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Jumpstart Your Fundraising

Written by on February 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Here is my secret: I hate asking people for money.

Phew! It feels good to get that off my chest.

But it's true — fundraising is difficult for many people. Which is why it's great that there are SO many different ways to raise money for Challenge Walk MS.

Are you a good writer? Share your story in a letter to your friends and family. Do you or someone you know have a talent such as photography or hair styling? Raffle off a complimentary session. Is your basement or garage getting a little cluttered? Have a yard sale. Do you have a fabulous brand-new idea, but are unsure how to get it off the ground? We can help.

We will be discussing strategies like these — and more — at our upcoming "Jumpstart Your Fundraising" Meeting. Join your fellow Walkers and Crew Members on Saturday, March 14, 9 AM – 11 AM at the NMSS Greater New England Chapter office at 101A 1st Avenue in Waltham.

Topics to include letter-writing, raffles, corporate sponsorships, events, and social media. You'll also have the opportunity to make new connections with other Challenge Walk Participants, share ideas, and maybe even launch a joint team fundraiser (which is a great way to expand your audience and increase your profits)!

Finally, each attendee will receive $50 BONUS BUCKS toward their fundraising goal for joining us! That's right, you'll be $50 closer to surpassing your fundraising goal. A light breakfast and coffee will also be served.

Be sure to RSVP here, where you'll have an opportunity to tell us what topics YOU want to discuss.

Whether this is your first year or your fourteenth at Challenge Walk MS, I can guarantee that you'll walk away (no pun intended!) a better fundraiser.

Even if you cannot make it to "Jumpstart Your Fundraising", please do not hesitate to reach out to me, the Steering Committee, or Aileen Callahan at any time during your preparations for Challenge. We are here to help you succeed.

Amy has been participating in the MS Challenge Walk since 2002, in honor of her father, who was diagnosed the year before.  In 2007, she joined the Steering Committee. She feels blessed to be accompanied by such an amazing group of people in this fight against MS.  Amy lives in Lowell, Massachusetts with her husband, son, and daughter.

Jumpstart your online fundraising

Written by on February 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

A growing percentage of MS Challenge Walk fundraising occurs online — and why not? Which is easier: sending a letter to your friend in Nome, Alaska, her writing a check and returning it in your self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), you then writing a receipt and mailing the check to the NMSS; or sending your friend an email and asking her to punch in her credit card online?

Not only does the online approach get the money into the bank more quickly, it also gives the National MS Society a bigger cut, as fewer hands need to be hired to process a check. It's a winning situation for all parties.

There are other online fundraising tools, too: you can make every email into a fundraising solicitation; a handy Facebook application can do your fundraising for you; you can promote your offline events in an online event calendar; you can even get Amazon.com to give you a piece of the action.

I reviewed all these tools and more at last month's Jumpstart Your Fundraising meeting. Didn't attend? A 20-minute recording of that presentation is available in the below YouTube video:

If you want more details about any of these opportunities, please email me or leave a comment. For more advice from Jumpstart, listen to the MS Challenge Talk audio recordings. To be alerted to future Jumpstart sessions, sign up for free email notifications!

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.

Jumpstart Your Fundraising with Sue McCook, Ann Scannell, Steve Urquhart

Written by on February 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

Didn't attend the Jumpstart Your Fundraising meeting on January 26? Not a problem! We recorded the best advice, inspiration, and success stories for how you can fundraise toward a cure for multiple sclerosis.

In this audio recording, you'll hear from Sue McCook about how to recruit restaurants and bars to your fundraising efforts; Ann Scannell about her team's fundraising efforts; and Steve Urquhart about corporate donations and company matching.

Stay tuned for more episodes of MS Challenge Talk!

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

Jumpstart Your Fundraising with Michael Derick, Ken Gagne, Donn Hockman

Written by on January 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

Didn't attend the Jumpstart Your Fundraising meeting on January 26? Not a problem! We recorded the best advice, inspiration, and success stories for how you can fundraise toward a cure for multiple sclerosis.

In this audio recording, you'll hear from Michael Derick about why he does the walk and how to recruit for your team; Ken Gagne on how to expand your fundraising network; and Donn Hockman on how to host sustainable fundraising events.

Stay tuned next week for more excerpts from this MS Challenge Walk brainstorming session!

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

Jumpstart your fundraising

Written by on January 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

Have you ever wondered how some participants raise over $10,000 for the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod? Not sure how to draft a donation request letter (or how to improve the one you've been using), use your online participant center, or host a fundraising event?

Join us at the National MS Society office on Saturday, January 26, at 10 AM to learn the "secrets" of successful Challenge Walk fundraising. The speakers will be your peers, other Challenge Walkers and Crew that want to share their fundraising advice with you, to help take your fundraising to a higher level.

As an added bonus, everyone who attends will get $50 added to their Challenge Walk fundraising, and pizza will be served for lunch.

Please use the below form to let us know you'll be coming. You can also RSVP on Evite or Facebook!

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Notes from the Jumpstart

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

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.
  • Kevin did a great job in fostering the idea that we are teams, but not against each other — that we are all there for the same goal — to find the cure!

  • 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.

Jumpstart your fundraising

Written by on May 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

Have you ever wondered how some participants raise over $10,000 for the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod? Not sure how to draft a donation request letter (or how to improve the one you've been using), use your online participant center, or host a fundraising event?

Join us at the National MS Society office on Saturday, May 19, at 10 AM to learn the "secrets" of successful Challenge Walk fundraising. The speakers will be your peers, other Challenge Walkers and Crew that want to share their fundraising advice with you, to help take your fundraising to a higher level.

As an added bonus, everyone who attends will get $50 added to their Challenge Walk fundraising, and pizza will be served for lunch.

Please RSVP to let us know you'll be coming!

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!