Fundraising is one of the most important elements of Bike MS. Every dollar raised helps fund critical research and services for people affected by MS.
Remember: Each cyclist is required to raise at least $300. However, join the majority of cyclists and go above and beyond that minimum. YOU can be a fundraising powerhouse. Just use these tips from other Bike MS fundraisers, take advantage of the resources available and aim for the stars!
Fundraising is as easy as 1, 2, 3...
Follow these simple steps & utilize the many tools on this page to help you.
Step #1: Start now.
There's no time like the present. And results show the sooner you start, the more you'll raise.
Step #2: Aim high! Set your fundraising goal.
Set a goal that seems just out of reach, but attainable. It will inspire you and the people you're asking for support. A world free of MS is going to take everything we can collectively raise. Help us reach our goal, and click here to see our progress.
The requirement for all City to Shore cyclists is $300, but can you achieve VIP status at $1,000? Keep an attainable goal in mind. Once you’ve settled on your goal, make sure to log into your Participant Center and update it. There is always an opportunity to adjust your goal throughout the Bike MS season.
Step #3: Share your commitment and make a plan.
Now your fundraising can begin.
Know your networks: Use the Know Your Networks worksheet to help you create a list of every person you know to ask -- friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, alumni and business associates. You have just created your donor list.
Set Up Your Fundraising Page to Tell Your Story: Within the Participant Center, you have your very own web page. Those who customize their pages raise an
average of $883 vs. $468. Another great way to tell your ongoing Bike MS story is to blog within your Participant Center. Get started with our Participant Center Guide (pdf).
Be Ready to Educate: Fundraising events such as Bike MS are directly impacting the immediate needs of people living with MS and their long term needs so they can lead their best quality of life. In addition to donors having questions about What is MS?, Progress in MS Research, and Why Bike MS?, be ready to actively educate when making your ask, and share with them the impact your participation and their donation will make. To learn how your dollars are making a difference, click here.
- Make the ASK: Many think the ASK can be difficult, but it's easier if you tell everyone why you are doing what you are doing. Articulate why you are taking on City to Shore. The excitement is contagious and your story will inspire others. Your commitment and passion will be the reason they choose to give you a donation. Utilize the many resources on this site to help you, including Facebook, the Go mobile app, sample fundraising letter, and more! Reference the "Online Resources" and "Other Resources" tabs on this page to access these tools.
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again! Follow up with those who have not yet donated. Sometimes all they need is a friendly reminder.
- Share Your Progress & Be Thankful: Sharing your progress with both potential and existing donors is a nice way to remind those who have not donated to do so. It also serves as a "thank you" to those who have donated. Engage current and potential donors by sharing your fundraising and training progress.
- Give to Yourself: You'll set the example and kick-start your fundraising!
- Have Fun! We're all serious about ending MS, but Bike MS is also about having fun in the process. The combination of having fun and having a huge impact on people affected by MS will have a huge impact on you.
- My Participant Center: Create a personal page, send emails, track your progress and much more. Cyclists that set up and actively update their personal page can raise on average two to three times more. Set up your online personal page and get started today! Utilize the Participant Center Guide (pdf) for step by step instructions on utilizing your Participant Center.
- Bike MS Mobile Participant Center App: Manage and share your Bike MS experience on the go with our Bike MS mobile application. Fundraise and connect with others through social media and email, update your web page, check your progress and much more, all from the palm of your hand. And it's free! Simply search "Bike MS" in either the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Reference page 13 of the Participant Center Guide (pdf) to learn how and why.
- Social Media: Use social networking sites, such as Facebook boundless fundraising, to get your message to a bigger audience. Use this guide (pdf) for helpful social networking fundraising techniques, and follow us on:
- Email Signature: Change your email signature to drive donations -- include a short note, a link to your fundraising page and a logo. (Click here for the City to Shore logo or Bike MS digital downloads.)
Five ways to maximize online fundraising
1. Make it personal. On your Personal Page and in e-mails, share your story and connection to multiple sclerosis.
2. Update your content regularly to give donors something new to experience every time they come to your Personal Page.
3. Having trouble managing your online campaign? Check the detailed help menus or contact us for assistance.
4. Schedule a few minutes every week to thank donors who have contributed to your campaign and remind others that you haven’t heard from them.
5. Have fun with it. You can keep in touch with your friends and family to keep them involved in the growing movement to end MS.
Here you will find tips, bike coupons, important deadlines and more! All cyclists will receive their Cyclist Handbook
(pdf) in the mail one to two weeks after registering. Plus, check out these great tools:
- Sample fundraising letter: Download, customize, print and mail this pre-written letter.
- Know Your Networks worksheet: Don't forget to utilize your networks to help you create your donor list.
- Event pledge sheet: Track your offline pledges and matching gifts with our event pledge sheet (.pdf or .xlsx).
- PR/Media Guide: It only takes one person to inspire hundreds. Your personal experience with the City to Shore Ride can and will inspire others to donate, volunteer or even ride. Promote City to Shore to your local community. Use this guide (pdf) to help get you started and get your story in the news.
- City to Shore promotional materials: Request FREE posters, rack cards, trading cards and much more to utilize and let others know you are riding.
*TIP: Personalize rack cards by adding a sticker your personal page URL
- The 4 + 1 Very Simple, Very Easy, Not-At-All Intimidating Steps to an Ask, by Jeff Shuck
- Matching Gifts*: Many corporations have a matching gift program where they will match your gift. These matches can double, triple or even quadruple the amount of your gift. If you or your donor work for a matching gift company, please consider having your gift matched by the employer (click here to see if your company matches).
*You are required to raise $300 before matching gifts are counted towards your total. Matching gifts do not count towards your fundraising minimum, but they do count toward prizes and VIP status. Click here for more information on matching gifts, and don't forget to use the pledge sheet above to help your track your matching gifts and total raised.
- 55 fundraising ideas: This booklet will give you plenty of fundraising ideas you can try today.
- MS Store: Visit the MS Store today for great items you can purchase and sell to your friends and family as a fundraiser and help spread awareness about Bike MS!
- Community Events Calendar: Do you have a fundraising event coming up? Click here to post your event on our chapter website.
- How Your Money Helps: Educate your donors on how your/their fundraising dollars are utilized and make an impact on those living with MS. Reference page 10 of the Cyclist Handbook (pdf) to learn more.
INCENTIVES, PRIZES & CLUBS
Click here to learn more
ONE ON ONE WITH #1
Click on the video to learn how and why cyclist Albert DeRitis fundraises, earning him the coveted top fundraising spot three years in a row (2012-2014)!
To receive a rider number and participate, all cyclists must turn in the required minimum $300 in donations by the morning of the ride. Click here for all participation requirements. All donations to the National MS Society are tax-deductible.HOW TO TURN IN DONATIONS
Click here for more information on submitting, entering and tracking donations.
- Mail the minimum to:
National MS Society
City to Shore Ride
30 S. 17th Street Suite 800
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Pay or raise the minimum online:
It’s the fastest, easiest way to fundraise.
No paper, no mail. You don’t even have
to leave your computer!
- Call in your minimum:
Pay by credit card.
Matching gifts are an easy way to double your donations, boost your fundraising and help you achieve higher fundraising levels, earn great prizes, and become a VIP cyclist. Many companies offer a matching gift program to encourage employees to contribute or volunteer their time to charitable organizations. Although the process for matching gifts varies at each company, most programs match contributions dollar for dollar. Some will also provide funds for volunteer hours.
Click here for more information on matching gifts.