NEDA Walks: Maximizing Your Impact

Morgan Waters, Development Intern

If you are looking to be a part of something special in 2017, then join us for a NEDA Walk near you. NEDA Walks are coming to over 40 cities this spring and we can’t wait to meet you there. This year, we’re walking to inspire others. We’re walking away from stigma to send the message that eating disorders are dangerous illnesses, not lifestyle choices. Eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental illnesses, but we’re in this fight together and we’re walking to win!

By registering for a NEDA Walk, you have the opportunity to make a real impact. How, you ask? Sign up for a walk in your area and set a fundraising goal! By fundraising for a walk, you are helping NEDA provide support to the millions of people struggling with an eating disorder and their loved ones. The funds that you raise support NEDA’s programs and services like the online screening tool, and various support networks (like PFN and Loss Support Network). The funds you raise also pave the way for advocacy victories at the state and federal levels as well as opportunities to fund ground-breaking research. You have the power to impact individuals with eating disorders. So don’t wait another minute – start fundraising today to help us fight the war on eating disorders!

Here’s a list of ideas on how you can fundraise and raise money for this urgent cause!

1. Make it personal. When you register for a NEDA Walk, you are automatically set up with your own fundraising page. You can log in to your Participant Center to customize your fundraising page with pictures and a personal story or message.

2. Take advantage of social media. Share your participation and fundraising page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.! Write a post to let people know that you are raising funds for the NEDA Walk and why it is so important to you! Share your post periodically for best results! Check out this social media toolkit here.

3. Sell something. Another great idea is to create and sell custom items to benefit your NEDA fundraising goal! You can design a special t-shirt or even something as simple as a silicone bracelet. You can personalize silicone bracelets online and sell them for a $2-$5 donation toward your goal.

4. Partner with a local restaurant. Many restaurants are happy and willing to support a good cause through a Dine & Donate event. Ask a manager if you can set up a day where a percentage of restaurant profits go toward your fundraising goal!

Now that you have a few ideas to get started, here are 5 best practices to keep in mind while fundraising!

1. It’s never too early to start! Set a goal, make a plan, and start fundraising right away to increase your proceeds and maximize your impact.

2. Break your big goal into small goals. Stay motivated by breaking down your ultimate goal into mini milestones. For example, if your goal is to raise $1,000, you can set a timeline for reaching the $250, $500, and $750 marks before ultimately hitting your goal! Each time you reach a milestone, be sure to share and celebrate your success!

3. Be informative and personal. When sending out emails or letters requesting donations, be sure to share why this cause is important to you and how a donation can make a difference. People are more likely to donate when they understand the meaning and impact of their donation!

4. Be persistent. Life can be so busy that we often get distracted – this doesn’t mean your cause isn’t important to your network! Don’t be afraid to follow up with friends and family with a gentle reminder to make their donation. It can sometimes take up to 3 reminders before someone completes their intended donation.

5. Ask people to help spread the word. Ask your loved ones to share your NEDA Walk participation and fundraising page with their own networks. This will help your reach more people and further spread NEDA’s mission!

Morgan Waters is a development intern at NEDA. She is a student at Montclair State University where she is pursuing a degree in public health.