Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MS Challenge Blog - My Guest Post

So I was asked to write a post for the MS Challenge Walk blog. For some reason I procrastinated on it for weeks and had writer's block every time I opened up my laptop to write something. Well I finally did it and now you can read it by going here.

You can also read it below!

Fundraising Tip #13: Sell jewelry

Written by Jodi on August 11, 2010 at 11:27 am

Fundraising year after year for your event can be tough, right? Instead of trying to do all of your fundraising in the few months leading up to the event, consider fundraising all year long!

This year is my first being involved with the MS Challenge Walk. I am a crew member and will be in The Big Tent. I've previously walked in the Boston MS Walk for the past two years; in total, my team has raised over $18,000! If you had asked me two years ago, if we could ever raised this much, I would have said "No way" — but we did it, and I'm already fundraising for the 2011 Boston MS Walk.

I have found that for me it is less overwhelming to do a little fundraising all year long. The past two years I sold "MS Awareness Bracelets" that my friend made for me. Since I had to pay for only the supplies, I was able to raise a good amount of money — and my friends and family are now wearing beautiful bracelets for MS.

Jodi's rings for MS

This year, I am selling "Rings for MS" that I made myself. So far, everyone loves them! I started last week carrying them with me everywhere I go and show them to everyone I meet. I've already sold 20 rings at $20 each, and I hope to see at least 75 by walk day in April.

I find selling something works well. People love new jewelry, especially when they can get it for a good price and help a great cause. Often the same people who buy something from me are willing to make a straight donation closer to walk day! I'm always looking for new things I can make and sell as a fundraiser.

I've also found Facebook, Twitter, and my personal blog to be really helpful tools when fundraising. In 2010, I sent personal messages to each of my Facebook friends and found that people I haven't talked to in ten years were willing to donate. I also posted regular updates in my status. Following the walk, I started my blog for the main purpose of sharing my journey with MS and as a fundraising tool. I'm hoping it will help as the 2011 Boston Walk approaches.

This fall I hope to host my first fundraiser at a bar with a silent auction. I've never done this before, but I've heard they can bring in a lot of money. So I'm excited to plan this event and get together with all of my supporters.

Doing a bit at a time has really helped me fundraise. It works well for me, and I'm always trying to come up with new ideas.

I wish you all good luck as the Challenge Walk approaches. I hope you have met your goal and enjoyed your fundraising.

See you in the big tent!

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Jodi was diagnosed with MS in September 2009 and quickly got involved with the Greater New England MS Chapter. She has participated in the Boston MS Walk for the past two years with her team, The Bean Team. This year she has also joined the crew for the MS Challenge Walk! She lives and works in the Boston area as a medical social worker at a local hospital.

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