About MS & the National MS Society
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease. For more information visit the National MS Society website.
What is the National MS Society?
The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. For more information about the National MS Society click here.
What is the 501(c)3 number?
The National MS Society Tax Id # is 95-1727656. Official 501c3 letters and W9 forms are available by request.
About Walk MS
Why should I participate in Walk MS?
Walk MS is our rallying point, a time and a place for our communities to come together to raise funds and celebrate hope for the future. Join Walk MS by participating, volunteering and/or recruiting others. Dollars raised help generate awareness and funds to support critical MS research and provide programs and services for the more than 133,000 Southern, Central Californians and Nevadans impacted by MS.
What happens after I register?
We send you a BIG thank you and if you registered with your email address we will send you an email to forward to your friends as well as instructions on how you can log into your participant center, personalize your page and begin your fundraising. Everyone will receive a welcome mailer with fundraising information and pledge sheets, as well as team information for team captains and those interested in starting teams. Welcome mailers will begin to be mailed in January 2016.You can access all of the walker information here.
Is there a registration fee to participate?
While there is no registration fee for Walk MS, we encourage participants to make a fundraising commitment. It costs approximately $25 per person to host a Walk MS event ― every dollar makes a difference. Money raised at Walk MS helps fund ground-breaking research and supports programs and services helping those touched by MS live their best lives.
I want to register someone else on my computer, but the site won't let me because I'm already registered.
The Walk MS website "remembers" you on your computer. If you want to register someone else you'll have to log out first, and then start the process again.
Are walk-up registrations available?
We gladly accept walk-up registrations. However, Walk MS is a fundraising event, so register early to give yourself time to fundraise.
Do you have to raise money?
Yes, Walk MS is a fundraising event. Unlike other events, Walk MS is without a minimum fundraising requirement. Walk MS is for everyone, whether you can donate and raise $5 or $50,000. We ask that you do what you can. Remember that every dollar makes a difference.
What is the deadline for mailing donations?
The last day to mail in donations and have them count toward the fundraising clubs and prizes is June 10 for Spring events, and December 12 for Fall events.
When do I receive my prize?
Prize redemption instructions will be provided via mail or email following the prize deadline. Please watch for details.
Can I donate my prize back to the National MS Society?
Yes, you can donate your prize back to the National MS Society by becoming a member of the Mission First Club.
How do I raise money?
Raising money is not just about how much money you can give personally, it’s about inviting your friends and family to share in your commitment to create a future free of MS. Here are some simple ways to get started:
1. When you register online you will receive a “Forward to Your Friends” email. This email has all of the appropriate links to your fundraising efforts. Just forward this to your friends and family to get started…it’s that easy.
2. Everyone who registers receives a personal webpage. Customize your personal page to share why you are walking. In your participant center you can send emails with all of your links. People can donate to you online!
3. When you register online you can also download a Facebook application that allows you to raise money for Walk MS directly from your Facebook account.
4. Asking is the most important element. Share with your friends, family, co-workers, mechanic, doctor, barista, etc. that you are participating in Walk MS and any donation they contribute will make a difference.
Where does the money I raise go?
Dollars raised support research to STOP the disease in its tracks, to RESTORE the function that has been lost, and to ultimately END MS forever. Your fundraising also supports a wide range of programs and services to help people with MS and their loved ones to address the challenges that MS can present, including educational and wellness classes, financial assistance, counseling and much more.
What should I do with the checks I collect?
Mail all of your donations (checks only) prior to the walk event. Please make checks payable to the National MS Society and include the name of the walker in the memo portion of the check. **Please do not mail cash.** Checks may be mailed to:
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Attn: Walk MS 2014
5150 W. Goldleaf Circle, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90056
For donations made online, an electronic receipt will be emailed to the donor. For donations made by check and amounting to $150 or more a receipt will be mailed to the donor within 3-4 weeks. To request a receipt for an offline donation, check or cash, under $150 please email walkMS@cal.nmss.org or call 800.344.4867.
What should I do with the cash I collect?
There are three options for cash donations:
1.You can drop off the donations at your local National MS Society office
2.You can convert the cash donations into a money order or personal check
3.You can bring the cash with you the day of the walk and turn it in at registration
My fundraising total in my Participant Center doesn't match what I know I turned in.
There may be a 3-4 week delay entering donations during peak event times. Your total may be inflated if you entered donations as offline gifts. Please log back in at a later date to check your fundraising total. If you have additional questions about your fundraising total, please contact us at walkMS@cal.nmss.org.
Can I transfer some of my donations to another participant or team member?
Out of respect for donor intent, donations will not be transferred from one participant to another once the donation has been received and posted. When team donations are received, the donation will be applied to the team total unless otherwise noted.
Guidelines for splitting a donation between multiple participants and team members:
Teams often hold fundraising events for Walk MS and divide the proceeds evenly among all team members. We ask that you follow these guidelines:
- When submitting a donation that needs to be divided, please submit a list of recipients/team members and the appropriate amount allocated to each.
- If not all of the team members are registered (or the fundraising is done "off-season") the donation will be credited as a Team Gift and allocated at a later time. It is your responsibility to contact us and let us know when you're ready to allocate the funds. Everyone receiving funds must be registered. We can only allocate these funds one time and cannot re-allocate funds later.
- The minimum amount allocated to each person is $20.
About Walk Teams
What is a team?
A team is any group of coworkers, fellow students, religious/civic organization members, friends, or family members who pre-register, raise money, and walk together on the day of Walk MS. They can have anywhere from 6 to 6,000 members! We provide materials, activities, prizes and staff who are available to help when you need it.
What is a team captain and what do they do?
A team captain’s role is to recruit, inspire, and motivate people to join the movement as well as raise funds. There can be more than one captain on a team. The most successful teams are those that divide work and conquer. Have more fun and raise more money! Crossing the finish line with your co-workers, friends, and family is a moment to be relished.
For more information about becoming a team captain, check out our online video.
Why should I create/join a team?
Walk MS is about community and teams epitomize that concept. Teams raise more than 86% of the total money raised at Walk MS. They are fun to lead and fun to join.
How do I register multiple team members?
To register online, each person will need to have a unique email address. If you do not have that information you can use our Team Fax Form to register multiple team members.
I registered as an individual, but now I want to join a team.
No problem! Email us at walkMS@cal.nmss.org with the name of the team you'd like to join and we'll get you are set up with the correct team.
My Participant Center FAQsM
I forgot my Username and Password.
Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. Click here to request a new password.
How do I change my Username and/or Password?
First, sign in to the site using your username and password. Then click on "Profile" at the top right of the page.
I walked last year, but my saved information does not show in this year's account.
You must register using the same username/password and email from last year to see your saved information. If you think you registered with a new username/password or email this year, you may have multiple accounts. Please contact us for further assistance at walkMS@cal.nmss.org.
How do I sign in to my Participant Center?
From any page of the Walk MS website, click the Sign In button at the top of your screen. Enter your username and password, and then select your event.
What is a Personal Page?
A Personal Page is your own event website where you can direct your supporters to learn about your event, make donations and join your team! Upon registering for an event, you will be provided a standard personal page. You aren’t required to personalize it, but on average, participants who update their pages with personal stories and pictures have twice the fundraising success than those who use the standard page!
How do I unsubscribe from email?
You can manage your email preferences within your profile. When you’re signed in, go to Profile at top, and then select ‘Special Interests.’ In addition, there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email you receive from us. But please note ― if you use this option, you will be opted out of all email, including important event updates.
How can I see who has donated to me?
Sign in to your Participant Center and click on Progress in the top navigation menu; this will display your donation history.
How do I change my personal goal?
Sign in to your Participant Center and click on "change" under your goal. Remember, our Fundraising Tools can make fundraising easy and fun!
How do I change my team name or team goal?
Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name and goal by signing in to the Participant Center and clicking the Team link in the navigation menu.
Matching Gift FAQs
What is a matching gift?
A matching gift is a gift from a donor's employer that matches the donor's original gift. Most employers match dollar for dollar.
How do I know if my employer has a matching gifts program?
Search for your employer, ask your human resources staff, or visit your company's intranet.
How do I request a matching gift?
The first step is to talk to your employer about their matching gift process. Generally, your human resources department is a great place to start.
What do I do with the form once I've filled it out?
Refer to the instructions on the matching gift form. If you need to mail or fax the form to us, please use the following information (please include your name and event):
5150 West Goldleaf Circle, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA, 90056
Tax Id # is 95-1727656
If I enter the donor's gift and the matching gift through my Participant Center, do I enter them as one gift?
No, they are two separate gifts. Please enter only the employee's gift and mail/email the matching gift form, and we will enter the match.
How will I know when the matching gift has been paid?
Check the "Progress" section of your Participant Center. It usually takes months before we receive matching gifts; however, even though they are not yet paid, you will receive credit for matching gifts for prize purposes.
Will a pending matching gift count towards my fundraising minimum?
Yes, if you have submitted the required documentation and the gift shows as pending in your fundraising totals, it will count towards your fundraising minimum.
Day of the Walk
What do I need to bring to the walk?
When you register at least two weeks before your walk, you will receive pre-event flyer in the mail. The instructions include the date, time and location of your walk site in addition to driving and parking instructions.
The morning of the walk, go straight to the Registration tables. There you will be able to check in and receive further instructions on how to drop off any donations you may have.
If you did not register two weeks prior to the event you will need to go to the registration table, supply your information, and receive instructions to turn in donations.
1. Wear comfortable shoes
2. Layer items of clothing. In California & Nevada the spring time weather can range from cold and rainy to very hot.
3. Water. Although water is supplied at the event, it is a necessity. We have many points of water distribution but it’s important that you have it available to you at any time.
Favorite snack or food items. Food is supplied at the event, it’s important to note that individual’s taste range and if there are items that you prefer please bring them. Individuals with special diets are also encouraged to bring food items compatible with their diet.
4. Any last minute or cash donations. They can be turned in when you check-in.
How long is the walk?
The route is 5K (3.2 miles) and we have a Family Fun Route (1 mile or less). All routes are accessible and fully supported with water, snacks and restrooms. Safety and gear vehicles patrol the route to transport walkers at any time.
Is the route handicapped accessible?
All Walk MS routes are accessible for scooters and wheelchairs, by walker, or with a cane. There will also be accessible restrooms at each site.
Can I use my scooter or do I need to walk the route?
Scooters and power chairs are permitted at Walk MS, however, charging stations may not be available. Please be sure that your scooter or chair is fully charged to make it around the route and through the event venue.
I want to bring my kids with me. Do they need to register?
Yes, all participants must be registered.
Where do I find the time and location for my walk?
Click here to find information regarding your walk site.
Can you bring pets to the walk?
In order to maintain the safety of everyone in our events, the National MS Society’s policy is that we DO NOT allow pets at our events with the exception of service animals.
What happens if it rains?
We walk rain or shine. In the event of lightning or other dangerous conditions, we will delay the event until conditions improve. Please watch for weather-related updates via email and the event website.
For any questions not listed please email walkMS@cal.nmss.org or call 800.344.4867.