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Making the most of your online fundraising page

It really pays to spend some time personalising your page and encouraging people to visit and donate. Here are our top tips but if you would like any more help, please email fundraising@mstrust.org.uk.

1. Personalise your page

Personalise your online fundraising page with a message about what you're doing and why (be prepared to modify it as you go), an eye-catching photograph and a fundraising target. If you are taking part in an event and funding the cost of it yourself, let people know - you may find they are more inclined to sponsor you if they know their whole donation is going to the charity.

2. Contact people using your usual email address

Because you are already familiar with your own email system, you'll be able to send more emails at once than you can via the email facility on your sponsorship page. Also, some of your potential supporters may feel more comfortable opening an email that comes from you personally. Most sponsors will really appreciate receiving a personal thank you e-mail as well as the automatically generated ones through Virgin Money Giving.

3. Change your email auto-signature at work and/or at home

After your name and job title etc, add a line at the bottom of your email signature including the address of your fundraising page. This will raise awareness of your event and ensure that every email you send out could prompt a possible donation.

4. Check you've emailed all the groups of potential supporters

Apart from friends and family these might be colleagues, former colleagues, college friends, fellow members of church/clubs/PTA etc. and encourage them to pass on the message to anyone else who might support you.

5. Make the most of social networking sites

If you use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, don't forget to post details of your event with a link to your online sponsorship page on your profile. Send a message to all your friends and contacts telling them what you're doing - you'll be surprised who might support or sponsor you. Post updates on your progress and post a thank you message on friends' pages when they sponsor you - it keeps your fundraising in the news feed.

6. Don't forget your friends and family abroad

We may not be able to reclaim the tax on their donations but they can still support you. The Internet is global - make the most of it!

7. Send email updates on your progress

Let supporters know how much you've raised so far and what a donation will buy for the MS Trust. It's nice for those who've already supported you and a nudge for those who haven't. You know what it's like - people mean to donate, but sometimes they don't quite get around to it on the first request!

8. Make the most of your memorable web address

This is great if you manage to get some publicity for your efforts in a local paper or radio station. Don't forget to mention the link to your online sponsorship page (e.g. virginmoneygiving.com/yourname) every time you mention your event!

9. Put a notice up in your gym, church, college, children's school, etc.

Use this as a way to promote your event, you can also mention the link to your online sponsorship page and ask people to sponsor you online.

10. Ask to be on your company's website

See if your company would be prepared to post details of your event with a link to your fundraising page from its public website or private company intranet. Many companies like to promote the charitable efforts of their staff and you could get a lot of extra donations from this.

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