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Let the fundraising begin!

Written by on Mar 28, 2011

I was in Columbia, South Carolina, for the weekend as my family there hosted our team's annual fundraising golf tournament. It is always a beautiful time of year down there, and a great time is had out on the course. My deepest thanks and love go out to my family for continuing to support the National MS Society by organizing this fundraising tournament each year.

Our family's team fundraising campaign is kicked off each year with golf tournament, which raises a significant portion of the team's funds. We are fortunate for so many wonderful personal and corporate supporters.

Now that we have entered our fundraising season, I look forward to reaching out to friends, family and new co-workers (if done selectively) to ask them to support our family's team at the upcoming MS Challenge Walk. As I've been mentally (and manually) organizing my "ask", and starting to compile a list of people to solicit, I am eager to take advantage of the online tools in my Participant Center.

While its functionality (and ease) is great, I don't it to lull me into laziness in my solicitations. It would be easiest to import all the email addresses from my contact list into my Participant Center and shoot out a generic email to all, asking them for money. While there is a group of people to whom I will send such an email, I'll avoid this approach for just everyone. When you think about it, there are some people who should be sent an individualized email or letter. I mean, isn't the money they give valuable enough to take another moment to send them a special correspondence. I think it is.

The point is this: think about each person to whom you are soliciting. If someone falls into the category of receiving a more general email, that is fine. But if you come across someone who for whatever reason prompts your mind (or heart) to pause and suggest you send a personalized correspondence, follow your instincts and go that route. If you need help writing your letter, check out our advice and templates. The extra minute it will take to send them a personal solicitation may just turn out to be your biggest donor because of the attention and care you showed them. The money they give is worth your investment of time.

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.