose the non-profit to benefit from your generosity.

I've been giving Charity Checks every Christmas for six years, and the response has always been phenomenal. They are not only a thoughtful and moving gift, but a timely one, as in today's economy, not all of us are able to give to charity on the scale we'd like. And though it may not be your intention, you may be doing yourself a favor as well: You'd be surprised how many of your loved ones will be so moved by your thoughtfulness that they'll return the favor by donating their newly received Charity Checks back to the NMSS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is one of over 800,000 non-profits in the United States. Every year, MS Challenge Walkers ask their friends and family to support our cause above 799,999 others. This holiday season, consider returning the favor.

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.