How Your Fundraising Helps
Your efforts help support the many programs and services provided by the National MS Society, as well as fund important research into the cause, treatments and a cure for MS. Learn more at About the National MS Society.
Bike MS participants raise an average of $600, but they don’t do it alone. There are many resources to help aid your fundraising efforts. From basic fundraising ideas to how to use social media, we are here for you every step of the way.
Here are a few documents to help you along the way:
Here are a few ideas to get started fundraising:
1. Review the Fundraising 101 Guide for lots of tips and tricks
2. Have a Party
There are several variations to this plan, but they all share common elements: you and
your friends, raising money for the MS Bike Tour. Mix and match ideas until you’ve got
all the ingredients for a perfect party.
Host a themed dinner party for 10 or more of your family and friends. Have each
guest donate $50, spend no more than $20 per person on food, and you’ll have
$300 or more in pledges by the end of the night.
Host a movie party: pick up a new release at the video store, make some
popcorn, get some drinks, and invite people over for the night. Make sure you
have plenty of pledge forms out!
Who doesn’t love to watch TV show season finales? Invite the crew over to your
place to tune in for the cliffhanger excitement of your favorite program. A simple
cover charge at the door should put a few more dollars in your fundraising
Bust out the board games and cards, call your buddies, and start playing. Ask
for a flat donation, then offer gag gifts for the Trivial Pursuit and Texas Hold ‘Em
winners for added fun.
Check with your local pizzeria to host a pizza party. Not only do they make the
best pie in town, they might also have a great deal to help you fundraise!
3. Sell your Stuff
Do you really need all that extra stuff taking up space in your garage, attic, and/or
basement? Here’s an idea: recruit your family and friends to dig up items to
contribute, then pick a Saturday or Sunday and have a garage sale. Everything
that you sell can go towards your fundraising goal.
Find your inner Mrs. Fields and host a bake sale, either separately or in
conjunction with a garage sale.
Ebay! Have stuff left over from your garage sale? Gather up goods from you,
friends, and your, and auction it off on ebay.com.
Ask your local movie house to donate several movie tickets, sell them, and put
the money you raise towards your fundraising goal. Alternatively, ask a local
theater to donate a pair of tickets to one of their plays or musicals and auction
Ask a local artist or creative friend if they would donate a piece of art or jewelry
that you could auction off. Or see if they would be willing to create mass
quantities that you could sell and keep a portion of the proceeds to put towards
your fundraising goal.
Do you always make your travel plans through the same agency? Ask them to
donate a travel voucher. You can auction it off at one of your parties.
Purchase flower bulbs and sell them to friends and family so you receive a
portion of the profits. Or try selling candy (basketball teams do this all the time),
wrapping paper, nuts, and calendars. Contact fundraising companies that offer
these fundraising packs year ‘round.
Hold a used book sale. Everyone has books that have been sitting on shelves, in
the attic, or in the basement collecting dust. Ask your friends, family, and
neighbors to donate books they no longer want and set up a weekend book sale
in your front yard. Put up some signs so people will know where the money is
going; once they know where the dollars are going, they might even be willing to
give you a little more.
4. Think Outside the Box
Dig deep with the “extra change in my pocket” campaign. Create little boxes or
jars for you, your friends, and family. Keep one box or jar near your door or on
your dresser, and every day put all your extra coins in it. Put another box or jar
on your desk at work and ask others to join you. You can also have them place a
box or jar on their dresser or desk. Remember, every penny makes a difference
and it all adds up!
It’s YOUR birthday! You have everything you need and you’re hard to shop for,
so ask your family and friends to make a pledge on your behalf rather than
spending hours trying to shop for your fussy self.
Are you a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It? A lot of your neighbors would probably rather pay
you than someone else. Place signs around your neighborhood or in mailboxes
advertising your services (i.e. watering gardens, cleaning roof gutters, sweeping
the driveway, fixing an easy plumbing problem, painting a room, etc.) and where
the money is going.
For the mouths that need to be washed out with soap, make them donate
instead. Place a curse jar in your office or at home. Whenever someone says a
bad word they have to open up their wallet, grab a dollar, and put it in the jar.
5. Broadcast Your Intentions
Create a special message on your home answering machine letting everyone
know who calls that you’re up to something special and you need his or her
Print return address labels for your outgoing mail with something like, “I’m riding
in the MS Bike Tour: will you sponsor me?” You may want to include a pledge
form and a self-addressed envelope to make it really easy for them to donate.
Post a message on an Internet chat room. You will be amazed at how many
people you don’t know who will be willing to help you.
One of the great features of our website is the Participant Center. Use this to
upload a photo of yourself or your team, write your mission story and reason for
participating and set a fundraising goal. From this site you can send an e-mail to
everyone on your contact list and invite them to visit the website. You can also
keep track of donations that you receive by entering them into your Participant
Give 10 of your friends 10 pledge forms each and ask them to help raise money
on your behalf.
STAND OUT among your family and friends’ bills and junk mail by being creative
with your recruitment e-mails, letters and envelopes! Make your letters and
envelopes in eye-catching colors. When you sign your correspondence, add a
short sentence at the bottom of your e-mail or letter saying that you’re
participating in the MS Bike Tour and ask for a pledge. Include an e-mail link to
your Personal or Team Page on the MS Bike Tour website.
Print some inexpensive business cards with all the pertinent information,
including your name, the name of the event and your address. Then just hand
them out to everyone you meet.
Call your favorite radio station and ask them to make a live announcement on the
air. They may even interview you. Pledges can be sent directly to the National
Multiple Sclerosis Society office located at 2701 Maitland Center Parkway, Suite 100
Maitland, FL 32751. Make sure to have the donors put your name in the memo section
of the check or encourage them to make an online pledge on your behalf.
Write to all your neighbors. Attach a letter stating what you’re doing and ask them
to make a donation. Or just stick a flyer in their mailboxes explaining why you’re
If you’re riding in honor of someone, include a picture of you with your loved one
in your pledge letter, on posters, etc.
Ask people to pledge you an amount for each mile you pedal in the MS Bike
Tour. For example, ride 35 miles at $5 per mile and you will receive $175.
Place an advertisement in your church bulletin or newsletter letting the
congregation know what you’re up to! Or better yet, invite them to ride or
volunteer with you at the MS Bike Tour!
Contact your local libraries and schools and ask if you can put an advertisement
in their newsletter about your efforts to fundraise and recruit team members and
volunteers. Some of the organizations may even invite you to make a short
Share your personal challenge and inspirational story with others. The more you
talk about your upcoming adventure, the more people will share in that
excitement and want to make a pledge on your behalf.
Call the editor at your favorite magazine or newspaper and ask them to sponsor
you in the MS Bike Tour. If you’ve subscribed to a specific magazine or local
newspaper for a long time, they may be willing to give something back to you.
Contact the national chapter of your fraternity, sorority, or alumni organization.
Ask them to make a donation on behalf of your fundraising efforts or place an ad
in the newsletter asking for donations.
Write a letter to your local politicians; you supported them, don’t you think they
should support you? Send a solicitation letter to your local Knights of Columbus,
Lions Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, etc. They support individuals in their
communities and they volunteer.
Contact your local newspaper and get an article published. Make sure that you
put in information about how people can contribute. And have a photo ready to