The Insider’s Peek at the Michigan Route

In February of this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® events. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it was still kind of broad in the sense that it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general, to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events individually. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches, to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early in the year will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and have a few exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ll do one of these for every 2015 3-Day event, in order, which means: you’re up, Michigan! Here’s what Event Planning Manager Missy and Local Events Coach Ann had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? – Missy assured me that there will be “No major changes from 2014!” (Click to see the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Journey Map and the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up.)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Michigan route present (i.e., Are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) – Missy’s response to this question was, “Although there is no extreme terrain in Michigan, there are plenty of motivating challenges when walking the 3-Day there, including some minor hills in the afternoon on Day 1 and a set of stairs after lunch.” Ann, a native of the Detroit metro area, confirmed, “Southeast Michigan is pretty flat compared to other 3-Day locales, but there are a couple hills that people should be sure to train for.” Missy added, “Day 2 has a challenging hill after lunch, and portions of the route are off-pavement.” Ann said, “Sweep access is pretty consistent, but there may be a few short stretches that don’t allow for easy access. We also walk a stretch of Hines Park on the afternoon of Day 2, which can be a bit on the shadeless side, depending on the time of day.” Missy’s concluding thoughts were, “On Day 3, walkers have little change in terrain, but go through more urban areas – some without shade.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? From Ann, “Historic Downtown Plymouth (with the pink fountain) and Northville on Day 2 are always great areas with tremendous community support. On Day, 3 the residents of Dearborn love to come out to cheer and decorate their streets.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall nature of the Michigan route? – Ann is happy to brag about her home state: “It’s a great mix of residential, commercial, and rural. The route goes through some of Detroit’s nicest suburban communities and folks are always really supportive.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route

 

The Bottom Line: Michigan walkers really don’t have much to worry about, as far as challenging terrain goes, but they should definitely work a few decent hills into their training, so nothing takes them by surprise. The Midwest in early August can get pretty hot and humid, and rain isn’t out of the question, so training in the heat to get used to it is a good idea too, as well as packing for the elements (but don’t worry about that until later). With those preparations locked down, walkers will have a beautiful and scenic route, with tons of community support greeting them in Michigan.

Still have questions about the Michigan 3-Day route? Call your Michigan 3-Day coach Jennifer at 800-996-3DAY (select option 4 for Michigan), or email michigancoaches@the3day.org.

Foolproof Tips for Fundraising Follow-ups

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising follow-up fridaySending out a fundraising email is one of the most commonly utilized fundraising tactics by Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants, and for good reason: fundraising emails allow you to reach a potentially large audience quickly and easily, let you tell your potential donors about the Komen 3-Day and why you are taking part in it, and make it simple for donors to click through directly to your personal donation page. That’s why one of the first things the 3-Day® coaches will ask when a walker contacts them to lament the trouble they’re having with fundraising is, “Have you sent out a fundraising email yet?”

Well, have you? You have! Great job!

So now what?

The “now what” tends to be the same for most 3-Day participants: after sending out the first fundraising email, a flurry of donations will come in right away. You’ll feel great, inspired. For a lucky few of you, you’ll end up reaching your fundraising goal just from donations generated from that first email. But for most of you, you’ll notice that after a week or two, the rush of donations slows to a trickle, and you start wondering, “Is that it?”

I promise you, that’s not it. And that’s where the follow-up emails come in.

Here are my time-tested top nuggets of wisdom about working the follow-ups.

Always BCC – Just a quick word about sending out mass emails: always use the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) function in your email program (or better yet, send your messages through the email function in your 3-Day Participant Center; you can BCC from there, too). This allows you to send a message to a large group of recipients without openly listing everyone’s email addresses in the To field. It’s important to be respectful of your potential donors’ privacy. That said, some email programs won’t let you see who was included in the BCC field once a message has been sent, so we recommend that you keep a separate list somewhere of everyone you sent your messages to.

A Gentle Nudge – When I was a coach for the 3-Day, I told people all the time that their initial fundraising email gets the word out about their 3-Day journey, but the real fundraising impact comes from the follow-ups. Yes, some people will be inspired to donate right away, but most of your donors probably file your message away under “I’ll get to this later” (especially if you’re sending your letters out months before your event). Sending a follow-up message to your original send list is a way to gently remind those folks who didn’t respond yet that, “Hey, I’m still here, and I’m still counting on your help.”

Time It Right – I think that, in general, 2-3 weeks is a good amount of time to let pass after sending your first fundraising email before you send out a follow-up. After that amount of time, it’s likely that your original message has been inadvertently forgotten or lost in someone’s inbox. So you give folks that gentle nudge, then subsequent follow-ups can be spaced out with the same amount of time, or up to a month apart.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…This Blog Post

Today is Earth Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, we’re recycling our Earth Day post from last year! Okay, maybe that’s not the kind of conservation that Earth Day promotes, but it is a good reminder from us to you about How the 3-Day Stays Green in a Pink World.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles earth day