At MS Research Australia our mission is clear – to accelerate research targeting the prevention, better treatments and to find a cure for MS. We are committed to this mission and to funding the best research in Australia. To do this, we rely on the support of the MS community, who come together to raise funds through the Kiss Goodbye to MS fundraising campaign.
In 2016, Kiss Goodbye to MS has raised crucial funds for research into MS and we haven’t quite finished yet. We like to think of 2016 as the year our Aussie campaign hit its stride and found its place in the world, becoming a global fundraising campaign, in 11 countries. The global Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign has generated almost US$1 million, which is just over A$1.3 million for global MS research initiatives.
But we certainly can’t take the credit for this incredible achievement. We couldn’t have done this without our inspiring Kiss Goodbye to MS fundraisers who held events, baked cakes, shaved their heads, wore red lippy and entered fun runs. Together, you have raised crucial funds for research into MS – and we are so grateful for your support.
This year there have been hundreds of Kiss Goodbye to MS events held around the world. We have now had over 12,000 posts using our hashtag #KissGoodbyeToMS on Instagram, and as of today 77,302 people like us on Facebook, and this number increases every day. More than 1,785 kilometres were run in Kiss Goodbye to MS singlets and $58,000 was raised by the people who ran, walked and jogged in 23 community fun runs throughout the year.
And while these numbers are impressive, we still have a way to go. Kiss Goodbye to MS is committed to MS Research Australia’s mission, and we will not stop raising funds until a cure is found.
MS Research Australia is proud to run Kiss Goodbye to MS as a low cost fundraising campaign. Our administration costs are at 21 cents in the dollar, well below industry averages, and we work hard to keep them there. The campaign relies on the power of social media and the community that supports Kiss Goodbye to MS. We do not invest in expensive advertising campaigns, but we rely on you to spread the word. Our campaign continues to be managed by one staff member who oversees the Australian campaign as well as co-leads the global initiative. The only reason we can run a low-budget, lean fundraising model is because of the power of our community.
One of this year’s most memorable fundraising teams is a group of mates from the NSW south coast, who decided to ride to Mount Kosciuszko. These men were not avid bike riders, in fact most of them had never cycled more than 10km in their lives. But they were inspired by their best mate who is living with MS, and together they all committed to riding 410km and raising funds for Kiss Goodbye to MS. These incredible men not only made it to Mount Kosciuszko with very limited training and experience, but they also raised $74,000 for Kiss Goodbye to MS. This team are now proudly holding the number one position on the Kiss Goodbye to MS leaderboard. It is this sense of community support, determination and mateship that is the core of what this campaign is all about.
As we wrap up Kiss Goodbye to MS for another year we want to remind you of the incredible difference you are making. This campaign has the ability to bring people together from all over the world and from different walks of life, and we are so excited to be entering 2017 with you. Whether you donated $20, raised $10,000, purchased merchandise or posted about Kiss Goodbye to MS on social media – thank you for believing in our dream of freedom from MS. Together we are one step closer.