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Every dollar raised helps fund critical research and programs and services for people affected by MS. All walkers 12 years of age and older are asked to raise a minimum of $25, though participants raise an average of $200. Just use these tips from other MS fundraisers, take advantage of the resources available, and aim high!
There's no time like the present. And results show the sooner you start, the more you'll raise. Use this helpful Team & Participant Guide.
"Ask early & ask often." -Chris Lennert
Make a list of every person you know — friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, and business associates. You have just created your donor list. Need extra help? Use the Know Your Networks Worksheet (.pdf)
Set a goal that seems just out of reach. It will inspire you and the people you're asking for support. A World Free of MS is going to take everything we can collectively raise.
You'll set the example and kick-start your fundraising!
"Donate a dollar to yourself now and then so that your total doesn't end in a "0" or "5". People will tend to add 4 dollars to their donation to round out the number. Works every time!" -Mike Figliulo
Within the participant center, you have your very own web page. Be sure to customize it with your story and your pictures.
Another great way to tell your ongoing Walk MS story is to blog within your Participant Center.
"One of the tools available on your personal page is a blog. I post something every week. People can like or comment just like any other blog except this is integrated into your personal page." -Kevin Fischer
Use the blog tool regularly. I use it to catalog my training and relate interesting stories. I have found that about half of my email list goes to the blog regularly to read. If they are getting that far, they are only a click away from donating.
Many think the initial ask can be difficult, but it's easier if you tell everyone WHY you are doing what you are doing. The excitement is contagious and your story will inspire others. Your commitment and passion will be the reason they choose to give you a donation! Remember, you aren't asking them to give YOU a donation, you're giving them an opportunity to make a difference in the world THROUGH your Walk MS event!
"Create an email campaign that shares the real-life challenges of one person that you know that has MS. Include pix if possible. Mail broadly to everyone you know." -Craig Mason
"Ask anyone and everyone. If you don't ask, then the answer is always no." -Brian Jones
"Facebook does well for me. So does sending a letter to professionals to whom I give a lot of business (my vet, my doctors, the dealership where I bought my last car, etc) — they often have a budget for things like this to show appreciation to their customers and to give back to the community." -Kelly Knox
"Just ask. Every donation counts. This year I raised the most I have ever raised in the 7 years I have been riding. This year we held a very successful 50/50 raffle. I also make sure i thank each and every person who donates." -Brittinee Huntley
Keep your donors and your network updated your fundraising progress — they are a part of this journey too. Who knows, maybe they'll make another donation!
"Share a lot and try to give someone something back when they donate. I sold cheesecakes to raise money, but you don't always have to sell something. Make sure they at least get a thank you note (which is just polite anyway), but personalize it with a photo or a story about how why you're doing this." -Kelly Rodriguez
"Utilize FB sharing. I always get help unexpectedly from friends I might never have considered asking." -Lisa Hanson Tilley
"I do well on Facebook. Share facts about MS & give public shout outs to those that support you. Many times people think , "oh, I'll do that!" But if they only see it once, they'll forget. So keep the reminders coming!" -Daralee ChampionCheck out our Social Media Guide for more tips, and visit our local Walk MS Facebook page.
Get social and go mobile.
You will find the Walk MS Facebook page a great resource to help stay connected with tips, stories, inspiration and up-to-date information about upcoming walks. “Like” our page, then download our Walk MS Facebook app. It allows your Facebook friends to donate right on your Facebook page.
Make every email count with a Walk MS email signature to help you fundraise.
And finally, manage and share your Walk MS experience on the go with our newly-updated Walk MS mobile & tablet application. This FREE app lets you fundraise and connect with others through social media and email, update your web pages and check your fundraising progress—all from the palm of your hand. iPhone/iPad | Android mobile/tablet
Please find a list of fundraising resources below to help you achieve fundraising success. If you have any questions about how to use any of the resources, please contact us.
Fundraising letter: Download, customize, print and mail this pre-written letter. Then sit back and watch the donations pour in.
Matching Gifts: Many corporations have a matching gifts program where they will match your gift. These matches can double, triple or even quadruple the amount of your gift. Click here to read about the matching gifts program and check if your or your spouse's employer is a matching gifts company.
Mile markers: Reach out to local businesses you frequent and ask if they would like to purchase mile markers to be placed along the Walk route. This is a great opportunity for companies to advertise while supporting their local community. Click here for tips for selling mile markers.
MS Store: Visit the MS Store for great items to purchase and sell to your friends and family as a fundraiser and help spread awareness about Walk MS.
Pledge Sheet: Download your pledge sheet to track offline pledge and matching gifts. The sheet is available as a XLS document.
Community Events Calendar: Do you have a fundraising event coming up? Click here to post your event on the chapter's Community Events Calendar.
Your Personal Fundraising Page: Did you know that walkers who set up and actively update their personal page can raise on average two to three times more? Click here to watch a short video guide to your personal page.