First-Timer’s Guide to the 3-Day: Sheilla on Fundraising

Fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can be a daunting task, especially for a new participant. For today’s “First-Timer’s Guide to the 3-Day,” Philadelphia 3-Day first-timer Sheilla shares some thoughts about her journey as a Komen 3-Day fundraiser. (Spoiler alert: this incredible first-timer, who asked herself “how will I ever do this?” reached her fundraising minimum in only 6 months.) Do you recognize any of your own story in hers? susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog fundraising first timer Before I signed up to walk in the 3-Day, I had very little fundraising experience. In the past, I had participated and assisted in group fundraisers (i.e. school events), but not anything on my own, and especially nothing this big. Initially, the fundraising goal of $2,300 was VERY intimidating to me, and it felt like an impossible task. I was extremely afraid that I would not reach my goal and not be able to walk in the event, which meant I would disappoint many people, but mostly myself. It concerned me enough that I was actually hesitant about signing up at all. Without a doubt, I wanted so badly to walk 60 miles in October and I was afraid that not raising the money—even if I gave it my best effort—would leave me feeling defeated. I finally convinced myself there was no harm in accepting the challenge, and only positive outcomes would result. What did I have to lose? Nothing–and only a lot to gain. I had to think a lot about what my fundraising strategy would be. I am not good at asking people for anything, especially money. Even though it wasn’t for me, and was for a great cause, I knew I would feel uncomfortable. So, how did I raise $2,300 and reach my goal in 6 months? (I’m super proud, I won’t lie.)

  • I signed up early. I registered for the Philadelphia 3-Day a full year in advance (in October of 2014), and used the fast-approaching holidays to my advantage.
  • I had to be creative. I didn’t ask anyone for money directly. Rather I used creative ways to have people donate.
  • I continuously brainstormed ideas and kept a running list.
  • Facebook! Definitely a great resource.
  • The fundraisers I organized were ones that appealed to the interests of those around me and seemed to be popular at the time.
  • Fundraisers were an exchange, meaning that individuals “paid” for an activity, item, etc. with a donation, so they walked away with something or enjoyed some experience. Win-win for all!

Putting together fundraisers takes a lot of planning and time to organize, send invitations and follow up with reminders. Sometimes it was stressful because you think a fundraiser is going to do well and you have expectations to receive a lot of donations, but that may or may not happen. But that’s when you have to remind yourself to never give up, and move on to the next idea. Fundraising strategies that I used:

  • Letters to businesses that I visit frequently (doctors’ offices, hair salon, gym, etc.)
  • Facebook:
    • Used the 3-Day app, which automatically posts reminders every week to my homepage for friends to see.
    • When a donation was received, the 3-Day app shared donation announcement, and I also gave a personal shout-out on my page to the person/business who donated.
    • Advertise fundraisers on personal homepage as well as on the 3-Day Facebook page.
    • Share pictures and quotes, and update profile picture and cover page with 3-Day images.
  • Five Below (awesome during the holidays)
  • Mixed Bag Designs (another good one during the holidays)
  • Penny Social Drawing at a local high school basketball gamesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog fundraising first timer
  • Rubber Bracelets (either sell or gift to those who donate)
  • Canvas Painting parties (huge hit!)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog fundraising first timer
  • 3-Day Business Cards
  • Afternoon event at Texas Roadhouse restaurant, with games, baked goods and vendors
  • Be a walking advertisement every day (this was probably my most successful strategy). I think the best way to receive donations is to share breast cancer awareness daily. By actively being involved, others will notice, ask questions and share stories, and before you know it there’s a donation added to your page.
    • Home: my house has a flag in the front and other memorabilia. It serves as a “shrine” to the cause.
    • Work: the office at the school where I work also has breast cancer awareness memorabilia
    • Me: my tattoo, pink ribbon necklace and bracelets, and other accessories are great conversations starters. I am always talking about the 3-Day – training, ideas, etc. I especially try to talk to people who I notice also have breast cancer awareness paraphernalia. You’d be surprised the people you meet who are thrilled you are participating in such a big event and will gladly donate.

Other Ideas I’d Still Like to Try!:

  • Stuffed Animal Sale – the donor pays for the stuffed animal and writes a message on a tag; animal is donated to local organization (kids with cancer, etc.) and the money is donated to your cause
  • Magnabilities sales
  • Bedazzle-a-Bra Contest
  • Exchange your talents/skills for donations (for me, I’d teach a yoga class!)
  • Poker or Golf tournament
  • Designer bag Bingo
  • Football or Basketball pool
  • Wawa Hoagie Sale
  • maniCURE—local nail salon donates money paid for manicures
  • Restaurant Fundraiser Nights (Ex. Chick-Fil-A)

The advice I would give to other first-timers, or anyone who is anxious about fundraising, is to believe in themselves and stick with it. If they are like me and are starting out with limited experience, I would definitely be honest and say it was stressful, but that’s me. However, it IS possible. It takes a lot of planning, creativity and interpersonal skills, but it is an awesome experience because you learn a lot about the event, about others and most importantly, about yourself. Like the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and I believe this is true for the 3-Day, especially the fundraising. So first-timers, lace up your shoes, embrace the pink and face the challenge.   Note from the 3-Day: Please check our fundraising policies at The3Day.org/policies before planning any fundraising events, to make sure you are collecting donations in compliance with our guidelines and your local laws.

Join Us for a Fundraising-Focused Facebook Meet-up!

Who says you have to be in the same room (or even the same time zone!) to have a fundraising brainstorm? On Tuesday, June 30 at 5:15 p.m. PDT (7:15 p.m. CDT, 8:15 p.m. EDT) we’ll be logging in to host our second 2015 Facebook Meet-Up! The topic du jour will be ways to maximize your fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. We’ll share ideas and spark conversation about how to inspire donors and stay motivated on your Komen 3-Day journey.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising facebook meet-up

How does the 3-Day® Facebook meet-up work? On Tuesday the 30th, around 5:00 p.m., we’ll post a status update on our Facebook page that says something like this:

“Welcome to the 3-Day Facebook Meet-Up! We’ll be answering your questions and sharing tips, tricks and information in this status update in just a few minutes. Reply directly in the comments, and don’t forget to reply and chat with everyone else who joins!”

Your 3-Day social media whiz kids, Alyssa and Erin, will be asking questions and commenting back and forth with you as “The 3-Day.” Now what fun is it if nobody chats, right? Be sure to jump in and introduce yourself to other commenters and ask and answer questions, too. You may have to occasionally refresh the Facebook page to see the most recent comments, questions, and replies.

We’ll chat for an hour, and hope you’ll join us! Any questions? Let us know!

Let’s Get Personal: Create Your Own 3-Day Fundraising Page URL

Today we welcome Paula, the Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day Participant Coach, who will be sharing details about one of her favorite fundraising tools!

“Help! My donor couldn’t find my web page to make a donation!” As a Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coach, I frequently encounter this crisis in calls and emails from frantic participants, and I take the opportunity to don my “hero” cape and share one of the best Komen 3-Day tips out there – the Personal Page URL! This handy, personalized web link is easy to create, and will make donating to you a one-click piece of cake for your 3-Day® donors!

A URL (which stand for Uniform Resource Locator, in case you were curious) is the “address” or location of a specific web page. When you type the address of a web page into your browser (usually starting with www), you are typing a URL. That’s as technical as I will get.

Every registered 3-Day participant has a personal donation page on the 3-Day website, and every personal page has its very own URL. When you get started, your page’s URL is a messy jumble of letters and characters that no one would remember. Mine looks like this: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR?px=1228513&fr_id=1935&pg=personal. Not very user friendly, is it?

If you send your emails directly from your 3-Day Participant Center, they will automatically include your page URL at the bottom of the email, but if you send paper letters, or send emails from your personal email address, or talk to your donors face-to-face, it’s useful to have a personal page URL that is easy to remember.

So what’s a determined fundraiser to do? This is where the 3-Day Personal Page URL comes in. You can create a “pretty” URL for yourself, then share it with your donors who can then reach your page with just one click. And don’t we all want to make donating as easy as possible? I know I do!

Creating your very own 3-Day Personal Page URL is easy. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Log into your 3-Day Participant Center. Find the Participant Center Home menu on the right side of your landing page, click “Edit Personal Page.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog fundraising tools personal page URL web address
  2. On the next page you will see a light pink shaded box just under the page header. Click the URL Settings link on the right. (The screenshot below shows my Personal Page URL. Yours will appear once you create it in the next step).susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog fundraising tools personal page URL web address
  3. Type your name in the text box as you want it to appear in your new URL. The URL will always start with The3Day.org/goto/ but the ending is all yours to personalize. You could use your first and last name (PaulaHultman), your name and the year (Paula2015 or PaulaHultman2015), your name and the city you’re walking in (SanDiego_Paula) or anything else that is relatively short, easy to spell and easy to remember (Paula.Loves.Pink). You won’t be able to use spaces, but letters and numbers are fine, as are dots, dashes and underscores. IMPORTANT: If the personal URL you’re trying is already being used by another 3-Day participant, you will get a message that the URL is already taken. In these cases, you can try adding your middle initial, or a nickname to differentiate your URL, or try something completely different.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog fundraising tools personal page URL web address
  1. Click Save and your Personal Page URL will be ready to share. Click the link yourself to see how easy it will be for donors to reach your page and make their donation.

It’s that easy! Now all you have to do is share your pretty new URL with your donors. As I mentioned earlier, when you send out emails directly from your Participant Center, a link to your donation page is automatically included, so including your new Personal Page URL here is optional. It’s also automatically included if you post on Facebook using the official 3-Day Facebook app. However, if you are sending emails from your personal email account, sending out an old fashioned fundraising letter, or posting your own messages on social media, always include your Personal Page URL so donors can easily find you. If your email provider allows you to create a signature that will automatically be added to your outgoing email, be sure to add your URL there as well.

There you have it, my favorite fundraising tip! If you need help with your Personal Page URL, your 3-Day coaches are just a call or email away (800-996-3DAY, or The3Day.org/Contact). We are always happy to assist you!