Six MS Bike tours have already taken place across Canada this year, and we’ve raised more than $2.6 million for Canadians living with MS so far. I think Patrycia said it best in her recent blog post: “MS Bike means that a girl can be diagnosed with MS at 23, but she’ll be told it’s completely treatable or that it can be fixed.”
Money raised through events like MS Bike funds important research that will ultimately find a cure for MS. We’ve come a long way already—20 years ago, Canadians living with MS accessed the first disease-modifying therapy to treat their disease, and now we have ten treatments available for people to choose from.
The fundraising minimums attached to each MS Bike are important to ensure that your personal fundraising efforts are connected to the cause. But, while the recommended fundraising minimums are a good place to start, why not set your sights even higher?
As you fundraise for your upcoming tour, here are some of my not-so-secret top fundraising tips to help you surpass your fundraising goal.
1. Lead the way and set a goal.
Give yourself a gift: a donation. Taking that first step shows your friends, family and colleagues how committed you are, and the amount you donate sets the bar for future donations.
2. Tell your story—and be loud about what you’re doing.
Why have you decided to do the MS Bike? If you have a connection to MS, whether you live with it or know someone who does, tell people that story—people do want to hear it, and it will motivate them to donate. Also, set a goal and be loud about it. You’ll make people want to be a part of what you’re doing, because everyone wants to feel connected to something larger than themselves.
Obvious? Maybe, but it’s easily forgotten. You need to give people the opportunity to say yes, which they can’t do if you don’t ask. Ask in several ways: send people an email through your Participant Centre, post reminders on social media and ask in person. Tip: Remind people about your MS Bike by posting photos of your training on social media with a link to your fundraising page.
4. Put the FUN in fundraising with your team.
Team fundraising can create just as many memories as the ride itself. One MS Walk team in Red Deer raised $50,000 by pranking local businesses—they parked red toilets on their property and then charged the business $100 to remove the toilet or pass it on to another business. Don’t think your neighbours would appreciate a toilet in their yard? Host a games night, have a garage sale, sell yummy baked goods—the ideas are limitless.
5. Show some love.
Your donors deserve some recognition for joining you in doing whatever it takes to end MS. Send a quick email once they’ve made a donation, or tag them in a photo of yourself at the MS Bike with a thank you message—and make sure to say thank you in person if you can.
Do you have any fundraising strategies that have worked for you? We want to hear about all the creative ways you’re joining #TeamFight to #endMS. (And thank you, by the way!) If you’ve been thinking about registering for MS Bike but haven’t gotten around to it yet, check out msbike.ca for more information to help you make that all-important decision to support Canadians living with MS.
Will you join #TeamFight and ride with Carole in the largest cycling series in North America to #endMS? Visit www.msbike.ca to register now – build your team – or donate to someone in your community!