3 Reasons Why You Should Always Ask for a Specific Donation Amount

Quick poll: while fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, who among you has written a fundraising letter or email, posted a Facebook ask, or made an in-person request and used some version of the following statement: “Please donate whatever amount you’re comfortable with.”

It’s true that every donation made to the Komen 3-Day—no matter the amount—is important and will make an impact in the fight against breast cancer. But experience has shown us that asking your donors to give a specific amount is a more successful fundraising tactic than the “whatever you’re comfortable with” route. Here’s why:

An Unmistakable Call to Action – People like to be given directions. When you ask for 3-Day® donations in a specific amount, you give your donors a clear instruction to act on, which will make them more likely to donate right away. Putting a deadline on your request is another great way to motivate your donors to give without delay.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising donations

Aim High, Land High – For the past several years, I’ve straight-up asked my donors for $100 donations in my initial fundraising emails. I make no apologies for it, and I remind my donors that my job as a 3-Day walker, first and foremost, is to raise as much money as I can for Susan G. Komen®. I make this request knowing full well that many of my donors will not donate that much. But what I’m really doing is setting an expectation. Asking for a large amount says to my donors, “This is important, and your part in it is important.” Sometimes it works and I see those hundred dollar donations hit my account, but even if the donor is not willing or able to give that much, they will still end up giving as much as they can. On the other hand, back when I used to say, “Any amount is okay,” I found that donors would often give far less.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising donations

Attention-Grabbing Gimmicks Work – Last year, I sent out a fundraising email two weeks before my 37th birthday, challenging my supporters to help me raise 37 donations of $37 each before my big day. The amount I asked for was very specific, very manageable, and since the birthday angle tied to it was personal to me, it was highly appealing to my friends and family members. The response I got from donors was immediate and generous; I raised over $1300 in less than 2 weeks, based on this tactic alone. If I had thrown out a request that said, “Please make a donation in any amount in honor of my birthday” I can’t imagine the ploy would have been as successful. Click here to find some other fundraising strategies that incorporate specific donation amounts.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising donations

 

3-Day Fall Fundraising Ideas

Whether you’re still raising money for a 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, or you’re getting an early jump on your fundraising for 2015, fall is a great time to re-energize your Komen 3-Day fundraising. Here are some practical and creative fundraising ideas to help you fall toward your goals!

iStockPhotos

iStockPhotos

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – As you probably know, October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a great time for you to make your friends and family aware of your part in the breast cancer cause. Wear a 3-Day® shirt around town or on training walks, and take advantage of opportunities to talk about your 3-Day fundraising efforts. Often, a little conversation is all that’s needed to ignite a new supporter’s interest.

Fall = Follow Up – When’s the last time you reached out to your donor base? Take the turning of the new season as an inspiration to send an email to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, and update them on your fundraising and training progress. Let them know about your goals for the last few months of the year and ask for their support. Remember, the real impact of fundraising letters/emails comes with the follow-up. Sometimes people just need that gentle reminder, and October is a fitting time to give a little pink nudge.

Trick-or-Treat for Donations! – We’ve heard a few stories over the years of 3-Day participants going door-to-door for donations on Halloween night. Jenny, a Twin Cities participant, even wore this amazing pink ribbon costume, complete with her “boobie bucket.” You could find all kinds of ways to dress up for the cause (there’s no shortage of pink superhero costumes, pink wigs, pink tutus, etc. out there this time of year), and even get some training in by walking around your neighborhood.

Warm Up Those Fall Sports Fans – Is your town overtaken with high school or college football fever this time of year? Or are you tight with the local soccer moms at Saturday morning games? How about selling hot chocolate or coffee to tail-gaters or at the sports fields? If you want to think a little bigger, you could even make some no-sew fleece blankets to sell. As always, make sure people know their purchase is going toward your fundraising efforts and often, they’ll invite you to keep the change, too.

Give Thanks, Get Donations – While Thanksgiving is not typically a gift-giving occasion, the feel-good vibe of the holiday tends to put people in a generous spirit. Share that spirit of gratitude by telling people—in person, on Facebook, with a hand-written note—how much they mean to you, and how grateful you are for the advances in breast health that Susan G. Komen® and the 3-Day have helped fund.

Black Friday = Pink Friday! – The day after Thanksgiving, informally known as Black Friday, is the busiest day of the year for retailers. Challenge your friends and family to calculate 10% of what they plan to spend on shopping that day, and instead donate it to your fundraising efforts (this challenge could extend all the way through the weekend to Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day). Or, if you’re feeling especially bold and adventurous, sell coffee and donuts to patrons who line up outside their favorite stores early on Friday morning. They’ll appreciate the breakfast options, and you’ll earn some money toward your 3-Day goals.

Giving Tuesday – On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back to charitable causes. Take advantage of all of the warm and generous feelings flying about (not to mention the wallets that have already been loosened by Thanksgiving weekend shopping) and ask for a donation to support your fight to end breast cancer.

What other fabulous fundraising ideas can you fashion for the fall season? Share them in comments or on Facebook!

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.