Your Dollars at Work: 3-Day Funds and Komen’s Mission Objectives

Participants often ask me how 3-Day funds are put to use. It’s a logical question: If you’re working hard towards raising at least $2,300 each year to walk, you want to know how those dollars get put to work.

If you’ve done the 3-Day before, you’ve probably heard that 25% of the net proceeds goes to local Affiliates to fund community education and treatment assistance programs while 75% of the net proceeds is used by Komen on a national basis to fund research programs and global strategies. But what does that really mean? Here’s some detail to help make this more concrete.3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_3_fp (002)

First, let me explain how Komen is structured: There is the national office based in Dallas, which receives funding through national partnerships, individual giving, and national programs like the 3-Day. And, there are also more than 100 Komen local offices called Affiliates, that receive funding through local events like the Race for the Cure, sponsorships, etc.

The funds you raise through the 3-Day (managed by our national office) and the Race for the Cure (managed by our local Affiliates) are unique as both programs have global, national and local impact.

At the end of each 3-Day season we total all of the funds raised on a national level to distribute to the national and local mission. So, the 3-Day’s local proceeds (that 25%) are divided at the end of each season among the 7 host city affiliates, so that 3-Day dollars have a direct impact in 3-Day cities. In most 3-Day cities, there is a single affiliate office, but in Dallas and Michigan, there are several who divide the funds to maximize reach and opportunity in their respective service areas.

Why is this important? Susan G. Komen has funded nearly $889 million in research and nearly $2 billion in community grants. Through this, we have made great strides in decreasing mortality rates from breast cancer, increasing 5 year survival rates, and improving access to screening and treatment for countless women and men. It is this combination – a balance between funding community needs and research priorities – that is so important, and a big reason that 3-Day and Race for the Cure funding is so unique.

In the coming year, a few of our primary mission goals are:

  • We are focusing major research efforts on metastatic research, primarily what causes the disease to spread from the breast.
    • Nearly half of Komen’s funding in 2015 went to metastatic research (23 grants, $16 million)
  • We are collaborating with other national and international breast cancer organizations to refine goals and minimize redundancy
  • We are working towards making health resources equally available to all, with a focus on disparities and why the risk of breast cancer is higher amongst African-American women.

Komen President and CEO, Dr. Judy Salerno, said at the Komen Impact Forum in Dallas, “I believe that in a generation we will see more treatments and more cures. You, [our 3-Day community], have been a part of this every step of the way. And we must support you so that we can be successful in achieving this goal.”

We want to make it easier for you to talk with your supporters and donors about Komen’s mission in action. So we’re creating a library of sharable resources on The first set is available today: Three infographics talking more about 3-Day funding and our mission in action. (Note: these infographics are in .jpg format below, which you can save to your computer and share on social media. If you would like printable .pdf versions of the infographics, you can find them here.)3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_33DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_2 3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_1

Soon, we’ll be sharing more specific details of how each local 3-Day affiliate is putting Komen funds to use in that 3-Day city.

This is just the start of the tools you have told us you need. This will be an on-going project from here forward as your needs change and the 3-Day program begins to grow. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we are forming a 3-Day advisory council (2 participants from each 3-Day city) to help you, the 3-Day family, have a collective voice as we work to meet needs, improve your event experience and grow the 3-Day into the strongest program it can be.

Stay tuned to the blog for more info! Thank you for being you!

– Chrissy Mathews


Susan G. Komen 3-Day Impact Forum: A Look Into 2016

Last year was an incredible 3-Day season for me. I completed my first full year as 3-Day Program Manager and had a chance to interact directly with many participants on the events and build some personal relationships.

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the first-ever Komen Impact Forum, held at Komen’s headquarters in Dallas with more than 120 3-Day participants. We’ll be holding Impact Forums in nine other cities during the next month. I know not everyone will be able to attend, so I wanted to share some of the most important discussions we had yesterday.IMG_9198

It’s clear to me that the 3-Day family is strong. You are the most passionate, dedicated and loyal group of individuals in the Susan G. Komen community. Year round, you are fundraising, training, advocating and educating—doing incredible work for Komen and our shared mission to end breast cancer forever.

You have remained steadfast in your support, even as fundraising has been getting harder and you’ve been left unarmed to answer questions you may have been getting from your donors about Komen.

Komen’s leadership team is committed to providing the transparency you’ve told us is lacking. We want to provide you with better insight into how Komen is working toward our mission and what our plans are for the future.

Here are the first steps we’re taking toward that goal:

  • We’re developing some easy reference tools you can use for fundraising, to show your donors and supporters how their dollars go to work, and to answer the hard questions they have about Komen. These pieces will be posted at in late January. There are already many great informational links on that page, and we will continue to add to them as the year continues and we hear more from you about what you need.
  • We’re forming an advisory council of 3-Day participants from each region of the country, a team with varying perspectives and participation experience. We want to give the 3-Day community a voice to help us at Komen do a better job of supporting you.
  • We’re reaching out, via email and in person, to connect directly with more 3-Day participants. We also want to give you regular updates on research programs as well as personal stories from the researchers your dollars are supporting. There is a face and story behind every part of the Komen community and we want you to connect with it!

Those of you who have been with the 3-Day since 2003 have seen the series grow and change—expanding and then contracting, both in participation and fundraising. We know you’re concerned. We’ve heard your worries. We, too, want to reverse the trend and see the 3-Day begin to grow again. Our big goal is to double the size of the program. This would put us on track toward a bright and powerful future.

This isn’t going to happen through advertising. Major media buys just don’t make sense in this climate and with the people we’re trying to reach. We looked very closely and strategically at the best way to bring participants to the 3-Day and while TV and radio ads have worked in the past—maybe some of you first heard about the 3-Day on TV—they simply aren’t working anymore.

Instead, we’re investing in you, our 3-Day family. We’re turning our focus toward the future and an awesome milestone we’re on the verge of celebrating: Our 150th walk! We’re kicking off the 2016 season with our 150th 3-Day in Michigan, and continuing the party across seven cities for thousands of past 3-Day participants. To commemorate this anniversary, we’re finding new ways to make it easier to reconnect with our community and also share it with others. Stay tuned—in the first week of February we’ll be announcing two unique programs, here on the blog and also on the 3-Day website.

We all want the same thing—more people, more money raised, and more impact, so that one day no one else has to die from breast cancer. We at Komen are prepared to dig deep to support you. The 3-Day is on its way to raising 1 billion dollars—and we believe we can reach that mark by 2020. We will never give up!

It was great to connect with so many 3-Day participants in Dallas last night, and I look forward to talking with many more of you across the country in the weeks and months to come. It’s inspiring, humbling and heartwarming to be able to talk to you in person. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon, whether it’s at an Impact Forum, at some other gathering, or on a 3-Day event later this year.

– Chrissy Mathews, 3-Day Program Manager

RSVP for a Komen Impact Forum near you:

Wednesday, January 20, Troy, MI
Thursday, January 21, St. Paul, MN
Tuesday, January 26, Bellevue, WA
Thursday, January 28, San Diego, CA
Tuesday, February 2, Dunwoody, GA
Wednesday, February 3, Tampa, FL
Tuesday, February 9, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, February 11, Arlington, VA
Tuesday, February 16, Phoenix, AZ

Six Things to Remember When an Injury Interrupts Your Training

Around this time of year, the air is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the natural result of these changes is that Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers are coming out of hibernation and diving into their Komen 3-Day training with vigor and enthusiasm.

So when an injury comes along—anything from shin splints to plantar fasciitis to back trouble—and takes you out of your 3-Day® training schedule, it can really hinder your momentum and leave you feeling frustrated. Keep reading for some advice on what to do when an injury sidelines you in the training game:

Don’t ignore the problem – You feel something. Maybe just a little twinge in your hip, or a dull throb on the bottom of your foot. And many of you (like me) will think, “It’s nothing, I can walk through it.” In some cases, it will be nothing, but if you start to feel something that just isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Be diligent about stretching, use ice and/or ibuprofen for the problem areas, and if those extra measures don’t work, don’t delay in seeing a doctor. A little bit of extra caution now will pay dividends when you’re healthy and whole for the 3-Day.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Keep in mind why you’re here – The 3-Day is an inspiring and challenging athletic endeavor (let’s face it; walking 60 miles in 3 days is physically way beyond what most people would attempt), but the walking is only part of the reason why the 3-Day exists. The awareness that you’re creating, not to mention the fundraising you’re doing are making the real impact in the fight against breast cancer.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Double down on fundraising – And speaking of fundraising, if you get hurt while training and have to take a break for a few days or even weeks, take heart in the fact that the money you’re raising can’t be affected by physical injury. Use your down time to send out another fundraising email or plan a fundraising event. If you’re feeling especially dramatic, you could even use the injury as a backdrop for a money-raising gimmick (“The doctor says I have to stay off my feet for 10 days; who will donate $20 for each day?”)

Cross train however you can – Even if you can’t walk, you don’t have to be still. Cross-training is a way to incorporate non-walking activities into your regimen, and there are all kinds of cross training tactics you can try while your injury heals. Swimming, for example, is a great option in the warming weather, and is particularly gentle on joints and muscles.

Don’t rush back – If you’re recovering from a walking-related ailment—particularly if it was something caused by overuse, or a traumatic injury—ease back into your training slowly. I know, you’re excited and eager to get back out there, but to reiterate what was said above, a little patience and restraint will benefit you greatly when you’re able to cross the finish line on Day 3 on your own two feet.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

60 miles is a goal, not a requirement – The frustrating truth is that sometimes injuries do get the best of us, and all the rest, stretching and patience in the world may not leave you equipped to walk 60 miles. That’s okay. Walking every step of those 60 miles should be your objective, but remember that it is in no way an obligation. You’ll get out there and walk as much or as little as you will, and we will be there to support you across every inch—whether you’re on foot, under the care of our outstanding medical crews, or carried the distance by the amazing bus and sweep teams.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

We’d love nothing more than for every one of our walkers to make it through their training completely unscathed, but if an injury does sneak through, we have no doubt that any one of you will weather the obstacle like the rock stars that you are.