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Fundraising on Facebook

Written by on January 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

As we start to kick our team's fundraising into gear, I activated the Facebook "Boundless Fundraising" tool recently. For those who haven't seen this yet, just log into your Participant Center, click on the "Fundraise with Facebook" icon near the end of the page, and it will take you through a few easy steps so that you can fundraising for the Challenge Walk directly through your Facebook page!

Although this application no longer offers a thermometer on your profile like it used to, it will still share your fundraising progress with your friends, encouraging them to help you reach your goal. You'll need to issue these updates manually, not automatically like before. Full instructions are available online.

Boundless Fundraising

Fundraising on Facebook is just a click away.


Boundless Fundraising is really an easy process and usually results in donations from old friends that you wouldn't have normally secured. Good luck fundraising!

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 #13: Soliciting friends of friends

Written by on August 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Most of your fundraising solicitations are sent to first-degree contacts: your friends, your family, your co-workers. But many more people are affected by MS, and that which affects your loved ones affects their loved ones, too. Why not expand your network and reach out to these second-degree connections?

In my case, I walk for my mother, who was diagnosed with MS in 1990. My three older brothers are unavailable to join me in the MS Challenge Walk, but their motivation to fundraise is no less than mine. I wanted to ask them to send a solicitation letter to anyone they knew that I might not — but then I figured, I'm already sending more than a hundred letters myself, I'm set up for such a process, why not do it for them? I instead asked my brothers for names and addresses from their rolodex. I then prepared a different letter to those individuals. Instead of beginning with:

"I am writing regarding this September, which will mark my sixth participation in the MS Challenge Walk, a two-day, 30-mile event that raises money for and awareness of multiple sclerosis, which affects my mother."

I wrote:

"I am writing regarding this September, which will mark my brother Ken's sixth participation in the MS Challenge Walk, a two-day, 30-mile event that raises money for and awareness of multiple sclerosis, which affects our mother."

I continued to make these little changes throughout the letter, constantly referring to myself in the third person, and ended by signing by brother's name. After getting final approval of the letter from my bros, I mailed the letters with self-addressed stamped envelopes directed to me. Sure enough, a week later, those envelopes started coming back with checks in them: "I got your brother's letter and am happy to help you in your walk for your and his mom!" Now that I've made that initial contact, I can (and have) solicited these same people for future walks under my own name.

Note that I am not promoting identity theft or forgery. Pretending to be someone else requires a friend or relative's full permission and cooperation, and they should be kept abreast of who you are soliciting and how.

Online networks like Facebook and LinkedIn help us meet friends of friends, but "social networking" works in the real world, too. Ask your siblings, parents, co-workers, and friends to fundraise on your behalf, and leverage your connections to bring us that much closer to a world free from MS.

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.

Share your stories on the Challenge Blog message board

Written by on May 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

It's been said that "multiple sclerosis is a terrible way to meet wonderful people." And it's true: although few of us would wish this condition on anyone, it nonetheless brings us together to share a common goal, inspire each other to greatness, and become the best of friends.

Although the Challenge Walk is the best opportunity to engage in that team spirit, the Internet brings us ways to keep in touch year-round. Today, I'd like to introduce you to a new way to meet your fellow walkers online.

This blog now sports a message board where anyone can post their thoughts. Whether it's fundraising, team-building, training, or gear, you can write about whatever topics YOU want to talk about. You can answer other people's questions, comment on their stories, and share your own. It's completely up to you whether you want to quietly read or jump in with your own messages.

Chances are you already have an account on another service, be it Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Twitter, AOL, or others. Don't worry — the Challenge Blog forum isn't yet another site for you to sign up for! You can log in with the same username you use on those other sites. Once you do, you can even be automatically emailed anytime a conversation you've participated in receives a reply. No more having to remember to check back to see if anyone's responded to your question — now you won't miss a thing! If you want to see every message posted to the forum, you can also sign up for email alerts.

Visit our new message board today and introduce yourself! If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please let us know.

UPDATE: The forum was closed on Monday, November 14, 2011. Thanks to all who participated!

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.

MS Challenge Walk's new home on Facebook

Written by on April 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

Last year, we announced that the MS Challenge Walk could be found on Facebook. Our thanks to everyone who joined us in that community! We enjoyed using that service to help each other prepare for this annual event and to get to know each other both before and after that amazing weekend.

Today we invite you to join us at our new Facebook home. We're moving from a "group" to a "page", a format change that brings with it many benefits:

  • Updates from the MS Challenge Walk can appear on your homepage in the news feed, making it easier to get the latest updates.
  • Photos from the event are now separated into albums, instead of being heaped them into one disorganized collection.
  • You can find our blog and Twitter feeds all in one place!
  • The page's address is much easier to remember:
http://www.facebook.com/MSChallengeWalkCapeCod

Please use the above link or the below box to become a fan of our new page! It's a great way to stay in touch and to meet your fellow walkers, some of who are listed below. A great big thanks to Marisa Bonanno for getting us started on Facebook with the group. It will remain on Facebook but will be closed to new members and activity.

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.

Boundless fundraising on Facebook

Written by on August 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

As you know, the MS Challenge Walk is on Facebook. Now you can use this social network not just to connect with your fellow walkers, but to fundraise, too!

If you already have a Facebook account, visit your Participant Center and click on the "fundraise with Facebook" button. This will enable you to add a prominent box to your profile that states your current fundraising success as well as your goal. From there, any of your friends, family, and co-workers on Facebook will be able to click the "Join Me" or "Support Me" links to help you reach your goal of a world free from MS! You'll also receive Facebook notifications with fundraising tips, as well as updates on your profile page that keep others informed of your participation and fundraising progress.

Both Facebook and the application are completely free, and the application and its box can be removed at any time, so there is no commitment to using it for your fundraising efforts. Try it out and feel free to contact ChallengeMS@mam.nmss.org if you have any questions.

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.

Challenge Walk on Facebook

Written by on May 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Are you on Facebook? We are! The MS Challenge Walk has its own Facebook group that you can join! Over 200 walkers and volunteers have signed up for the group, where they can post pictures of past events, discuss fundraising ideas, and receive invitations to upcoming events, such as the Boston Team Rally.

Facebook is a free social networking site where you can connect with your friends and family, share your hobbies, and meet new people with similar interests. I personally have used it not only to keep in touch with the many friends I've made at past walks, but also to find training buddies in my geographic area. Walking and riding is always more fun when you have someone to share it with and to egg you on. So whether you're looking for friends online or off, consider finding them on Facebook!

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.