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Walk MS Peer to Peer Stories


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Walk MS Peer to Peer Stories

  1. 1. Walk MS: Peer to Peer Fundraising Stories
  2. 2. Adrienne Buchanan, Team Captain for Erica’s Angels in Dallas • I use the Walk MS website for most of my fundraising. I personalize my page and really make it clear as to why this is such an important and personal cause to me. • I use it to send out emails to everyone I know, and I especially enjoy its features such as tracking to see who has made a donation. • In the past, I limited the list because I felt bad about "bugging" people. After giving it a second thought, I realized that asking people to financially support such a great cause shouldn't be a bother to anyone. • I send out an initial email about one month before the walk, and a follow-up two weeks later. Then, I send a final email one week prior to the walk. This helps to remind people who want to donate but have yet to do so. • I started a new tradition this year by enlisting a couple of co-workers to bake some homemade goodies: cookies, cakes, brownies etc…and had a back sale at my desk at work. Instead of putting prices on the baked goods, I requested a donation for Walk MS. Most people donated between $10-20 this way vs. paying $1-2 per brownie or cookie bag. I raised over $400 cash that I turned in on the day of the walk. • Typically I get the most donations from my co-workers, and I’m always sure to return the favor by making a donation to a cause they care so much about.
  3. 3. Heather Emrick, Team Captain for Team Emrick in Dallas I go about fundraising in a lot of different ways. One way that paid off for me this year was getting companies involved. I work for Kohl's, which puts a lot of money into volunteer work ...I ended up with over 10 store teams and one district team. Each team consists of five people who in turn donate their time and $500 to the cause. I do not know if any other retailers or companies that do that, but I'm sure there are some out there. Another way is to just ask- I ask my friends, and family, extended family. I have emails sent out to my church community letting them know about the walk, and the ways that they can help out. I have a couple of little cousins that love to help fundraise, too. They are 9, 7, and 2 years old and they bake all kinds of goodies then sell to their friends and family for donations. That has turned out to be a good fundraising idea! I've also done this outside of a small retail store, but have found that people you know are more wiling to donate to the cause. However, using poster boards with pictures and information about the walk and the cause always help! I do utilize the Walk MS website for the friends and family that do not live close by. I use pictures to personalize the team and personal sites. Instead of emailing them through the site, I always hand write a thank you note and mail it to them. Sometimes, I'll include a team picture of us from the walk. I encourage my team members to all raise at least $50. Some raise more, some less, but I'd like for them to all be as active as possible!
  4. 4. Darryl Sullivan, #2 Fundraiser - Fort Worth Here are a few tips I recommend for raising funds for the National MS Society. Nothing would please me more than to see several people surpass me next spring in fundraising. 1. Compile a list of virtually everyone you know. Consult your personal telephone directory, your directory at work, at church, at synagogue. Think of your neighbors, your relatives, your barber, your doctor, your attorney, the families of your children’s friends. Look to your clubs for help, your golf buddies, your dentist, former schoolmates. Look over your business calendar and your personal calendar for the past year. A potential contributor may jump out at you. When your list is complete, ask the person living with MS for whom you are raising funds to compile his or her list, and add those together. The only rules I have: I don’t ask the people who work for me, and if a potential contributor does not contribute for two years in a row I drop them from the list. We all have our favorite charities to help. I harbor no ill will toward those who choose not to contribute, and I don’t want to pester them. 2. Each year try to add at least ten names to your list. As the year progresses and you encounter potential new contributors, write their names down in your file for solicitation during the next campaign. My list is now well over 200 names. Each year some drop off for one reason or another. Perhaps they move away and I have no new address, or they fail to contribute for the second consecutive time. You must continue to add names. Perhaps surprisingly, each year I encounter many new potential contributors. 3. Write a formal letter, but personalize each letter to the addressees. Briefly describe MS, the effect that it has on our lives, and ask for a contribution. Any small amount helps, and make sure they know that. I’ve received contributions as small as $3.00 and as large as $500.00. It all helps! I write two letters that I personalize on my computer: one to new contributors, and one to previous contributors. 4. Each year I tell a previous donor how much they contributed the previous year, and ask if they can increase it this year, even slightly. Most people do. (continued on next page)
  5. 5. Darryl Sullivan, #2 Fundraiser - Fort Worth 5. Remind them in big bold print that these contributions are TAX DEDUCTIBLE! 6. Ask that their contributions be sent to you in the stamped addressed envelope you enclose. This is extremely important. Make it as easy as possible for them to contribute, and enclosing a stamped envelope addressed to you makes it easier. Yes, I spend well over $100.00 on postage and envelopes each year, but it comes back many times over in contributions to MS. 7. Send your letters out well in advance of the event, perhaps six weeks, and ask for their contributions to be returned to you before the date of the event. You’ll have some trickle in afterward, perhaps several months afterward, but most of it will be collected before the event. 8. My wife, Jeany, and I spend one evening addressing the envelopes and stuffing with letters and stamped return envelopes. It only takes a few hours. 9. The most important thing is “don’t be afraid to ask,” constantly look for new contributors, and thank them sincerely for their help. 10. Last year I sent letters to my ongoing donors telling them how much they had given over how many years. I think it makes people feel proud to know that they have given to such a worthy cause consistently for a long period of time. I also sent thank you notes to repeat donors last Christmas, even though there was no request for funds. Just a thank you for the continuing support. 11. I keep a spreadsheet showing names, addresses, and donations by year. This will helps spot those you should drop, those who are consistent, and how much they have contributed in total as well as annually. 12. Don’t drop someone from your list because they missed one year. Many repeat donors have good intentions, but they just filed the letter away last year and forgot to write the check. If they miss two years, it may be a message that they choose not to contribute. (continured on next page)
  6. 6. Darryl Sullivan, #2 Fundraiser - Fort Worth 13. If you have a chance to land corporate donations, you may increase your fundraising significantly. I haven’t been able to do that, but using the above techniques has allowed me to raise almost $78,000 in the last 19 years, and these are all small personal donations. A nickel may not be a lot of money, but how about a bushel of nickels? It adds up! Does all of this sound like a lot of work? It’s not. I spend probably 10-12 hours a YEAR on this about one hour per month! If I can help in your fundraising in any way, such as helping with your letter, please let me know. We have a common goal.
  7. 7. Ken Wrobel, Top Fundraiser - Fort Worth Between emails and Facebook, I reach out to almost everyone I know. I add the incredible latest medical research and comment on all the great projects we support, like the scholarship committee I work on. I send out three to four emails/Facebook messages, letting them know I am making unabashed requests and will do it several times over the next few months; they either respond or don’t. Some people send checks and others donate online. That's all the magic I use. Between Facebook and emails I am reaching over 200 people from family to high school friends to college friends to church friends to co-workers. is mass contacts with multiple no-nonsense requests. And many thanks for prayers and support in whatever fashion they can give.
  8. 8. Suzanne Naylor, Dallas Fundraiser Since the walk comes around my birthday every year I also ask that donations be made to my walk fundraising goal instead of gifts. Also one of my teammates always made a few "anonymous" donations in small increments to herself. That way people who might not be able to donate as much as someone else would feel comfortable giving lesser amounts. Pamela Davis, Dallas Fundraiser I just tell people about my three friends that are my age and gender that that have MS and how I want to help find a cure for them. Knowing that I can do the Walk MS while they have difficulty walking motivates me to fundraise. Lori Pride, Dallas Fundraiser Our team’s fundraising was done by contacting my sister-in-law’s relatives (who has MS & who we walk for), friends & co-workers. I asked them to participate in the walk and/or to consider making a donation. I do not feel comfortable posting on Facebook, therefore I didn’t. My company was also very supportive in the walk and helped to organize our team as well as give corporately. Tools used were email, mail and phone calls.
  9. 9. Norris Mantooth, Team Captain for Team HP and Top Fundraiser in Dallas I started telling all my friends and relatives that I was going to participate in the Bike MS and Walk MS events. I then began going through my e-mail address book and asked everyone I knew closely to donate. I asked if they would consider donating to MS and sponsoring me in my efforts. Many people are hesitant to ask; I take the stand that I will ask and if they want to donate, they will. If they don’t want to donate, they won’t. I put together the following letter that I e-mailed or mailed to each person. Dear XXX, Here's the information about the Walk MS that you asked me to send you. I would love to have you sponsor me in this endeavor to help defeat MS. On March 27, 2010, Linda and I will be walking in the 2010 Subway Walk MS to raise money for MS as a part of Team HP. The Walk MS is not a race, it raises money for the race to find the cure for multiple sclerosis. Last year, more than 3,000 registered participants raised over $525,000 to create a world free of multiple sclerosis (continued on next page)
  10. 10. Norris Mantooth, Team Captain for Team HP and Top Fundraiser in Dallas a disease of the central nervous system. Although researchers are making progress toward their goal, the cause of and cure for the disease still remains a mystery. As part of the fundraiser, I am required to solicit donations which will benefit MS. The National MS Society is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization. All donations made to the National MS Society are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. If you donate, I will give you an update on the walk, how we did, a web link to the pictures that I take and let you know how much money that I was personally able to raise for MS (with your help). Here is a web site link where you can donate directly using your credit card: (Link to Personal Page) I hope you will be able to support me this year in helping to find a cure for MS. Regards, Norris Mantooth (continued on next page)
  11. 11. Norris Mantooth, Team Captain for Team HP and Top Fundraiser in Dallas I used the Walk MS website and included a link to my fundraising site in my letter. I also used the website to send thank you letters after I received a donation. In addition to the letter above that went to my family and friends, my largest fundraising came from the Funds Matching program that my company offers. They will match 100% of all donations received from their employees. I would send out a similar e-mail that had detailed instructions on how to obtain matching funds. I gave them the dates that the funds matching would take place and I created a PowerPoint document with screen shots on how to navigate the funds matching website. In this document, I told them exactly what to put so that I would get credit for their donation. I also asked them to forward me a copy of the e-mail receipt so that I could make sure that their donation made it to me. I have needed these receipts a couple of times to prove that the donations were made and came to me. As you can see from the letter, I took pictures during the walk and bike ride and I posted them on a site and sent a URL to those people who donated. This gives them a chance to feel like they are a part of my efforts. Each year I’ve been involved with MS, I met another person who had this disease and I have ridden or walked for them. Two of the people I was supporting actually sent my fundraising letter out to their
  12. 12. Norris Mantooth, Team Captain for Team HP and Top Fundraiser in Dallas friends and they donated to me in support of their friends who had MS. These are people I would have never met otherwise. Each year, I use an Excel spreadsheet to capture the people’s names I contacted, date of contact, date of donation and amount donated. This helps me keep track of who donated and how much they donated. I use this same spreadsheet the next year to focus my efforts on people who have supported me before. I did not have an actual fundraising event, but I did get permission from my company to put a table outside the corporate cafeteria and I used MS logos and other items provided by the National MS Society to draw attention to our cause. I had signup information and donation information available. Because I was doing the table at the cafeteria, my company also sent out a campus-wide e-mail announcing that I would be there which also included information about the event and how to sign-up. In the last five years of using this process, I’ve raised $12,754 for MS. I’d say the process is working pretty well.
  13. 13. Kathryn Goldsmith, Team Captain for the Fighting Kangaroos, #1 Fundraising Team – Fort Worth I have found fundraising for Walk MS to be surprisingly easy! I don’t particularly like asking people for money, but when it’s for something you’re passionate about and you know it’s going to go to such a great organization and cause it’s easy. I primarily use email to raise funds for the walk. I spend time on my personalized site that the Society creates for me – I include a personalized message about why I am walking (for my mother, who has MS) and I include a photo of her or our family or a photo from a past walk. I feel that people are more inclined to give if they see I’ve taken the time to personalize my page. I send an email out around five weeks before the walk. This might seem a little late, because I usually register much farther in advance, but I’ve found that if I do it to early people put it off and forget. Four-five weeks out gives them enough time, but it also has a slight sense of urgency. I send this email to just about everyone I know - Work friends, church friends, family friends, family members, friends of my parents, etc… I explain why I walk, when the walk is and my fundraising goal. I also ask my parents to send to their friends and contacts. I include the URL to the personalized site so that they can donate online, but I also give them instructions to mail in payment in case they don’t want to donate online. The other component of my fundraising is snail mail – I do have some relatives who don’t like/use email, so I actually write them a short letter and include a pre-stamped and pre-addressed envelope. I make it as easy as possible for them to donate! (continued on next page)
  14. 14. Kathryn Goldsmith, Team Captain for the Fighting Kangaroos, #1 Fundraising Team – Fort Worth Of course social media is so popular now; I use the Facebook tools that the Society provides and have found them very useful and cutting edge! It is my pleasure to raise funds for the National MS Society!