The 3-Day Coaches Share Their Favorite Fundraising Ideas

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches are experienced fundraisers. They are all current or past Komen 3-Day participants themselves, and their combined decades of 3-Day® expertise has left them with a treasure trove of fundraising ideas and strategies. So we thought that the natural way to kick off our 3-Day Fundraising Week would be to ask the coaches for their best and favorite fundraising ideas. Feast your eyes, then give your favorites a try!SGK_3-Day_SocialMedia_FundraisingWeek_%23The3Day_v1 San Diego Coach Staci shared some ideas for increasing the emotional impact of the 3-Day among your donors:

“Incorporate your donors’ reasons for supporting you by asking them to send back the names of the people in their lives who have been touched by breast cancer so that you can walk in their honor or memory, too. Write their names down and carry them with you on the event. This allows your donors to feel more a part of the 3-Day journey and experience and elicits a greater emotional (and hopefully financial) investment on their part. One walker I know writes the honorees’ names on individual pink ribbons and wears the ribbons during her walk. After her event she sends each donor a personal thank you note, along with ‘their’ ribbon(s) and a photo of herself on the event, with the ribbons proudly displayed. I love the way this closes the circle with her donors.

 “Another unique fundraising event I heard of this year was by a participant who hosted a huge ‘pig feed.’ The money raised came from selling tickets and a silent auction, but this walker raised breast cancer awareness in a striking way as well. Every 2 minutes (for an hour during dinner) they rang a bell and an event volunteer randomly delivered a pink ribbon drink coozie to an attendee. At the end of the event they had everyone with a coozie stand up to represent the frequency of breast cancer diagnoses in a powerfully visual way. The impact of this activity prompted some attendees to give additional donations on the spot.”

  Jen, one of our fabulous Philadelphia coaches, suggested the following strategy for getting your community involved with your 3-Day fundraising:

“A team I know chooses one weekend every year in their community when they pick various intersections and collect money at red lights with signs, everyone wearing pink, etc. With a little effort and coordination (and comfortable shoes!), they do very well with this team fundraiser. And honestly, this makes a great cross training activity, too!”

  Many of our younger walkers (high school or college age in particular) frequently look to the coaches for help with fundraising because at that young age, not many of their young friends have money to give. Michigan coach Jennifer has some advice especially for these young walkers:

“Ask for donations from your friends’ parents, since they are more likely to have money to donate. Ask them in person or hand deliver your fundraising letters instead of sending via the mail or email to make it more personal.

 “If you’re still in high school or college, get permission to fundraise through school. You may not get huge donations, but there’s at least a huge pool of potential donors who can each give a little bit. It will add up. Schools are also great places for fundraising gimmicks, such as ‘Change Wars’ between classes (or dorms, or sororities and fraternities), dares (within reason) during lunch hour in exchange for donations, or selling donuts or ice cream during lunch hour. I remember talking to a college student a few years ago who made a fundraising flyer and taped it to the door of everyone in her dorm; she raised close to $750 within one week.”

Coach Stephanie (Twin Cities) had loads of great suggestions, which she regularly shares with walkers whom she talks to on the phone or at local events.

  • “If your birthday comes up before your 3-Day event, ask friends for donations instead of gifts. You can ask for a dollar amount corresponding to your age, or set a loftier goal and see if you can raise the amount of your birth year within one week of your birthday.
  • Ask your company’s HR department if you can host a ‘jeans day’ or ‘dress down day’ for $5.
  • Sell hot dog lunches outside Wal-Mart, Home Depot or your local grocery store. Charge $2 for hot dog, chips and soda. Most people will give a $5, 10 or $20 bill and hopefully tell you to keep the change. Make your lunch display full of pink – balloons, napkins, plates, signage about the 3-Day, breast cancer facts and Komen facts so donors know where the funds are going. Most of the lunch products can be bought in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco for a small expense.
  • Host dining out nights at local restaurants and receive 10%, 15% or even 20% of that night’s sales.”

Seattle coach Paula has participated in over 20 3-Day events, and she shared the following fabulous fundraising ideas:

“If you’re hosting a fundraising event, incorporate a 50/50 raffle. Get a roll of double tickets (one part goes in the raffle basket, you keep the other part). Set a ticket price that works for you. For Boobapalooza [the fundraising concert Paula holds each year] we sell tickets at 1 for $5/ 3 for $10 / 7 for $20. Periodically announce how big the pot is to build excitement and encourage more ticket purchases. When the raffle closes, have your banker count the collected donations and divide by two. Set aside half of the proceeds as yours – yay! Put the other half in an envelope and draw the winning ticket. One year, the winner re-donated a portion of their winnings back to us. Win, win!

 “Are you crafty? Find or design a simple bracelet that can be made at a reasonable cost, and sell them. I funded my 3-Day entirely with bracelet proceeds one year. I made them for $5 and they sold for $20. People are still wearing them.

 “Have a green thumb? Capitalize on the succulent craze and make some ‘Cancer Sucks-ulents’ to sell or raffle. These little ‘succers’ are easy to propagate, easier to grow, and you can turn cuttings from just a few plants into cute little mini-gardens. Containers can be anything – think dollar and thrift stores buys. Sell them to your friends, at fundraising events, or even display a table of your creations at your garage sale.” Komen_3day_fundraising_coaches tips_succulents

The ABCs of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day – Part 5

It’s time for part five of the ABC’s of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. This special alphabet is made up of 26 people, places or things you’ll encounter on the Komen 3-Day. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 (Letters A – D), Part 2 (Letters E – H), Part 3 (Letters I – L), Part 4 (Letters M – P) and don’t forget to share your ideas for each letter here on the 3-Day blog or with us on Facebook. You can also help us spread the word about the 3-Day® by pinning these images on Pinterest. The more people who learn about the 3-Day, the more we can make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer forever.

susan g komen 3-Day breast cancer walk abcs of the 3-Day Q is for questionsGot questions? We’ve got answers! The 3-Day coaches are experts on all things 3-Day, from fundraising and training, to packing and preparing for the 3-Day. You can reach them by calling 1-800-996-3DAY between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the local time zone, by emailing them or by chatting with us on social media.

susan g komen 3-Day breast cancer walk abcs of the 3-Day R Remembrance TentThe Remembrance Tent is a special place on the 3-Day where we honor the memories of 3-Day walkers and crew members whom we have lost to breast cancer. It’s a peaceful, contemplative place, set apart from the bustle of camp, where you can quietly honor those who have passed. Each 3-Day city receives a new white tent for participants to write their sentiments on, and all of the white tents are placed on display at each event, to serve as a traveling tribute to those we have lost.

See Also: Recurring Donations; Route

susan g komen 3-Day breast cancer walk abcs of the 3-Day S survivors

Breast cancer survivors are the heroes of the 3-Day. They are celebrated throughout the event, and enjoy a special place of honor at the Closing Ceremony.

See also: Sweet Dreams Treats, Susan G. Komen®, Sweep Van

susan g komen 3-Day breast cancer walk abcs of the 3-Day T TentsOn Friday and Saturday, after you complete your day of walking or crewing, you’ll arrive at the 3-Day camp, where your home away from home awaits you in the form of a perky pink tent. This “tent city” is truly a sight to behold, and many participants turn up the fabulousness even more by personalizing their tents with festive decorations – everything from plastic flamingos to colorful bras to inspirational banners. The occupants of the best decorated tent are awarded a special legacy pin at the 3-Day tent decorating contest.

See also: Teams; Training

 

What other ideas can you think of for Q, R, S, and T? How about for our next set of letters, U, V, and W? Let us know!

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?