The Multiple System Atrophy Awareness group launched a crowd-funded t-shirt campaign with Fabrily in an effort to raise funds for MSA research. The MSA Awareness campaign took place during the first two weeks of February 2014 and by the end of the campaign the organization was able to raise a total of $1,715.77 (£1028.26/€1,248.31). On February 27th Fabrily was proud to present this cheque to MSA Awareness and congratulate them on all the amazing work they have achieved.
Pam Bower, a health advocate from MSA Awareness, talks about her fundraising experience with Fabrily and offers tips for other organizations interested in creating a fundraising campaign of their own:
Please tell us a bit more about your organization.
MSA Awareness is actually a grassroots movement rather than a formal organization. March has been declared as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness month since 2010 by our grassroots community that communicates on Yahoo Groups and Facebook. The focus is on increasing public awareness of this rare neurological disease that is so complex that it has actually been described by researchers as “a beast”. It is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disorder which renders it’s victims eventually unable to walk, talk, chew, swallow and breathe. There is no known cause and no treatment has yet been discovered to arrest the progression. Sadly no one ever recovers from this disease and most die within 10 years of symptom onset. I’ve been an advocate for MSA since the 1990’s when my mother-in-law was stricken. She died within 6 years of first symptoms at the age of 55. So little information was available about this disorder then and it still remains almost unknown to the general public despite the fact that it’s actually just as common as ALS which most people have heard of.
Why did you decide to use Fabrily?
I had been searching for a while for an option that would allow me to easily distribute items with our MSA awareness logo. In the past people had used this logo to make their own shirts locally but I wanted to be able to offer items to everyone in our online grassroots community which actually has members from many countries around the globe. Fabrily was a perfect fit with no upfront costs and ease of distribution around the world.
Overall how was your fundraising experience?
I can’t say enough about how wonderful the Fabrily team have treated me throughout this process. Excellent, efficient, friendly and willing to go the extra mile. Fabrily is fabulous!
What do you think contributed to the success of your campaign (ex. newsletters, social media, group support, word of mouth)?
Definitely social media as this is the backbone of our online grassroots community. Primarily, links to the t-shirt campaign were posted on various facebook pages and groups that provide support and information about this disease. People would then have shared with their own family and friends to encourage more sales.
What will you use the money for?
Research into Multiple System Atrophy is just so crucial. In Innsbruck, Austria there is a team of MSA researchers led by Professor Gregor Wenning who has been working tirelessly for over 20 years to uncover the cause and find a way to treat the disease. He is unique in that he also builds collaborations with other researchers around the world, attempting to bring together the pockets of expertise in an effort to defeat this beast. He has always been very supportive of the MSA Awareness movement and is actually featured on our website www.msaawareness.org (see: “Ask Professor Wenning”). He offers a very valuable service to MSA patients and their families in helping them understand the disease. All money raised from this campaign will go directly to his research lab.
Do you think you’ll do a similar campaign next year for MSA Awareness month?
Do you have any tips for other awareness groups and non-profits who are planning to run a fundraising campaign?
A great logo definitely helps so make sure it’s well designed. Have a plan for getting the word out and be relentless in following up to remind people about the campaign and keep asking them to buy. Believe in your cause and others will to.
Again, Fabrily would like to congratulate MSA Awareness on the success of their campaign and applaud them on all the great work their organization does for those afflicted with Multiple System Atrophy as well as the support and information they provide for the families and loved ones of those who are affected by this illness.