3-Day Fundraising Events are the Thing to Do!

Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants reach their fundraising goals in dozens of different ways, but some of the most successful Komen 3-Day fundraisers are those folks who employ several different strategies to raise money. In general, it’s a good idea to mix up your fundraising approaches, and one of the most effective methods you can incorporate is holding a fundraising event.

Event = Just About Anything!
Think of a 3-Day® fundraising event as being any organized effort to get people together and collect donations. These events range from simple (a wine and cheese night in your home or a casual backyard “Boob-B-Q”), to more elaborate (a Bowl-a-thon or live music show), to downright extravagant (a fashion show or benefit play). The more work you put in to organizing a fundraising event, the more money you’re likely to get out of it, but any size event can be tremendously successful if you follow a few basic guidelines.

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Philadelphia team Breastasaurus Rex has held an adorable and very successful “Pretty in Pink” beauty pageant fundraiser for several years                     

Don’t Apologize for Fundraising 
When you publicize your event and invite friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors, make it very clear that your intent is to raise money. Don’t hide it and don’t apologize for it. Put the expectation in your guests’ minds that they will be giving to your fundraising efforts, and then…

Make it Worth Their While
As charitable as your friends and family members may be, and as much as they want to support you out of the goodness of their hearts, the truth is, some will probably be more inclined to give (or to give more) if they get a little something back. Holding a fundraising event accomplishes both goals: it gets donations for you and it gives your donors a fun, memorable experience. And it’s okay if you attract folks who are more excited about the party than the cause—whatever gets them in the door! The more elaborate or unusual the event it, the more that “can’t miss” factor increases. Yes, big and bold events will take more work on your part, but we’ve known such events to yield $10,000 to 20,000 in a single night.


Get Stuff, Give Stuff

The less you have to spend out of pocket on venue, food or beverages, the more you’ll be able to return to your fundraising efforts. Go around to local businesses, call in favors and get stuff donated for your fundraiser. Many vendors will offer discounted or free goods and services in exchange for free advertising at your event, so don’t be afraid to ask.You can even sweeten the deal by agreeing to put their name/logo on a shirt you wear on the 3-Day itself. The same goes for small donated items that you can give as party favors or bigger donations that you can raffle or auction off at your event. If your guests have the chance to walk away with some fun swag, they’ll be more likely to open their wallets generously.

Team Up!
If you are part of a 3-Day team, fundraising events are a great way for the whole team to get involved. When you can divide up the to-do’s of organizing and executing a fabulous party, it makes the job easier for everyone (one person secures a venue, another arranges entertainment, a few others are tasked with getting raffle prizes donates…). And think about it: if you have 50 people you would invite to a fundraiser, that’s 50 possible donors. But if you and 4 teammates each invite 50 people, suddenly you have 250 potential donors (and a lot more excitement at your event!).

These are just a few tasty tidbits to get your wheels turning about a fundraising event. You can find out lots more by clicking here, or you can call the coaches at 800-996-3DAY.

3 Ways to Get a Donation in 10 Minutes or Less

So you haven’t started fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® yet. It’s okay!

Don’t panic, and don’t stress yourself out right now by thinking about the full amount you want to raise. You will get there in time but for today, make it your goal to simply to get that first donation and get yourself off of $0. Our years of fundraising experience on the Komen 3-Day have shown that once you get the first donation, you are statistically much more likely to get the rest. You just have to get the ball rolling!

Here are some easy ways that you can get that first donation in 10 minutes or less.

  1. Go With Who You Know – If you have done the 3-Day or other fundraising events in the past, shoot a personal email (or even better, send a handwritten note) to someone who has donated to you before. Reaching out to a past donor eliminates the “what if they’re not interested in donating?” fear that many people have. Thank them for their past support and invite them to be your first donor of 2014. (And if this will be your first 3-Day event, ask your best friend, mom, spouse or roommate to be your first donor!) Time spent: 10 minutes.
  2. Help Yourself – Making a donation to yourself might cause you to cringe a little bit; most walkers count on raising their 3-Day® funds through donations from other people, not having to cover the amount themselves. In all likelihood, that’s how you’ll do it too, but for now, we’re just trying to get you off of that $0 balance. You can do that in an instant by donating to your own efforts. Make it meaningful and purposeful. Make a $60 donation in honor of the 60 miles you’ll walk, but break it into four monthly payments of $15. That’s the same as giving up 3 lattes a month. Time spent: 4-5 minutes

  3. Issue a Challenge – Fundraising on Facebook is one of the most popular strategies these days, and a fundraising ask on social media often results in immediate responses. Using a gimmick to generate interest and excitement from your potential donors is extremely effective. Issue a Facebook challenge to your friends, asking them to help you “Ditch the Zero,” or specifically tag 10 friends, asking them for $23 each, and call them your “10% Club.” Time spent: 7 minutes

Need more fundraising ideas? Visit The3Day.org/fundraising and get inspired to get started!

The 3-Day Crew: “A family you’ll want to spend time with!”

We continue celebrating National Volunteer Week by spotlighting one of our many extraordinary Susan G. Komen 3-Day® crew members. Kit L. has been part of the Komen 3-Day crew for over a decade. To say she is committed to the 3-Day® is an understatement. In 2013 Kit participated in her 40th (!) 3-Day in San Diego. She has worked on almost every crew team there is, has served as crew captain dozens of times and intends to continue crewing 2-3 events every year.

Kit, who lives outside Chicago, first heard about the 3-Day on a radio commercial in 1999. “I heard the ad, and knew I had to do SOMETHING. My friend Roni had just been diagnosed and I felt so helpless. So, 60 long miles it was that year, and I have been smitten ever since.” After that first year, Kit thought she’d give the crew a try. “I began with the thought I would alternate [walking and crewing] each year, but crewing soon had me thinking otherwise. I started traveling to different cities, always as a crew member, and it truly became a passion.”

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Kit’s personal connection to breast cancer began with numerous friends whom she terms as breast cancer “thrivers,” not just survivors. The connection has deepened in recent years. “I lost Linda, my best high school friend, last year and I hate this disease even more now, but I know there’s a cure waiting after someone’s last step. When I was diagnosed with DCIS a few years ago, I knew that advances funded by Susan G. Komen® made a difference in my treatment and for that I will be forever grateful. We walk and crew for a reason, and I am living proof of that.”

Kit has a pragmatic, but inspiring philosophy about being part of the crew. “Crewing is like cleaning the house: you do it for others, certainly not for the glory. I love meeting the walkers and hearing their stories, and I love my mates on all of the crew teams I have been on. I have enjoyed being a team captain, as I surround myself with others who are so passionate and giving that they make ME want to be a better person.

“All you need to do is crew once, and you know what satisfaction it brings. I always get so much more in return than I ever put out. Crewing is a job where you put your needs last, and yet it feels so good. My philosophy is that the more you give, the more you get, and the 3-Day proves this over and over again.”

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Kit counts Sweep as one of her favorite crew jobs

A self-described optimist, Kit shared what keeps her going when the job gets tough. “I am motivated by my late friend Linda’s picture that keeps me going when it’s 30 degrees, in a monsoonal downpour, and I have hours to go before I sleep. Things like bad weather can be met with a chorus line at the top of a hill, all screeching ‘Singing in the Rain’ or other goofy actions. We have such a professional group that I never feel like I am alone, and dilemmas are often solved before they escalate. I try to keep an open mind, a loving heart and closed mouth.”

3-Day crew members are encouraged, but not required, to fundraise for the event but Kit has never considered fundraising to be optional. “I have always maintained that by crewing you DO need to fundraise. I set a goal for each of my team members and share with them my fundraising letter and social media techniques.” Kit fundraises enthusiastically even though she doesn’t have to, and has been the top crew fundraiser many times. “Yes, I have raised a lot of money over the years, and I am tenacious in asking everyone for their support. I send everyone updates and challenges, and have prizes for my crew members. If you let folks know how much it means to you, it will mean something to them. Last year, after my Linda passed, I sent a photo of us from high school and asked my friends to please help me make a world of no more suffering in her honor. If you bring a personal story to your request, I have found it means more.”

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I asked Kit what advice she would give to someone who is thinking about crewing for the 3-Day. “Try it. You’ll like it. Or in my case, try it, you’ll LOVE it, and it will become the most fantastic times of your life. Stay open, and treat it as a chance to meet your new best friends. It’s a family that you will want to spend time with!”

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Kit and the hundreds of volunteers like her. We literally could not do it without you!

**2014 Crew registration is closed for all events except Twin Cities and Seattle, which have limited openings left. We are still recruiting qualified health services professionals to join our Medical and Sport Medicine teams. To register for one of these Health Services Crew teams, or learn more about the 3-Day Crew, please contact one of our coaches at 800-996-3DAY. If you would like to serve as a Day Volunteer, visit The3Day.org/volunteer for more information or to sign up.