The National Multiple Sclerosis Society funds research, advocates for social and political change and sponsors services that support people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as their families. Its flagship Bike MS fundraising event attracts nearly 75,000 cyclists each year and has raised more than $1.4 billion to date. When the global pandemic occurred, the Society faced the prospect of having its biggest source of revenue canceled. Together with Accenture it sought creative and innovative ways to use technology to reimagine Bike MS for a socially distanced world.
"Partnering with Accenture to build an exceptional experience for our cyclists during the pandemic was one of the bright spots during such an uncertain time. I am so appreciative of their generosity and innovation…"
— Jennifer Lee, EVP of Development, National MS Society
The Society and Accenture used insights from past participants to design enriched experiences for solo “Bike MS: Inside Out” fundraisers taking part outdoors or indoors. Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud formed the digital core of a composable solution designed to tap into new audiences and donors by integrating with popular sports tracking apps, Strava and Zwift. The event was supported by the Society’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform, a competitive tracked ride, and an individual rider fundraising platform powered by Salesforce. Salesforce synched customer data and triggered key messages during rides to increase engagement. Virtual meet-ups, Zoom happy hours and Facebook events emulated the buzz of previous years.
A valuable difference
The event took three months to plan and raised $36 million for the Society, surpassing the fundraising goal established before the pandemic. With nearly 24,000 participants and 100,000 views on social channels, virtual engagement far exceeded expectations. Virtual participation enabled those with MS to take part, Strava integration attracted a new audience and Zwift helped riders connect across state lines. Engagement continued beyond the event, with riders offered discounts for future events and rewards for rider recruitment. The program even helped the Society win a Fast Company innovation award. Despite immense disruption, the digital transformation of Bike MS helped keep the non-profit’s race to a cure in high gear.
Meet our lead
Managing Director - Health & Public Service, Nonprofit