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Top 10 fundraising tips

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Here are our top tips to help you raise as much as possible from your fundraising event or sponsored challenge.

1. Start today and set yourself a target

Don't put it off, get going with your fundraising as early as you can. Set yourself the goal you want to raise and be prepared to increase it as you get closer - keeping the target just out of reach generally encourages more giving.

2. Create a fundraising plan

Ask everyone you know! Sit down and make a list of all your social circles, family, clubs, school, work colleagues and clients. Prepare how and when to approach each group, and with what type of fundraising activity. Have a look at our sample fundraising plan (pdf 81KB)

3. Be passionate about the MS Trust

Talk to people about the work of the MS Trust - if we have helped you or someone you know, let your friends know about it. Explain what we do and how their money will help to support people with MS.

4. Set up an online fundraising page

On the Virgin Money Giving website you can easily create a free online fundraising page in minutes. Supporters can donate safely and tax-effectively, making your personal fundraising target easier to reach. Don't forget to check out our online fundraising tips so you can maximise your sponsorship! Read more about fundraising online and why we recommend that you use the Virgin Money Giving website.

5. Top sponsor first!

When collecting sponsorship, make sure you approach your most generous friend or family member first. If the first sponsor on your form or online fundraising page has been generous, this leads the way for others to follow! Collecting your sponsorship upfront can help you avoid the effort of chasing up your supporters for cash after the event.

6. Enlist the help of others

Encourage your family and friends to help. If you have a personal connection to MS, there are likely to be many other people around who feel impassioned to support you. If anyone offers to run a coffee morning or do any other activity to raise money on your behalf, take them up on it. You won't expend the energy but you'll have money raised for your appeal nonetheless.

7. Promise something different

If you are taking part in an event, tell your sponsors that you will take part in fancy dress if you raise over your target sponsorship amount! You will most likely get a host of sponsorship pledges, along with plenty of costume ideas from friends and family.

8. Ask your employer for their support

Many employers can match the funds you raise or will at least make a substantial contribution. Ask if you can hold fundraising activities at work such as dress down days, raffles, cake sales.

9. Try and get some local PR

Prepare a press release and send it to local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites etc. If your employer has a newsletter or website, write for that too. Keep it short and pithy, include information about your event and a link to your online sponsorship page and don't forget to supply a good photograph. You've got a great news story to tell and you'd be amazed just how many people read these articles, and act on what they read! If you would like help with writing a press release, please get in touch.

10. And finally…

Fundraising is not as hard as you might think and the MS Trust's fundraising team is on hand to help you. It requires energy, a plan of action and time. Our advice is to enjoy it, smile, be positive, and don't forget to say thank you. If it starts to tail off, take a break and go back to it, re-invigorated and with new ideas.

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