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I wanted to make sure you were aware of a very handy tool in the fundraising toolbox, compliments of the BikeMS crew. It’s a Facebook app/widget that you can add to your personal profile that shows folks your fundraising goal and progress toward that goal. It also has a convenient “Support Me” button that links directly to your fundraising page. If you have not already set up a fundraising page for your efforts, read my last post as to why then go to the My Participant Center on the National MS Society page to get started.

The tool is perfect for Facebook b/c it does not just sit back and wait for others to notice it. No sir-ee bob! It will do some heavy lifting for you. With any new donation or change in your overall fundraising goal, it provides a nice reminder to your Facebook friends that updates your progress via the Newsfeed. Very well done and help you consistently and gently remind your friends and family that your busting your hump for a great cause!



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It’s go time and I’ve been so focused on kicking off “Operation Fundraising” that I’ve inadvertantly ignored my Top Fundraiser duties. My apologies. Let me catch you up and vow to keep all (six) of you informed.

1. I officially kicked off my fundraising efforts about 2 weeks ago when I updated my Facebook Group page and announced that I was once again participating in the Sam’s Club BikeMS and open for business. I posted an update to the group wall which shows up in the Feed of all the members AND sent a private message to the members that goes to their Facebook inbox.

I then turned my attention to the awesome tools provided by the MS Society via the “Participant Center.” This is an awesome fundraising suite packed with all kinds of goodies to help you break through your fundraising goals. I made sure to update the information on My Participant Center as well as my personal direct link (www.nationalmssociety.org/goto/matt.noe). This link is so handy b/c it allows you to share via emails and social media updates and is easy to remember.  I then imported my various address books to the email tool and sent out a mass email describing why I ride, what I’m asking, and how to donate. You can find the copy of my email on the Facebook Group wall post. Now I’m planning to gently remind folks via all my channels (Facebook, Twitter, email, blog, posters at office, etc) every couple of weeks. We all need to be reminded to do most things, especially if it’s something you want to do but not right this second.

2. I also got my first “long” ride in this past weekend. If you weren’t inspired by the absolute wonderful weather we had last weekend then there’s something wrong with you.

red wolf being released into the wildI felt like a caged animal being released into the wild and took advantage of kiddo nap time on Sunday to get in a nice 2-hour ride around Texas Motor Speedway. You can find me there most Sunday’s around 2pm so let me know if  you’re going to be there and I’ll make sure to be on the lookout. It can be boring so I welcome the company and conversation.

That’s all for now. I hope your riding and fundraising efforts are going well and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about the tools listed above or ideas you may have.

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I ran across this blog post in reading up on MS across the interwebs. I shared the high-level idea below and encourage any questions and/or ideas that you have via the comments.

“Circle of Ten” – I read about this concept on the MS Blog on About.com by Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D. It’s a fairly straightforward idea that looks both fun and realistic. Here’s some excerpts from her blog post:

“It is very simple: one person recruits ten people that they know (she wrote a touching letter to do this) to ask ten people from their circle of family and friends to give 10 dollars each. Viola! Pretty soon, you have a thousand dollars.

Unlike many other fundraising situations, this one can actually be graceful and fun – usually people like to give, but neither the asker or the person being asked enjoys that yucky moment where they are both doing mental calculations as to how much looks good, but doesn’t cause financial or emotional stress. With this strategy, mentioning a small amount allows everyone to feel great about the whole thing (and people often give more).”

Make sure you read the whole post as it’s got some additional info including several related posts with similar fundraising and giving back ideas.

Full Disclosure: In my day job, I am a Strategist at a marketing agency here in Dallas. My current client is a pharmaceutical company that is undergoing R&D for a new MS treatment. It’s exciting for me personally due to my growing passion to better the lives of those with MS.

As part of my work, I’ve been monitoring marketing research with a variety of MS patients from around the country. I’m currently three cities into a four city tour and have learned more than I ever thought I could about the daily lives of MS patients. Regardless of gender, age, life stage, or even progression of their MS they surprisingly have similar goals, struggles, and visions of hope.

While their struggles and hurdles are not new to me, it was insightful to see and hear these similarities given that I’ve experienced them with the MS patients in my personal life.

What’s encouraging is that beyond my clients efforts, there’s hope on the horizon. From new symptom-specific drugs, breakthrough devices, growing research funding, to a groundswell of supporters (like you) donating and participating in awareness & fund raising events like Bike MS, Walk MS, and many more.

Below are a few links I gathered from patients sharing where they go for research, encouragement, and general information online:

1.  National MS Society: Great organization with incredible resources and information on everything from how to get involved to living with MS.

2.  Myelin Repair Foundation: Exciting work and research driving towards the cure and/or reversal of MS.

3.  Shift.ms: An edgy, cool site geared at younger MS patients who want more interactive (video, social media, etc) and a voice similar to theirs, not the typical 40-50 something crowd.

4.  Active MS’ers: is designed to help, motivate, and inspire those with multiple sclerosis to stay as active as possible—physically, intellectually, and socially—regardless of physical limitations.

5.  MS News Today: Comprehensive and great way to stay plugged into all the news and happenings in MS research, funding, etc.

6.  MSunderstood: “the website on MS that doesn’t suck.”

7.  29 Gifts author Cami Walker: amazing book by an inspiring author. My wife described it like the Girlfriends Guide to MS. You understand this if you’ve read the Girlfriends Guides (to pregnancy, toddlers, etc).

8. Brain Cheese Blog: funny blog written by a MS patient. His description… “A forum of musings and adventures while traveling down the road with Multiple Sclerosis.”

9.  Last but definitely not least… Trevis Gleason’s blog: His name came up numerous times as a funny, helpful personality that others found interesting and engaging.

Enjoy,
Matt

Top Fundraiser

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