The Life Cycle of a Matching Gift

There are hundreds of fundraising tools, tips and ideas available to Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants who are working toward their fundraising goals, but I am consistently surprised at how underused matching gifts are. Matching gifts are a way for a donor to double his/her donation, but for some reason, many people don’t pursue the option. Perhaps it’s from a lack of understanding about how the process works, or a misconception that it’s too complicated or time-consuming. I’m hoping to clear some of that up here.

In general, a Komen 3-Day matching gift works like this:

  • Meet Petunia.
  • Petunia has just made a $100 donation to her sister Daisy, who is raising money for the 3-Day®. She’s very proud of what Daisy is doing, and wants to support her as much as she can.
  • Petunia works for Awesome, Inc., which has a company matching gift program. Many companies (especially larger corporations) offer matching gifts as a way to inspire their employees to give charitably.
  • So, Petunia goes to the Matching Gifts info page on the 3-Day website (The3Day.org/Matching) to look up Awesome, Inc., and confirms that they do match with the 3-Day. Hooray! The Matching Gifts page has info about how Awesome, Inc.’s matching process works, so she submits a request for Awesome, Inc. to match her $100 donation with $100 of their own.
  • Every company’s matching gift process is unique, but in most cases, the company will use an online matching gift portal (such as EasyMatch or CyberGrants) to process requests. Some companies use paper forms that must be mailed in. Petunia confirms that Awesome, Inc. uses an online process, so she logs in and enters the correct information about her gift. She makes sure to specifically designate the Susan G. Komen 3-Day as the recipient of the matching gift (as opposed to her local Susan G. Komen® affiliate or Komen headquarters), and includes Daisy’s full name and the city where she’s walking, to make sure Daisy gets credit for the match.
  • The 3-Day matching gifts team receives notification of the match request from Petunia/Awesome, Inc., and once they have verified Petunia’s original donation, they will approve the match and send approval notification back to Awesome, Inc. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks, but is usually much faster.
  • Even though Awesome, Inc. may not send the matching funds to the 3-Day right away (many companies only pay out matches once a quarter, or twice yearly), credit for the matching gift will be added to Daisy’s fundraising total as soon as the match is approved.
  • And just like that, Petunia’s $100 donation has doubled, and twice as much money goes back to Susan G. Komen® and the fight to end breast cancer – the cause that the sisters care so much about.

The number one piece of advice we give to participants who are raising money for the 3-Day is to ASK, and that advice carries over into asking about matching gifts too. When you send out your fundraising emails or post on Facebook, be sure to remind your donors about 3-Day matching gifts and ask them to inquire with their employers about getting a match.

You can find more detailed information about the matching gift process, and a searchable list of companies that currently match with the 3-Day, at www.The3Day.org/matching. And as always, the 3-Day coaches are available at 800-996-3DAY to answer any questions you might have about the matching gift process or the status of a request that has already been made.

One Step at a Time – Meet Pala, a Survivor

Survivors are the heroes of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. They remind us of one of the many reasons why we walk: because everyone deserves a lifetime. Today, we’re delighted to introduce you to Pala L., from Livonia, Michigan. Pala walked the Komen 3-Day in Michigan last week and is going strong for another 60 miles this week in the Twin Cities. This is Pala’s 14th 3-Day® since 2009, and she has previously walked Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Tampa and Arizona. “I was going to walk it once to see what it was like,” said Pala. “I was training in 2009 and when registration opened in 2010, I registered before I even walked the first time! I never dreamed I would be walking so many events per year.”

Meet Pala from Livonia, Michigan, who walked Michigan and Twin Cities this year

Meet Pala from Livonia, Michigan, who walked Michigan and Twin Cities this year

In 2003, Pala was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I went from being told in March I had a clean mammogram to a lumpectomy in July because I found the lump. I had a six month old granddaughter, and the hardest part of my treatments was not being able to see her because of my low blood count. I don’t want her and that generation to worry about going through things I did. Her other grandmother was diagnosed a year after me, and she has it coming from both sides. I can’t have that.”

In 2007, the 3-Day route went by Pala’s house. Pala was two years out from treatment, and had no idea the 3-Day was in town. “I went outside and cheered. The walkers would say thank you for being here, thanks for coming out. And I thought, I’m just standing here, you’re doing all the work. In 2008, my husband and I stood out there, and again, they thanked us. In 2009, I said to my husband, I want to try this. I want to see what it’s about. I want to see if I can do it. I had no idea if I could fundraise. I had no idea if I could walk 60 miles. 14 events later… here I am.”

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Pala proudly wears many buttons and pins.

Pala works on fundraising for ten and a half months out of every year, and after walking 14 events, she’s learned to approach fundraising from many different angles. “I do everything that I can think of,” she said. She starts with writing letters, but her biggest fundraiser is her annual garage sale, and she also dabbles in recycling cans and ink cartridges. Pala also teaches monthly card-making workshops for donations, and reminds nervous fundraisers that the best way to fundraise is to think about what you like to do and figure out how you can make donations from it.

Pala’s passion for the 3-Day is obvious as she describes her love of finding creative ways to fundraise and the joy she gets from being around so many inspiring people. Pala embodies the type of commitment and dedication we see in so many 3-Day participants. What does she tell herself when the last few miles of the day are feeling tough? “Put one foot in front of the other. It’s like a person going through treatment who says, how can I get through this? One day at a time. One step at a time.”

Pala walks with her friend Becky, who also helps her with her annual fundraising garage sale

Pala walks with her friend Becky, who also helps her with her annual fundraising garage sale

Over the Hill: Conquering Day 2 on a Twin Cities Hill

Day two of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®  in the Twin Cities has come to an end, and all day, we enjoyed balmy weather with cloud cover that kept the sun’s rays tucked away. This cooler weather was much appreciated as walkers closed in on an awesome 22.5 miles, through scenic sites like the Gervais Mill Park, where reflections of pink gleamed upon the lily-pad studded pond. One of the more challenging parts of today’s Komen 3-Day route was a hilly patch on Gramsie Road that stretched through Shoreview. We trekked up the hill a few times alongside the walkers, and captured some of their reactions as they conquered the incline. Here’s what they had to say!

Walkers rockin' the hill on Gramsie Road in Twin Cities

Walkers rockin’ the hill on Gramsie Road in Twin Cities

  • “They’re not gonna make us walk up this hill, right?”
  • Someone yells, “This is the last hill of the day!” A walker responds, “You’re a liar!”
  • “There better be grahamwiches after this.”
  • “It’s all downhill from here!”
  • “You don’t want to know what I think about this hill.”
  • “Once you go up… you gotta come down!”
  • “You can’t write what I want to say.”
  • “At least it’s not the last two miles.”
  • “You know what’s worse than walking up a hill on the 3-Day? Swallowing a bug walking up a hill on the 3-Day.”
  • “Glad I’m going up and not down.”
  • “It’s not too bad.” (Friend replies, “Wait till he gets to the top.”)
  • “Are there any flat lands in this state?”
  • “It’s almost over!”

And our favorite…

  • “We can do it!”

We know that our amazing 3-Day® walkers and crew will never give up… on hills, or in the fight to end breast cancer.

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