Skip Fundraising This Month!

Okay, friends, I’m going to take a stance here that might surprise you: I’m encouraging you not to attempt any fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in January.

Wait, what? But haven’t you told us before that it’s best to take an “earlier is better” approach to starting my Komen 3-Day fundraising?susan g komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog skip fundraising

Look, of course, I’m never going to tell you that you shouldn’t work on your 3-Day® fundraising, and if you have a solid plan and are motivated to get going with it, by all means, have at it! But here, at the beginning of the year, many 3-Day walkers are just getting themselves and their teams registered. In the case of first-timers, many of you are just beginning to dip your toes into all the 3-Day encompasses, including what is, for many, the first time they’ve attempted fundraising of this kind. It can all feel a bit overwhelming, and the last thing we want is for anyone to feel undue stress before there’s anything to really be stressed about.

So, skip it this month.

Let me be clear: I still want you to think about fundraising, but tell yourself that it’s okay if you don’t get a single donation in January, as long as you’re percolating about your long-term plans.

  • Take this month to breathe, and start to come up with a strategy.
  • If you’re a veteran 3-Dayer, reflect on what has worked for you in the past. If you’re new, devote some time to exploring all the fundraising tools in your Participant Center (really, that tip goes for returning walkers too). Towards the end of this month, sometime around January 26th, you’ll notice the 3-Day website will have a whole new look, including updated tools and printables in your Participant Center.
  • Shoot for the moon on ideas. At this stage, nothing is too ambitious or outlandish to consider, because remember, you don’t have to put any of it into action right now. So let those brainstorms rage like a polar vortex of ideas!
  • Come up with a strategy and plot out the steps you’ll take to achieve it. Break down goals and phases of action week-by-week or month-by-month (if you need a good blueprint to inspire you, “How to Raise $2300 in 2 Months” is a great place to start, even though you still have way more than 2 months to complete your fundraising).

You can do all of this before February 1 without asking a single person for a donation. Having a plan in place now will allow you to jump into your efforts with two feet, confident that you’re not rushing to come up with ideas as the clock ticks down later in the summer or fall.

And as always, the fabulous 3-Day coaches are always here for you, and they are experts on this kind of thing. They’ve all been in your shoes – as 3-Day walkers and as fundraisers. Give them a call at 800-996-3DAY.

5 Simple New Year’s Resolutions That Will Help You Prepare for the 3-Day

Ah, the turning of a new year. It’s a time when we stop to remember the last 365 days (well, 363 at this point, but who’s counting) of challenges and opportunities, setbacks and victories, tears and laughter, and look ahead to all that 2015 will have to offer. For many of you, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is on your 2015 radar, and while any day is a great day to start moving forward toward the goal of participating in the Komen 3-Day, January 1 is as perfect a time as any to make some resolutions that will bring you closer to that objective.

  1. Register – Seems simple, right? And yet, loads of people think about doing the 3-Day®, talk about doing the 3-Day, even call the coaches to ask questions about registering, but sadly, many of those well-meaning folks never end up registering. Taking that first step can be the scariest part of all. But making the big move to actually sign up for the 3-Day is making a commitment to improve the lives of countless strangers, while also enriching your own life through an indescribably amazing experience. What better way to start off the journey into the new year than to set your sights on that extraordinary destination? Register by April 6, 2015 and you’ll save $20.954833_10154839463985392_3117132205361215331_n
  2. Tell Your Friends – Once you’re registered for the 3-Day, the next resolution you can make is as easy as can be: tell people what you’re doing! You (hopefully) will be very eager to share news of your 2015 3-Day registration with friends and family anyway, but aside from sharing your excitement, telling people will help hold you accountable, and keep you from falling into the “I registered…now what?” rut. Which reminds me: in the midst of telling your loved ones that you’re doing the 3-Day, give the 3-Day coaches a call and tell them too! They love hearing from you, even if it’s just to say hi and tell them, “I’m in!” You can reach the coaches at 800-996-3DAY.
  3. Drink more water – This is a resolution that I renew every year. If you think of it in terms of just drinking more water, the “more” feels kind of non-specific and, perhaps, makes it less likely that you’ll stick with it because of that vagueness. So I like to make it a little less ambiguous: I resolve to drink one glass of water for every non-water drink I ingest. Need that cup of coffee in the morning? Down a glass of water first. Can’t resist that peach iced tea at lunch? Order a water with it and refuse a refill on the tea until the water is gone too. Like to enjoy some other tasty beverages after 5 o’clock rolls around? Commit to consuming a water course in between rounds. All that extra H20 in your system will lead to you feeling healthier and more energized overall, but will also prepare you and get you into the habit of staying hydrated when your 3-Day event rolls around later in the year.Hydration 1
  4. Take the stairs whenever possible – Like with the water drinking resolution, the pledge to “walk more” may feel imprecise and uninspiring. So crank up the motivation factor by making the plan specific and attainable: if there’s an option to take the stairs instead of an elevator/escalator, do it. That’s just one clear-cut way to incorporate more activity into your daily routine; you can be creative in thinking of other ways too, such as always parking in the farthest parking spot you can find, investing in a pedometer or fitness tracker and setting a daily step goal (for most people 10,000 steps equals about 5 miles, a bold yet achievable daily target), or, if you like to layer your challenges onto one another, resolve to always be moving while drinking your water courses. The point is, the more movement you can put into everyday practice now, the more fit and prepared you will be when you really start diving into your 3-Day training later in the year, and more confident about ultimately attacking the big 60 miles.905516_10154821442060392_6658135689896285332_o
  5. Ask for a donation once a week – Raising $2300 for the 3-Day is a huge undertaking, and I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t benefit–mentally and emotionally–from breaking that amount down into smaller pieces. There is no donation that is too small to make a difference, except for the donations you don’t ask for. So make a commitment, at least once a week, to ask someone for a donation. I’m talking about a direct request to a specific individual (as opposed to a weekly mass posting on Facebook, though there is a lot of potential benefit to doing that too). Whether or not you ask for a specific amount is up to you, though I recommend that you do. But ask. At least once a week. More often if you can. If you need inspiration with how to ask, check out our Fundraising Challenge posts on Facebook, the Creative Fundraising board on Pinterest, or search “fundraising” here on the 3-Day blog.

What other New Year’s resolutions are you making to help you prepare for the 3-Day?

 

Give a Year-End Bump to Your 3-Day Fundraising

There’s no mistaking that December is one of the busiest months of the year for most people. And it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that many Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants are focusing on things other than their fundraising efforts for the 2015 Komen 3-Day. That said, there are some easy and efficient ways to give a little nudge to your 3-Day® fundraising this month before we turn over the calendar to 2015.

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Ask! – If we here at the 3-Day sound like a broken record with this piece of fundraising advice, it’s for a very good reason: it works! The single best way for you to receive donations is to ask for them. Simple as that. And December is as good a month as any to ask. You’re likely to be seeing more family and friends in person than in most months, and an in-person ask is the most powerful and effective.

Leverage the Holidays – Everyone is running around like crazy getting their holiday preparations done. If you’re not swamped with holiday to-dos yourself, volunteer to help out your friends and family in return for 3-Day donations. You can offer your services as a babysitter so parents can go shopping or attend holiday parties. You can wrap gifts. If you’ve got a culinary bent, you could prepare food for festivities. Feeling extra handy? Offer to hang holiday lights on houses.

Add an Ask to Your Holiday Cards – If you’re like me, you’ve got a list as long as your arm of loved ones who will be getting your family’s Christmas card this year. Did you know that the 3-Day has these handy inserts (for walkers and crew), which you can print out and include with your holiday cards? You’re sending love and good cheer to all those people anyway, so why not let them know that you’ve also committed to hope and change in the new year by walking in the 3-Day, and ask for their support?2015_SGK_Holiday-Card-Insert_Walker_fp 2015_SGK_Holiday-Card-Insert_Crew_fp

Offer a Friendly Tax Reminder – Most people are already aware, but it never hurts to remind your supporters that any charitable donations made in calendar year 2014 will be tax deductible in 2015. In fact, research has shown that more online charitable donations are made on December 31 than any other day of the year. If your donors give one more time before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, it will end up benefitting not only the fight against breast cancer, but potentially their 2015 tax return too! You can even turn it into a fun “Countdown to the Cure” gimmick on the 31st; each hour, post a challenge on Facebook or Twitter asking your friends to get their donations in before the ball drops.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic – It’s possible that your 3-Day fundraising may get a little bit (or a lot) neglected in December, and that’s totally fine and understandable. If you’re able to get just one donation this month, it’s one donation more than you had, and one step closer to your goal. We know that, no matter what, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running (well, walking, but walking with purpose!) in 2015.

What are your best year-end fundraising strategies?