Unique Fundraising Stories: Jamming with Matt S.
It’s MS Awareness Week, Muckers! We’re excited to kick off a new blog series on “Unique Fundraising Stories.” Do you or someone you know have a unique fundraising tip or trick? Send them our way at info@MuckFestMS.com!
In our first feature, we’re thrilled to whip out our guitar and strum some chords with Matt Schenkman, a veteran Boston Mucker living with multiple sclerosis. His unique fundraising strategy? Playing his guitar to raise funds to end MS forever.
Why did you decide to first do MuckFest?
A teammate who goes by MSPocket Ninja invited me to my first MuckFest almost a decade ago. I didn’t know much about it but was participating in Warrior Dashes and other entry-level mud runs. Living with MS, I’ve always felt it is my responsibility to show support and run for those that can no longer do so. After my first run as a team member, I decided to carry the torch for the foreseeable future as a team captain. The better question is, “Why do I keep doing MuckFest?” The quick and cheeky answer is the fundraising swag! The real reason is because I’ve never felt more connected to a cause than this one, the event is so well done, and the people are amazing.
What is your favorite MuckFest memory?
Probably the annual picture we take as a team, all muddy and proud in front of Puck the Muck Duck! Every year I feel like I’ve accomplished this tremendous goal, and I love being able to get a memory of it.
In the past, how have you typically fundraised?
It’s the usual word of mouth and family that knows family… at least that’s how it’s been. I’ve tried partnering with a local eatery for donations per check, and I also fundraise through Facebook.
What made you decide to try something new this year?
I’m really trying to put myself out there, more than I have in the past. I’ve received an incredible amount of support from my new employer and teammates, and that’s made me want to be more open and spread the message that we need a cure! I am also dabbling in micro-fundraising and posting videos online, and singing and playing the guitar are things that I love, so why not play for a cause and a purpose?
If you had a tip for a first-time fundraiser, what would it be?
The best tip nobody ever gave me was that you should just sign up. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to finish the course, don’t be! If you’re concerned that you’ll have to walk the course, walk it! Have to skip some obstacles? Skip ’em! #EVERYBODYFINISHES
I’m a first-time Mucker…what do I need to know?
- We live in New England so expect it to be unseasonably cold and probably wet… I had 3 MuckFest events in a row that were abnormally cold.
- Wear layers and thermal compression gear. It helps keep the dirt out!
- Bring a bag for your clothes, towels, and garbage bags.
What other advice do you have for someone new to fundraising?
The worst someone can say is no… so never stop asking. It’s harder to grow your team and encourage people to sign up than it is to get people to donate. Pro tip: a lot of people donate instead when you ask them to run!
Thanks so much to Matt for taking a break from serenading to share your unique fundraising idea with us! If you or a friend have another unique fundraising idea, send it our way at info@MuckFestMS.com.