Crafting the Perfect Fundraising Letter

Each summer, I eagerly anticipate the announcement of the next year’s 3-Day event series schedule. When the 2014 3-Day schedule was posted today, I was happy to see that the 2014 San Diego 3-Day will take place on the same weekend in November that I have come to love. My 2013 event is 109 days away and I am ready to start fundraising for 2014!

As a 3-Day coach, I hear from participants who tell me they don’t know what to say in their fundraising letter. My response is always, “Tell me why you became a 3-Day walker.” It‘s amazing how easily the words then flow. Inspired, tearful or celebratory, I love hearing what motivated them, and after listening to their story, I tell the walker, “Congratulations. You just wrote your fundraising letter!”

One walker who needs no help writing his fundraising letter is Burt Lipshie. Burt started his 3-Day journey in 2004 in San Diego and has not stopped walking since! Burt completed his 15th 3-Day in Boston this past weekend, and is preparing for his 16th and 17th 3-Day journeys in Chicago and Dallas. I asked him to share the secrets of his fundraising success. Continue reading

Avoiding 3-Day Fundraising Flops

As a 3-Day coach and repeat walker, Aubrey Cushing knows a few things about fundraising. This year she is walking in the Seattle and San Diego 3-Days – and just reached her fundraising goal for both events. Way to go Aubrey! When I asked her the secret of her success over the years, Aubrey told me, “I try everything. Some things work and others don’t, but I NEVER give up. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and I will do whatever it takes to get us closer to a cure.” Well, said, Aubrey!

Aubrey_Tampa 2012

Aubrey is all smiles because she reached her fundraising goal for her 2013 3-Day events in Seattle and San Diego. Way to go, Aubrey!

Here are Aubrey’s tips for holding successful fundraising events – and avoiding fundraising flops!
•  Invite as many people as you can accommodate, and more. Expect half to RSVP, and a quarter of those to attend. Follow up with the RSVP’s who didn’t make it an offer them the chance to make a donation online. Continue reading

Surprise Donations

Joan and her daughter, Amanda share a special Chicago 3-Day moment

Joan and her daughter, Amanda share a special Chicago 3-Day moment

Many people go into fundraising thinking they know who won’t donate, who will, and how much they will give. But there’s a common experience among 3-Day walkers – the surprise donation! Joan DeFilippo, 3-Day coach and 10-year 3-Day walker and crew member, has been on the lucky receiving end of an unexpected surprise. Here’s what she had to say about it:

  • Even experienced fundraisers can face hesitation. “Every year when I write my letter, I take a momentary pause before hitting the ‘send’ button. But I tell myself, ‘If I don’t ask, I won’t get.’” Continue reading