Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fundraising with Friends

When you’re fundraising for MS Bike your friends can be a great source of donations, encouragement and support. If you want to make donating extra fun and increase the amount you raise, try getting together with your friends for one of these great fundraising activities!

•    Host a movie night. Let your friends vote on what movie they want to see. Charge a small fee for entrance, dim the lights and prepare some interesting facts about the film you can share before the movie begins.

•    Work together to create crafts or baked goods for a sale. Craft sales and bake sales are two fundraising staples, but doing all the prep work by yourself can be tough. Get your friends involved and make it a group activity!

•    Prepare a fancy dinner. In exchange for pledges, invite your friends to a fancy dinner. Decorate your dining area and prepare all your best dishes.

•    Have a karaoke night. Rent a Karaoke machine and charge a fee for entrance. Not only will guests be supporting a good cause, but they’ll get to see their friends sing their hearts out (whether in key or not!). At the end of the night you can even crown a Karaoke Idol and offer them a prize.

•    Hold a trivia contest. Create trivia questions based on your friends’ interests. Charge a small entry fee and offer a prize. Alternatively, challenge your friends and ask them to donate a small amount for every question they get wrong.

Remember, nobody knows your friends better than you do, so don’t be afraid to come up with your own ideas for fundraising activities and events they’ll enjoy! Share your ideas with your fellow walkers on the MS Bike Facebook and twitter pages!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Contest winner Allyson visits the Windy City

Allyson Newburg has participated in 20 MS Bike events over the past 18 years, so she certainly deserved a vacation! Last season, we offered cyclists the opportunity to be entered into a draw to win a trip to either Chicago or New York City when they raised $500 or more online between given dates. Allyson was our lucky winner, and she’s recently returned from her trip!

Allyson chose Chicago because she’d only visited on business before and was impressed by how much there was to do with her young son and how many festive sights there were to take in. The family enjoyed the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights tour, and had such a great time that they hope to make the trip an annual December tradition.

As for MS Bike? Allyson says she’ll definitely be back in 2013, though the demands of taking care of her three year-old mean she’ll likely choose a one-day tour. “I enjoy being able to get out on my bike for some ‘me’ time on a well-marked route, with the comfort of knowing I won’t be stranded if I have bike trouble,” she explains.

Allyson’s fundraising tip is simple – she uses bribery! Every donor who pledges her $30 or more receives a pan of her homemade brownies, and some years she’s baked over 60 pans! All that hard work has paid off over time. “My supporters have increased their donations year after year,” she says, “so now I am able to raise the same amount of money without having to bake quite so many brownies.”

Thanks for your many years of dedication to the cause – and baking – Allyson!

Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts for your chance to enter to win other great prizes!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MSAnswers.ca is now mobile-friendly!

Have you checked out MSAnswers.ca recently? The website allows people with MS, caregivers and others affected by MS to discuss issues of importance and obtain accurate answers to MS specific questions from experts including neurologists, nurses, psychiatrists and other health care professionals.

The website is now mobile-friendly, so you can visit it on your smartphone when you’re on the go!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fundraising inspiration for the New Year

Happy New Year, MS Bike participants! January is a time for fresh starts, and also for reflection on years gone by. Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to achieve great results in your fundraising for the 2013 MS Bike?

To help you kick off 2013 with a burst of fundraising energy, we’ve combed through our archives to find some of the best fundraising tip posts of years gone by. Click through the links below to find inspiration. Just 2 or 3 of these creative tips can make a huge dent in your fundraising goal!

Share your favourite fundraising ideas – from this list or your own imagination! – in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Setting your 2013 MS Bike goals

Once you’ve registered to participate in one (or more!) of the 2013 MS Bike events, the next step is setting your individual and team goals.

MS Bike is more fun when you and your teammates are working toward a specific goal or set of goals. Goals give you something to focus on and get excited about, plus a real sense of accomplishment when you meet your targets. Your individual and/or team goals will vary, but here are some ideas to get you started.

• Aim for a specific fundraising amount. Set a team or individual fundraising goal. For extra motivation, check out the fundraising prizes you can claim at each fundraising level.

• Aim for a specific number of team members. If you currently have four team members (an official team!), why not aim for ten by event day?

• Aim for a specific number of donors. Rather than focusing on a specific dollar amount, you might instead try to reach out to as many of your friends, family members and colleagues as possible.

• Hold a fundraising event. Successfully pull off a fun and creative fundraising event like a garage sale, carwash, pancake breakfast or bake sale.

For a little extra challenge add new goals as you complete the ones you originally set. Once you have ten team members, why not try to make it fifteen? If you’ve already raised your minimum fundraising amount of $300 by February, why not go for $1000 and add some great gift cards and a special MS Bike jersey by July? The sky’s the limit if you work together with teammates, family, friends and colleagues!

Once you’ve set a goal, make a plan for how you will accomplish it. If it helps, assign certain team members certain responsibilities, or set monthly targets. Check in frequently over the coming months to make sure you’re on track to meet your goal, and to come up with new ideas and strategies. Don’t let event day sneak up on you and catch you unprepared!

What are your individual or team goals for the 2013 MS Bike season, and how do you plan to accomplish them? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The fine art of self-promotion

One of the hardest parts of fundraising is identifying possible donors and breaking the ice.  Once you get past that first hurdle, you’ll find that people are excited about supporting you as you gear up to support people touched by MS.

So how can you make sure people know about your commitment to the cause? You need to promote yourself! It’s easier than it sounds. Start with these five easy ideas.

1. Add a message about the cause and the link to your personal fundraising page to your email signature. This will remind your friends and work colleagues about your mission on a regular basis, and give them a quick and easy way to show their support.

2. Make fundraising part of your special occasion. Ask for donations to your fundraising page in lieu of flowers on your birthday, or yet another pair of box of candy on Valentine’s Day.

3. Use social media. Use your online accounts and networks to reach out to potential donors. Share content from the MS Bike Facebook, Twitter or YouTube accounts to familiarize your contacts with the event. Because it’s easy to donate online, even your friends across the globe can show their support.

4. Advertise for free. Where possible, contact local TV or radio stations to share your team or personal MS Bike story with a wider audience. Write a letter to the editor of your community newspaper, submit a piece to a blog or the church newsletter, or put up posters at local businesses. It doesn’t need to cost a lot to get the word out!

5. Be proud of yourself. Asking for donations to support a worthy cause is nothing to be embarrassed about! Take pride in your commitment and hard work, and don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with others.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Gear!

Start the New Year with new gear! TODAY ONLY register for a select Ontario MS Bike event through msbiketours.ca and you’ll be entered to win a Minoura B60R cycling trainer.

The trainer has a retail value of $250 and features:

• Magnetic Trainer with U frame construction
• Precision 600g flywheel, ensures a smooth steady ride
• Dual Hub adjusters, reducing install and removal time
• Offers 7 levels of resistance
• Fits 24"-27"/ 700c wheels

You’ll be automatically entered if you register on January 1, 2013 to participate in any of the following events:
Good luck, and Happy New Year!
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