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Fundraising Tips

Sample Event

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Thank you for lacing up with The Michael J. Fox Foundation's (MJFF) Fox Trot 5K Run/Walk Signature Series. We rely on the dedication of our community to help us reach our ultimate finish line -- a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD). As a New York Fox Trot participant, you are making a difference: 100 percent of the proceeds you raise go directly to the Foundation’s programs to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Below are a few fun fundraising tips to help you reach your personal and team fundraising goals for your event. 

Ten Tips for Fantastic Fox Trot Fundraising:

1.  Set a fundraising goal and share with friends and family, so that they can help you reach it!

2.  Make the first contribution to yourself to kick-start your fundraising and show supporters that you are personally committed.

3.  Personalize your message. Your supporters want to hear why you care about finding a cure for PD -- and how they can help. We have templates for your fundraising pages, emails, and other materials, but your words, photos and inspiration will make your story shine.

4.  Identify your networks of support. Brainstorm people and groups who you know: Your network is bigger than you realize. Take time to map out your connections and consider who to reach out to and how, whether through email, social media, mailing a letter or a direct conversation. Start by thinking about:
  • Friends and family
  • Current/ former colleagues and classmates
  • Your professional, volunteer or religious networks
  • Your social, hobby or recreational groups
Don’t limit yourself – Think outside of your direct connections, and remember that there are many people whose lives or loved ones have been affected by Parkinson’s disease and have interest in supporting you and the cause.

5.  Start with a small fundraising initiative like a bake sale, yard sale, happy hour, game night, or car wash. Be creative!  

6.  Keep your donors engaged. Keep people who give updated on your efforts with emails, social media posts and regular communication -- and ask them to help spread the word. They want to know how your event or training is going -- and when you hit milestones!  

7.  Follow up on donation asks: People are bombarded by emails and social media and people often intend to give closer to the event, but they forget. So keep reminding them! The majority of donations come in within the last two weeks of the event date. And remember to include information about matched gifts!  

8.  Inspire by sharing the impact of donations in the lives of people with Parkinson’s. Learn more about what The Michael J. Fox Foundation is doing to accelerate research and, ultimately, a cure. Help educate your donors on how their dollars and your efforts are making a tangible difference for people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones: You can start with The Michael J Fox Foundation’s impact.  

9.  Don’t forget about matching gift opportunities. Encourage your supporters to explore their employer’s matching gift programs. Many corporations will match their employee’s donations to an accredited charitable organization. It's an easy way to double or even triple the impact of a personal contribution. You can share and use our online resource for finding matching gift programs. If an employer does not come up in the results, contact the specific HR department.  

10.  Say “thank you.” Take the time to express your gratitude in a meaningful way. Make your supporters feel a part of your efforts. For example, send a personal thank you note or email to everyone who donates.  Make sure to send a final update post-event with fundraising totals that shares your gratitude.