3 Ways to Get a Donation in 10 Minutes or Less

So you haven’t started fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® yet. It’s okay!

Don’t panic, and don’t stress yourself out right now by thinking about the full amount you want to raise. You will get there in time but for today, make it your goal to simply to get that first donation and get yourself off of $0. Our years of fundraising experience on the Komen 3-Day have shown that once you get the first donation, you are statistically much more likely to get the rest. You just have to get the ball rolling!

Here are some easy ways that you can get that first donation in 10 minutes or less.

  1. Go With Who You Know – If you have done the 3-Day or other fundraising events in the past, shoot a personal email (or even better, send a handwritten note) to someone who has donated to you before. Reaching out to a past donor eliminates the “what if they’re not interested in donating?” fear that many people have. Thank them for their past support and invite them to be your first donor of 2014. (And if this will be your first 3-Day event, ask your best friend, mom, spouse or roommate to be your first donor!) Time spent: 10 minutes.
  2. Help Yourself – Making a donation to yourself might cause you to cringe a little bit; most walkers count on raising their 3-Day® funds through donations from other people, not having to cover the amount themselves. In all likelihood, that’s how you’ll do it too, but for now, we’re just trying to get you off of that $0 balance. You can do that in an instant by donating to your own efforts. Make it meaningful and purposeful. Make a $60 donation in honor of the 60 miles you’ll walk, but break it into four monthly payments of $15. That’s the same as giving up 3 lattes a month. Time spent: 4-5 minutes

  3. Issue a Challenge – Fundraising on Facebook is one of the most popular strategies these days, and a fundraising ask on social media often results in immediate responses. Using a gimmick to generate interest and excitement from your potential donors is extremely effective. Issue a Facebook challenge to your friends, asking them to help you “Ditch the Zero,” or specifically tag 10 friends, asking them for $23 each, and call them your “10% Club.” Time spent: 7 minutes

Need more fundraising ideas? Visit The3Day.org/fundraising and get inspired to get started!

Keeping the FUN in Fundraising

There are literally hundreds of different ways that you can raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, but if your personality leans a little toward the zany side, your Komen 3-Day fundraising is a great place to get creative and let your wacky flag fly.

Here are just a few out-of-the-box 3-Day® fundraising ideas that have worked for other walkers:

Prom Dress Sale – The life cycle of most fancy dresses—worn by prom-goers, bridesmaids or wedding guests—is: spend a lot of money, wear it once, stuff it in a closet. We heard about an enterprising young walker who realized there was money to be made from all that neglected couture. She collected up used prom dresses from her high school acquaintances, got a local dry cleaner to clean the dresses at no cost, and then held a big sale a few weeks before prom and resold the dresses at discounted prices. She raised more than $800!

Trick or Treat for Ta-Ta’s – A few years ago on Halloween, Twin Cities 3-Day participant Jenny C. dressed up in an adorable pink ribbon costume and went trick-or-treating—not for candy, but for donations. She said, “I wasn’t sure how it would go, but there were only maybe 3 or 4 houses that refused. The houses that gave me $20s made up for them! There were a couple that took donation forms, too. And one guy dumped his giant mason jar full of change in my Boobie Bucket!” About 2 hours of door-to-door work brought in nearly $200.

Komen_3Day_fundraising_trick or treat.jpg

Pink Ribbon Jenny and her Boobie Bucket!

“Flock” Your Friends – I’ve personally done this one, and it’s a riot! I bought a couple dozen pink plastic lawn flamingos and then under cover of darkness, I stuck all of them in my neighbors’ yard and left a note on their doorstep. The note basically said, if you want me to take these pink squatters off your lawn, make a donation. Then, to add a wicked little twist, that family then got to pick which of our other neighbors would get “flocked” next. This is great fundraiser for 3-Dayers with kids; my daughters were my sidekicks in sneaking the flamingos from house to house, and our neighbors’ kids were absolutely beside themselves with excitement when they’d wake up to find they’d been visited by the flamingo fairies. Within 2 weeks, almost every house on our block woke up to find the flamingos in their yard and I raised over $1000.

Backward Mile RaceBlanche C., a veteran walker, crew member and team captain in Seattle, has held the “Cupcake Classic Backwards Mile” Race for the past few years. It’s just what it sounds like: friends of all ages sign up to walk or run backwards for one mile. These reverse-running renegades pay a registration fee for the race, which goes toward Blanche’s fundraising, and she also holds a massive raffle at the race itself. Oh, and of course, there are cupcakes at the finish line.

Komen_3Day_fundraising_backward mile.jpg

These clever “backward milers” brought handheld rear-view mirrors

Dance for Donations – Who doesn’t love subjecting their friends to a little public humiliation? We’ve heard of a handful of 3-Day walkers doing some version of this, and the results are hilarious. Basically, you ask friends for donations of a certain amount, and in exchange, the donor gets to pick a song that you will go out in public and dance to. Naturally, you have to have someone there to video you as proof, and naturally, that video must make its way back to your donors (usually through the power of social media). I personally think that the less skilled you are as a dancer, the funnier this whole endeavor is, but if you can’t fathom busting a move in front of a bunch of strangers, you can try a toned-down version of “embarrassment fundraising,” such as standing on a busy street corner wearing a sandwich board that says “I Love Boobies,” or the like.

Which creative, fun fundraisers have you tried? Share your ideas in the comments section, and if you need some fundraising inspiration of your own, visit the fundraising library on the 3-Day website at the3Day.org/library.

Don’t Fear the Fundraising “No” – Part 2 of 2

So you’ve committed to raising money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, but you’re worried that your friends and family will say no when you ask them for donations. In Part 1 of this post, we shared some tips for how to deal with this fear on your way to fundraising success, and today, we offer a few more thoughts.

Yesterday’s last tip urged you to send your fundraising letter out to every person you have an email address for. Every single one. Here’s why…

Don’t Make Someone’s Decision for Them – In looking down your list of potential donors, you may feel certain that some people on that list will, without a doubt, say no to your donation request. Maybe they’ve said no in the past, maybe you’re aware that their personal financial situation is precarious, maybe you don’t know them very well and therefore assume that they won’t be invested in supporting you. Stop it!

It’s impossible for you to know everything going on in another iStock_000013902975Mediumperson’s life (just as it’s impossible for them to fully know your life), and that’s also true about knowing every person’s connection to breast cancer. I’ve gotten some very generous donations over the years from really unexpected sources—one of my husband’s co-workers whose wife was battling breast cancer for the third time; a friend of my mom’s who had lost her mom to the disease; another parent at my daughter’s school who was a survivor herself. These were all people who I didn’t know very well and whose lives, I learned, were affected by breast cancer in ways that I could never see on the surface. If I had assumed that I knew their answer would be no, I would have missed out on those donations, and they would have missed out on the chance to honor their loved ones in such a meaningful way.

Arm Yourself With the Facts – Sometimes donors may be reluctant to give because they don’t fully understand or embrace the mission you’re working toward. Prepare yourself for these hesitant donors by having some facts at the ready. The 3-Day Fact Sheet offers details about the money raised by the 3-Day, and the Susan G. Komen® website has detailed financial information available to anyone who’s looking for it. Additionally, there are independent “watchdog” sites, such as Charity Navigator or BBB Wise Giving Alliance, which provide nonpartisan ratings and reviews of charitable organizations.

And finally…Accept the No – Giving to a charity is a deeply personal act, and every person will make their own (hopefully) well-informed decision. The truth is, even if you follow the rest of my advice to a tee, there’s still a good possibility that some people are going say no. You have to be prepared for that possibility, and accept that it will happen. It’s not a judgment on you, and you can’t let it deter you from your goal. Be respectful of someone’s choice, thank them for their consideration and move on. This kind of acceptance is incredibly freeing, and will allow you to keep up your positive momentum without feeling crushed under the weight of rejection.

San Diego Day 2

Everything’s going to be okay!

There are plenty of people out there who, I promise, will be eager to support you in your 3-Day fundraising. And the culmination of all of your hard-earned donations—walking in the 3-Day—will make every speed bump along the way well worth it. Don’t let fear stop you.