Upstate New York Chapter


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Fundraising Tips/Tools

The National MS Society knows you want to do something about MS NOW. By joining our movement, you are walking to create a world free of MS. We have developed some powerful fundraising tools to download. You can edit any of the letters to personalize them. If you have questions or need additional help, call 1-800-344-4867 (press 2), and ask for a member of the Development Department.

Pledge Form: Use this pledge form to track your donors and send ‘thank you’ notes. Feel free to make copies! This form is for your use. You do not need to turn it in at Walk MS.  

Thank You Receipts: These handy receipts can be downloaded and given to any of your donors who contribute $75 or less. All donations are tax deductible. Your donor’s cleared check or credit card transaction also serves as a receipt. Donors giving $75 or more will automatically receive an acknowledgement letter from the National MS Society by the end of 2014. If you prefer, we will send you pre-printed donation receipts. Contact us at, or 1-800-344-4867 (press 2). 

Goals: Simply setting a fundraising goal for yourself or your team is an effective fundraising technique that is often overlooked. Any time you are asking for donations – in person, email, letters or phone calls – let people know your goal. The closer you are to your goal, the more willing people will be to donate. If you meet your goal, ratchet it up and shoot for the stars. Our staff can help you determine a target goal that is right for you. Contact us at

 “Support Me” Letters: Reaching out with a personal note or letter is one of the best ways to fundraise. Many of the National MS Society’s top fundraisers secure their donations through letter writing campaigns. “Support Me” letters can be sent to family, friends, coworkers, businesses you frequent, old college buddies, community leaders – the list is endless. Letters are the most efficient way of spreading your message with a personal touch.

Need help crafting a “Support Me” letter? Use one of our sample letters and create your own by adding a personal touch about why you are joining Walk MS. Do you have a personal connection to MS? State that in your letter. Include a photo, too. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make donating easy.

Below are several samples to get you started. Use one of our letters, mix and match them, or just check them out for inspiration.

Download sample fundraising letters here.

Don't know who to send them to? Download our list of ideas.

Fundraising Rules of Thumb:
Ask, Ask, Ask! Don’t be afraid to ask anyone and everyone you encounter to help create a world free of MS. Asking boldly helps move us closer to that goal. Don’t forget to ask these people: your banker, hairdresser, favorite restaurant, heating/AC company, nail tech, grocer, lawn/snow removal service, landlord, dry cleaner, or any business that you frequent.

Click here for a list of general Fundraising Tips

To Be Successful:

1.  Always include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make it easy for your sponsors to reply.

2.  In your email, insert the web link that goes directly to your personal fundraising page.  

3.  Personalize your appeal by using familiar details about yourself, your history with the event, and why you are participating in Walk MS.

4.  Mention details about multiple sclerosis and connect your sponsors to our mission.

5.  Follow up with a phone call or e-mail to those who have not responded.

6.  Always send a thank you note when you receive a contribution. After the event, include details about it, and maybe even a photo. Your donors will be curious to know everything went, and many dollars you raised. 

Ensuring Your Donors Contribute Year After Year:

Click here to learn more about the top 4 reasons donors stop giving

Kick Off Your Fundraising with the “9 Day Plan”:

How to raise $500 in 9 Days 

Day 1

Sponsor yourself for $25


Day 2

Ask 2 family members to sponsor you for $25 each


Day 3

Ask 5 friends to contribute $20 each


Day 4

Ask 5 co-workers to contribute $10 each


Day 5

Ask 5 people from your church/community group for $10


Day 6

Ask 5 neighbors to contribute $10


Day 7

Ask your boss for a company contribution of $25


Day 8

Ask 5 local merchants to sponsor you for $20


Day 9

Ask 2 businesses you frequent for $25 each (doctor, dentist, dry cleaner, etc.)



Do the math and you'll see it's simple to raise $500 in only 9 days!


Sell Something: Many people find it easier to fundraise when they are selling something. Here are a bunch of ideas for you!


MS Bears: It’s easy to fundraise with Plushland. Most styles cost less than $3 each with a suggested donation sale price of $5 and up. Reimburse yourself the purchase price with the remainder of the funds donated to the National MS Society. Click here to order.


Pin-up Sales 

Sell these great Walk MS pin-ups for donations. Contact and ask to have a stack mailed to you. Please indicate where you would like them mailed and how many you want. We provide these for free, so sell, sell, sell!

2009 Sneaker Pin-Up

eBay:  Many team captains find using eBay’s fundraising tools successful.

            Click here for a guide to using ebay to fundraise

National MS Society Orange Bracelets

Order National MS Society orange rubber bracelets to sell for donations, or to give to donors to thank them for their contribution. You can order them online, in sizes large and small, at the Society Store.

Uno Chicago Grill

Uno is proud to support the local communities it serves through its Dough Raisers program. Host a lunch, dinner, or both, at your local Uno and earn up to 20% of sales generated from guests who eat at Uno to support the cause.

How it Works:

Total Meal Cost (for example) = $20.00
Number of Meals = 3
Total Day’s Profit = $12.00

Go to your local Uno and request to participate in the Dough Raisers program. You will meet with the general manager to set a date for your fundraiser and get donation tickets. Make copies of the tickets and distribute them. To receive the fundraising credit, folks must present the ticket to Uno when they go to eat there on the date of the fundraiser.

Yankee Candle Fundraising

Sell Yankee Candle products from a special collection catalog and you can receive up to 40% of the sales towards your fundraising.

  • ·This fundraising campaign is available August 1 through October 31st. 
  • ·Sales may be conducted for 2-4 weeks with two weeks being the norm. 
  • ·No minimum order required. 
  • ·The brochures and sales materials are sent to you free of charge. 
  • ·Orders are sent to Yankee Candle in a postage-paid envelope that is provided to you. 
  • ·Each seller’s order is packaged individually. 
  • ·Orders will be shipped approximately 4-6 weeks from the date they are received at Yankee Candle. Freight and handling fees may apply. Orders must be prepaid prior to shipment.

If you are interested in this opportunity, call Yankee Candle at 800-351-1533, or visit

Coldstone Creamery

Coldstone Creamery wants to help you with fundraising. Set a specific date and time with your local Coldstone Creamery and a percentage of the sales during that time goes to your fundraising.

Meet with the manager of your Coldstone Creamery, complete the necessary forms, and then discuss and decide on the specific details. The manager will give you a flyer to distribute to your supporters. Promote Walk MS event and raise money for the National MS Society while eating delicious ice cream!


CHICO’S, of Saratoga, is offering a fundraising option: reserve a sale date with CHICO’S and 10% of sales will be donated back to your team. Contact MaryAnne Ferri at CHICOS, 518-587-1530, to reserve a date.
329 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Fundraising Events: Have a group of friends or teammates help you plan an event like a BBQ, car wash or garage sale to raise funds for your team.

         Click here to download over 101 ideas for fundraising events

Click here to view events other Walk MS participants have scheduled 
to take place in your area

Click here to download a sample letter to use when soliciting gifts, sponsorship and in-kind donations for your wrap-around event.

***These fundraising events are designed to be put on by you and/or your Walk MS team. The Society can only provide limited support to teams and individuals planning and implementing fundraising events. Here is a list of items/support the Society cannot provide to teams/individuals having a fundraising event to raise money for Walk MS.   

  • Insurance certificates
  • Securing a host/event location
  • Tax ID number
  • Help with solicitation of prizes, auction items, door prizes, etc.
  • Sponsorship leads
  • Confirmed volunteers



Fundraise with Facebook  

Change your profile picture to a photo of the Walk MS or National MS Society logo. It’s a constant reminder to your Facebook friends that you’re participating in Walk MS and raising funds for the Society. Send a newsfeed story using "Get the Word Out" and your friends can click directly on your status update to donate to you. Share your story of why you walk, and read stories of other participants. View your personalized fundraising badge, which includes a thermometer that keeps track of your fundraising progress and provides an easy way to check real time fundraising status.

Get your Facebook fundraising started today! Post a link on Facebook to the fundraising page in your Participant Center and let folks know how your Walk MS fundraising is going. Send a message through Facebook to all of your friends and spread the word about your fundraising. You never know who has a connection to MS. Here's a great how-to guide on raising funds through Facebook.

How to Email Your Facebook Friends

Facebook limits your messages to 20 people at a time. To send a fundraising or recruitment email to a large audience you should export your Facebook friends’ email addresses into your personal email or Participant Center. Yahoo recently released a new feature that does this for you. Once you’re logged into your Yahoo account, click on “contacts”, and then select the option to import your Facebook friends. Yahoo will take you through a step-by-step process. If you don’t have a Yahoo account, you can create one to get your Facebook contacts, and then export those email address to any email server of your choice.

Stay Up-to-Date on Walk MS News!

Walk MS Upstate New York is on Facebook. Stay updated with the latest event news and photos by joining the Walk MS Upstate New York page on Facebook.

Follow us and help us build our page! Be sure to post comments, share exciting news, and connect with other friends of the chapter.

If you do not already have a Facebook account, sign up for one at

A Guide to Using Social Media – Tips and Tools


National MS Society - Upstate New York Chapter
1650 South Avenue Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14620
585-271-0801 ;

©2016 National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All Rights Reserved.