Reenergizing Your 3-Day Fundraising

The story is not uncommon: you registered for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® months ago, and you got started on your fundraising right away. You had a nice rush of donations at the beginning from people who were excited about the challenge and commitment you were undertaking with the Komen 3-Day. But at some point, the rush slowed to a trickle, and perhaps has now stopped completely. Yes, you’ve hit the dreaded 3-Day® fundraising plateau.


If your 3-Day fundraising has hit a lull, here are some quick tips to keep things moving forward.

Work the Follow-ups! – If you sent out a fundraising email or letter and responses have slowed, send a follow-up message to everyone you sent the original message to (including people who have already donated). The follow-ups allow you to do a few key actions:

  • Publicly thank those who have already donated. I’ve actually had donors give a second time as a result of being thanked in a follow-up email!
  • Give everyone an update on your fundraising and training progress. (“I just finished my first 10 mile training walk!” “I’m halfway to my fundraising goal!”) Keeping your donors engaged and involved in your journey will compel them to give.
  • Remind those who have not donated yet that it’s not too late! In all likelihood, they’ve just forgotten and will appreciate the gentle reminder nudge. As a donor who has supported my friends’ fundraising efforts for the 3-Day and other events, I know that I most often give on the second (or sometimes even the third) email.

Set a Deadline – Even though you have until just before your 3-Day event to finish your fundraising, there are countless benefits to reaching your goal early. Go ahead and set a deadline for yourself and share it with your donors. And it doesn’t have to be a deadline for raising the full $2300; for example, you could ask your donors to help you raise $700 in the month of July (the seventh month). The pressure of a deadline can be very persuasive and will help eliminate the “I’ll get to it later” mentality that donors sometimes fall into.

Try a Fundraising Event – If your go-to strategy so far has been fundraising with a one-on-one ask (sending emails, posting on Facebook, asking face-to-face), add some new energy and variety by holding a fundraising event. These events can be elaborate, but certainly don’t have to be. A simple garage sale or a well-positioned bake sale can often yield hundreds of dollars or more. See if your local market will let you set up a table outside. Get the kids involved and set up a lemonade stand at a nearby park or beach on a warm summer day (pink lemonade, naturally). Be sure to put out copies of your 3-Day donation form and/or your 3-Day business cards; there’s a great chance that some of your patrons will be inspired to give more when they get home!

The 3-Day Blog has loads of fundraising posts, and your 3-Day Participant Center is your fundraising idea headquarters. Still need ideas or inspiration? Call the coaches at 800-996-3DAY!

May 3-Day Meet-up Round-up and Tweet Chat Recap

The beautiful month of May brought us face-to-face with so many of our amazing Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants and supporters. The warmer weather provided wonderful conditions for our many Komen 3-Day Training Kick-off Events, as well as other meetings and get-togethers. Come see where we’ve been!


In Michigan, new walkers gathered at a California Pizza Kitchen to share a meal and get advice from some seasoned 3-Day veterans. Michigan 3-Dayers also had some fun with wine at Michigan By The Bottle, and got their families involved at the Maybury State Park Family Meet-Up. Some of these events will be happening again in June, so check the calendar and don’t miss out!

Twin Cities

The Twin Cities Training Walk Kick-off event was on May 3rd. The 20+ participants in attendance started the morning off with a 3-mile walk around beautiful Lake Harriet, followed by a training workshop led by New Balance Outfitter, GEAR Running Store. The walkers were even supported by an awesome group of crew members/volunteers who set up a pit stop back at the store. Lots of 3-Day excitement!susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities trainingsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities training pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities training


Training walk leader Sandra led this group of Seattle participants on a fun and informative 3-mile Walk & Talk to Pioneer Park and back to Wanna Cupcake for a delicious ending. Check the June calendar at for more Seattle training events and meetings. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle training walk and talk


On May 3rd we had the Training Kick-off event for the Atlanta 3-Day. Nearly 40 gathered at the New Balance store, excited about the perfect walking weather that morning. They had the choice of an 8-mile or 4-mile route (most opted for the full 8), and once the walkers were out, a few wonderful crew members and coaches set up a pit stop, complete with water, oranges, bananas, bagels, and of course some Snickers. Back at the store after the walk, the coaches hosted a packing workshop while the New Balance folks helped with lots of shoe fittings. By the end, walkers were already asking about having another Training Kick-Off event at the 16 week-out mark. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk atlanta trainingsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training atlanta pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training atlanta


Dallas/Fort Worth

3-Day coaches, walkers and crew members gathered for a Meet & Greet at The Vintage House, a charming 100+ year old home/shop in Historic Downtown Carrollton which is famously known as “The Pink House” – how perfect! susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training dallas fort worth vintage house pinksusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training dallas fort worth vintage house pink

 San Diego

Like so many other 3-Day cities, San Diego kicked off its 24-week training schedule with a bang! Nearly 50 walkers and volunteers met at the Encinitas New Balance store. A representative from the local Susan G. Komen® affiliate gave an inspirational talk before the walkers were off on a 3- or 7-mile training walk (most jumped right in for the full 7!). They were even supported by two Route Safety crew members on bikes, and treated to a seaside pit stop along their route. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training san diegosusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training san diego

The 3-Day at the Race for the Cure®

Local Race for the Cure® events were held in a few of our 3-Day cities this past month, and the 3-Day coaches were on-hand to support the racers and say hello to our 3-Day family in attendance.

Saturday, May 10 – Twin Cities Race for the Cure  susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities race for the curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities race for the cure

Sunday, May 11 – Philadelphia Race for the Cure  susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk philadelphia race for the cure

Sunday, June 1 – Puget Sound Race for the Curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle puget sound race for the curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle puget sound race for the cure


What? You missed out on these events in May? Well don’t you worry, because June is bursting with more meet-up opportunities in every 3-Day location. Find out where to find us at


Wait, there’s more! We even met up in cyberspace!

On May 29, the 3-Day hosted its very first Tweet Chat. We joined with dozens of 3-Day walkers and crew members on Twitter and spent over an hour swapping fundraising tips and advice. It was fast paced, fun and inspiring to see so many 3-Day participants sharing their ideas with each other in this virtual meeting room. We’ve posted some highlights below, but you can see the whole conversation by visiting the 3-Day Twitter page (, or searching for the hashtag #the3day, then scrolling to the May 29 posts. And of course, keep your eye on the 3-Day social networking sites for announcements about our next Tweet Chat, coming soon….


The Emotional Journey of the 3-Day Fundraiser

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is an experience which elicits deep and profound emotional responses at every turn. For most Komen 3-Day walkers, the emotional journey begins as soon as they register and are faced with the challenge of raising $2300. Join us as we dissect the phases of feelings that the average 3-Day® fundraiser goes through.

Anxiety susan g. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk fundraising

How am I going to raise all that money? Will I have enough time? What if no one donates to me? The beginning of the fundraiser’s journey is often fraught with stomach-churning apprehension. It’s totally normal. Raising $2300 is a big challenge, and it deserves a respectful degree of trepidation.

Resolvesusan g. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk fundraising resolve

The good news is, for most fundraisers, the anxiety phase is quickly pushed aside by a firm resolve to get the job done. You realize that any fear you’re feeling about fundraising is nothing compared to the terrifying reality of a breast cancer diagnosis, and you are soon ready to move beyond the worry and get to work.

Excitementsusan g. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk fundraising excitement

Once you’ve dug in your heels and determined that failure is not an option, the fun starts. There are literally hundreds of ways that a 3-Day walker can raise money, and figuring out which strategies will work best is an exciting prospect. Should I organize a fundraising event? I wonder how much money I could raise just by recycling cans and bottles… Hey, my brother works for a company that does matching gifts! Even if your go-to tactic is as simple as sending an email to your friends and family, you will feel a special thrill in expressing your reasons for walking and your anticipation about the 60-mile journey. You will be eager to invite your friends and family to join you in the voyage.

AnticipationSusan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.

So you’ve hit “Send” on your fundraising emails, and now…you wait. Waiting can be stressful, but remember that the fundraiser’s journey is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take time for those donations to roll in, so be patient. Give it a week or two, then send a follow-up.

Inspirationsusan g. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk fundraising inspiration

And oh, when the donations come it, how sweet it is! There’s nothing quite like the delight of getting those notification emails letting you know that you’ve received a new donation. Your hard work is paying off, and with every new donation, your faith in humanity is confirmed. You’ll find yourself surprised and overwhelmed by the generosity that can come from sometimes the most unexpected places.

Gratitudesusan g. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk fundraising gratitude

The appreciation that the fundraiser feels for his/her donors is as sincere an emotion as they come. With every step you take on your 60-mile adventure, you carry your donors with you.


Fundraising for the 3-Day is emotional, make no doubt about it. If you ever feel overwhelmed by any of these emotions, call the coaches at 800-996-3DAY. We’ve all been there, and we will always be there for you – to work through your worries, to overcome your obstacles, and to celebrate your victories.

What emotions have you experienced as a 3-Day fundraiser?