Your fundraising fuels cutting-edge research and delivers critical services to help those affected by MS live their best lives.
You can be a fundraising powerhouse—just use these tips and tools to get started.
Tips & Tools
5 Ways to Get Started
1. Set a goal and aim high.
2. Personalize your Fundraising Center by sharing your story of why you participate.
3. Make a self-donation to kickstart your fundraising and show others that you’re leading the way.
4. Use the power of social media to share your story, videos and photos, and launch a Facebook Fundraiser. (Learn more in the "Toolkit" section below.)
5. Get creative! Below you’ll find a list of activities to get you started.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
- Facebook Fundraising
Link your fundraising page to Facebook. Learn how in the "Toolkit" section below
- Fundraising Link in Emails
Remember to include your fundraising link on all outgoing emails and texts. Also, re-record your voicemail to include a mention about participating in this event and a request to contact you about donating.
- Share, Share, Share
Ask friends to share your posts on social media and forward your emails. We have images and videos on this page to help you as well!
This is where your creativity can really shine! Your new Fundraising Center allows you to add a stream from YouTube or Twitch to bring your fundraising to the next level. Invite your followers to a live stream so they can tune in to hear why this event matters so much to you. You’ll have the chance to respond to comments in real time and connect directly with your donors.
- Offer Donor Incentives
For example, for each $50 donation, post a goofy video of you dancing in honor of the donor; for each $20 donation send your donor a handmade thank you card; or, for each $10 donation create a doodle and send it to your donor. Customize these with your talents!
- Movie Night Party
Host a movie night with your teammates, friends and family (you can also host from your own homes, too, through the Teleparty extension). Incorporate fun games as well! Every time a keyword is said in the movie, everyone donates $1 to your team.
- Garage Sale
Have a garage sale to do some spring cleaning. You can host this sale in person, online, or email and text pictures of items for sale. Get others to join your sale, too!
- Extra change box
Keep a jar nearby to put all your extra coins in – it adds up! Or put it on your desk (or a communal space if allowed) at work.
- Lip Sync Battle
Encourage team members to record videos of themselves singing and then submit the videos to you. You then set a time to showcase all the submissions and let donors vote on their favorite with their donation dollars. The person with the most donations wins! Variations of this event include a pet photo or kid photo contest.
- No-bake Bake Sale
Host a no-bake, bake sale. Have people donate what they would spend on making baked goods for a sale. Instead of baking, they donate to you.
- Activity Night
Host an activity night. Encourage donors to contribute a set amount to participate. For example:
- Cooking Class
- Exercise/Yoga class
- Dance party
- Game night
- Matching Gifts
Many companies offer matching gifts, which double – or even triple – donations with virtually no extra effort on your end. Find out how in the "Donations Guide" section below.
- Training Miles
Use your training miles to raise funds. Set a mileage or fundraising goal you’d like to achieve by a specific date. Then, share the goal with your friends and encourage them to donate (e.g. $1 for every 1 mile you hike/walk). Document your progress and share it on social media!
- Grocery Pick-up or Delivery
Offer to deliver or pick up groceries in exchange for donations to your fundraising page.
Offer “IOUs” for future things such as dinners, errands or general chores in exchange for a donation.
- In-Home Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of everyday objects you and your friends might find at home (e.g. a pink highlighter, wrapping paper, an old teddy bear, etc.). If someone doesn't have an item on your list, they can make a donation to bypass the item and move on to the next. Whoever gets through the list fastest gets a prize.
- Favorite Things
Create lists of your favorite things like books, movies, crafts, school worksheets for kids, distraction techniques and share them for a donation.
- Orange Ribbons
Cut orange ribbons and sell them to your friends and family. You can either mail the ribbons to donors or offer to hang them in your window with their name printed on them. Don’t forget to post photos!
- Facebook Fundraising
A matching gift is a gift from a donor's employer that matches the donor's original gift, often dollar-for-dollar. You can significantly increase your fundraising by asking your donors to apply for matching gifts if their employer offers them.
How Matching Gifts Work
Donors must submit the appropriate information to their company regarding matching gifts for their donation. The company may reach out to us to confirm the donation was made and our staff will send confirmation to the donor's company.
Once we receive the matching gift check, we will credit the amount to your fundraising. Please remember, this process may take some time depending on how frequently companies pay out charitable donations. However, if we have received the matching gift paperwork by the fundraising deadline, we will include the pending donation in your fundraising total.
Steps to Submitting a Matching Gift
1. Search for Employer’s Matching Gift Program
To find out if your employer has a matching gift program, search for your employer below, ask your human resources staff, or visit your company's intranet.
2. Request a Matching Gift
Talk to your employer about their matching gift process. Generally, your human resources department is a great place to start.
3. Send a Matching Gift Form
Refer to the instructions on the matching gift form from your employer. If you need to mail or email the form to us, please use the following information (please include the participant's name and event with your matching gift form):
National MS Society
Attn: Matching Gifts
733 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Our Tax ID# is 13-5661935.
Track Your Matching Gift
Check the "Progress" section of your Fundraising Center. It usually takes months before we receive matching gifts; however, you will still receive credit for matching gifts for prize purposes – just make sure the gift shows as “pending” in your fundraising totals.
If the gift is not yet showing as "pending" on your fundraising totals, please save the confirmation provided by the company when you submitted the matching gift request and email MatchingGifts@nmss.org.
New Ways to Reward Donors
Set up donation incentives and milestones right in your new Fundraising Center. Encourage donors to contribute and then reward them for their support. You know what motivates your donors—giveaways, shoutouts or simply a virtual high five. It’s up to you!
Checks & Receipts
Checks must be made out to the National MS Society.
If you receive a check payable to your team, write National MS Society above your team name. If it's made out to you, please endorse the check payable to the National MS Society.
Please be sure to write your name, event, and event year on the memo line of every check you turn in (e.g., Jane Doe, Event Name) – whether through the app or mail.
Download the app to upload checks directly from your phone or tablet.
Mail your donations (made out to National MS Society) with a completed Donation Tracking Form to:
National MS Society
101A First Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
It may take up to 4 weeks to process donations during peak event times. If it's been less than 4 weeks since submitting your donations, please check your Fundraising Center later to see your fundraising total.
If more than 4 weeks have passed since you submitted your donations, or you have additional questions about your fundraising total, please contact Fundraising Support at 855-372-1331 or by email at FundraisingSupport@nmss.org.
For the fastest processing of your donations, encourage people to donate online. If you receive checks, upload them using the check capture feature on the app or mail your donations to your local office immediately upon receiving them.
Everyone who makes an online donation will receive an e-mail confirmation receipt for tax purposes. Donors who give $250 or more will receive a thank you letter and receipt by mail. For donations less than $250, the IRS will accept the following as proof of a charitable donation: a canceled check, bank or credit union statement or a credit card statement.
Set Up a Facebook Fundraiser
Starting Facebook Fundraisers is easy, and they automatically end when your event has completed fundraising for the year.
Set Up During Registration
Log in to your Fundraising Center and click on the Create a Facebook Fundraiser link below your progress bar.
Donations through your Facebook Fundraiser will sync automatically to your Fundraising Center. If you make changes to your photo, story, goal, etc. on either your fundraising page or your Facebook Fundraiser after the creation of your Facebook Fundraiser, the changes will not sync.
100% of all donations raised via Facebook Fundraiser go toward your event fundraising goal.
Facebook Fundraisers can only accept U.S donations. For international donations, send your fundraising page link.
Receipts and Refunds
Facebook will send a receipt to the email address associated with your donor’s Facebook account, which will include the National MS Society’s EIN/tax ID number, along with a thank you email if they opt to receive emails from the Society.
To request a refund, please use Facebook’s donation support form.
These customized images show the impact of participating in National MS Society events – from first-person quotes to breakthroughs in research. Add them to your social media channels, email signatures and more to help you recruit team members, raise awareness, and to share your fundraising progress and keep going!
National MS Society App
The National MS Society App is a powerful tool to help you raise funds and awareness for a world free of MS. There are exciting new features — like physical challenges to mobile check deposit — to help you go the extra mile in your fundraising and connect with your MS community.
How to Get Started
1. Install the App
- Get the app now on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
- Log in with the same username and password as your online Fundraising Center.
2. Track Your Physical Activity
As you get ready for your event, you can track your physical activity to build excitement and share progress.
- Tap the “Get Active” button at the bottom of the app.
- You’ll see an icon to sync the app to either your Apple Health or Google Fit.
If you have an activity tracker:
- Provide authorization for the app to sync to your activity data. If you cannot sync all your activity data, go to your phone’s settings to allow full access.
- If your activity tracking device (like a FitBit or Garmin) is connected to your Apple Health or Google Fit, your activity data will automatically upload into the app.
If you do not have an activity tracker:
- You can manually record your activity by clicking the green “Start” button, then pressing the red “Stop” button to save your activity.
- You can also manually add an activity retrospectively by clicking the “plus (+)” button next to the text “Activities” in the top left. The top navigation on the Get Active page lets you see you and your team’s activities and contact your entire team.
3. Earn Badges
Complete challenges to earn badges for your accomplishments!
- Tap the “Get Active” button at the bottom of the app.
- In the top navigation bar, choose “My Challenges”
- View challenges available and set goals!
- Once you’ve completed a challenge, share your accomplishments on social media
4. Enter Donations
It’s easier than ever to enter donations.
- Click the “Fundraise” button at the bottom of the app.
- Choose “Enter Donations” on the top navigation bar.
- Choose either “Credit Card” or “Check Deposit” depending on the type of donation you are entering.