When you sign up to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, you commit to raising at least $2,300 in donations, which is no small task. That’s why we set you up for success right from the minute you click “Register.” Your Participant Center on the Komen 3-Day website is packed with fundraising tips and resources but sadly, many walkers never really scratch the surface of the tools that are available. But it’s never too late, people! Get over to the 3-Day® website and put these fundraising tools to work for you.
Your Personal Page – Every 3-Day participant gets their own personal fundraising page on the 3-Day website, from the moment you register. It’s in a generic default template at the start, but you can personalize it with your own words and photos, allowing your donors to connect to you and your story when they click through to your page. Connecting with you will connect them to your cause and make them more likely to donate.
Your Personal URL – Personalize your web address to point donors directly to your fundraising page. This one is so important, we gave it its own blog post.
Business Cards – When you registered to walk in the 3-Day, we sent you a starter set of personalized business cards, but you can print more from your Participant Center at any time. These are a super convenient way to easily get your donation info into the hands of a potential donor. Get to them quickly with our handy direct link, The3Day.org/Cards.
Matching Gifts – There are hundreds of companies nationwide that offer to match the donations that their employees make to charitable organizations, including the 3-Day. If you ask a friend or family member for a donation, be sure to also ask them if their company matches. It’s one of the easiest and most underused fundraising tools that we have. Read more at The3Day.org/Matching.
Monthly Recurring Gifts – Did you know that donors can break up their donations into multiple monthly payments (up to 4) instead of paying all at once? Remind your donors of this opportunity, especially when you’re asking big: $100 broken up into 4 payments of $25 is a more feasible and appealing option to many donors than making that large donation all at once.
And the bonus resource, of course, is your 3-Day coach, who is available at 800-996-3DAY to answer your questions, brainstorm creative fundraising ideas and get you on your way to reaching your goals. Our website introduces all of the coaches at The3Day.org/Coaches.
For most Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers, it takes about 8 hours to walk the 20-mile route each day. In my years of walking, I’ve found that even the most dazzling conversationalists sometimes run out of things to talk about during those many hours of walking. Or perhaps sometimes they just need a playful diversion to keep them focused on something fun and positive, instead of focusing on how much their feet hurt or how badly they need a porta-potty.
To help you prepare for your 3-Day® adventure, here are some mirthful ways to pass the minutes and the miles:
The Games We Play
20 Questions – Everyone knows this one. Can you guess the person, place or thing I’m thinking of by asking 20 or fewer yes/no questions?
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – This is a fun game for the particularly movie-savvy players. It’s based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is such a prolific actor, that he is connected every other actor in Hollywood by six links or less. To play, you pick an actor, and try to connect them, through movies/shows they’ve been in, to Kevin Bacon in six moves or less. For example: Bradley Cooper was in “He’s Just Not That Into You” with Jennifer Aniston, who was in “Picture Perfect” with Kevin Bacon. 2 moves. Boom.
The Movie/Actor Game – Another Hollywood-centric game, in this one, you try and see how long a chain you can make by connecting movies and actors who were in them. One person starts by naming a movie, the next person names an actor in that movie, then the next person names another movie that that actor was in, and so on. The round ends when someone is stumped on naming a new movie or actor.
Trivial Pursuit – One year, my teammates and I brought a stack of old Trivial Pursuit question cards and took turns reading the questions to each other. Before we knew it, other walkers around us were joining in on guessing answers. We’d even leave the cards at the pit stops when we were done, only to come across other walkers later in the day who had picked them up to join in the fun.
Would You Rather…? – This one’s pretty simple: come up with two scenarios (it works best if both are slightly unpleasant) and challenge each other to decide which scenario you’d rather choose. For example, would you rather have your head be the size of a watermelon or the size of a tennis ball?
Alphabet Games – Pick some topic or theme, and take turns naming items that match the theme, starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. Some of my favorite themes have been movie titles, band names, body parts, American cities/towns. There’s no limit to possible themes. Another alphabet game involves finding each letter of the alphabet on signs, license plates or even your fellow walkers’ t-shirts that you pass.
Presidential Checklist – I’d wager that every locale in America has something named after Washington or Lincoln. What about the other presidents? Taking into account duplicate names (your Adamses, Harrisons, Johnsons, Roosevelts and Bushes), there are 38 presidential last names. Can you spot them around town as you walk?
Name the Singer/Band – If you listen to music while you walk, or when you come across tunes being played at pit stops or cheering stations, this game challenges you to name the singer/band before the people around you. It’s like “Name That Tune,” with a twist.
Car-Spotting Games – What started out as the simple Slug Bug/Punch Buggy game (call out the Volkswagen Beetles and color before someone else does) has evolved into a plethora of car-spotting games (or it has with my family and friends, anyway). We try and beat each other calling out-of-state license plates, yellow cars, green cars, Jeeps (easily recognizable by their distinctive slotted front grill), Mustangs and more. You can add whatever layers you want to the game. Try adding a new element at every pit stop. Soon, you and your friends will be cracking up as you try to keep up remembering what you’re looking for.
Marry, Date, Dump – Name three people (they could be celebrities, people you know, even fictional characters). Your fellow players have to decide which one they’d date, which one they’d marry, and which one they’d dump. Hilarity ensues.
Two Truths and a Lie – You list three things about yourself: two of them are true and one is made up. Your teammates have to guess which “fact” you invented.
Orange Shirt Drinking Game – This is a game that’s 100% unique to the 3-Day, and helps keep you hydrated. It’s simple: every time you see an orange-shirted crew member (route safety, traffic control), take a drink of your water or sports drink. If it’s a particularly hot day, you could also add orange signs into the game.
Non-Game Ways to Pass Some Time
Talk in an accent – There very well could come the point when you’re feeling so exhausted/bored/goofy that you’ll find yourself carrying on your conversations in any variety of accents. It’s completely silly, and I wouldn’t even mention it if I hadn’t done it myself dozens of times.
Sing Songs – I challenge anyone to try breaking out “American Pie” or just about any TV theme song, and not see it quickly turn into a sing-along with everyone around you.
Stretch – You’re doing this anyway, right? But you actually can stretch while you’re walking. It won’t kill a whole lot of time, but it might be enough of a distraction to get you to the next pit stop.
Share Stories – This really goes without saying. So much of what makes the 3-Day so special are the stories that every single walker and crew member brings with them. As you stroll along, take the time to ask your fellow 3-Dayers to share their stories, and share yours with them.
What fun ways have you found to pass the time while you walk?
Fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can be a daunting task, especially for a new participant. For today’s “First-Timer’s Guide to the 3-Day,” Philadelphia 3-Day first-timer Sheilla shares some thoughts about her journey as a Komen 3-Day fundraiser. (Spoiler alert: this incredible first-timer, who asked herself “how will I ever do this?” reached her fundraising minimum in only 6 months.) Do you recognize any of your own story in hers? Before I signed up to walk in the 3-Day, I had very little fundraising experience. In the past, I had participated and assisted in group fundraisers (i.e. school events), but not anything on my own, and especially nothing this big. Initially, the fundraising goal of $2,300 was VERY intimidating to me, and it felt like an impossible task. I was extremely afraid that I would not reach my goal and not be able to walk in the event, which meant I would disappoint many people, but mostly myself. It concerned me enough that I was actually hesitant about signing up at all. Without a doubt, I wanted so badly to walk 60 miles in October and I was afraid that not raising the money—even if I gave it my best effort—would leave me feeling defeated. I finally convinced myself there was no harm in accepting the challenge, and only positive outcomes would result. What did I have to lose? Nothing–and only a lot to gain. I had to think a lot about what my fundraising strategy would be. I am not good at asking people for anything, especially money. Even though it wasn’t for me, and was for a great cause, I knew I would feel uncomfortable. So, how did I raise $2,300 and reach my goal in 6 months? (I’m super proud, I won’t lie.)
I signed up early. I registered for the Philadelphia 3-Day a full year in advance (in October of 2014), and used the fast-approaching holidays to my advantage.
I had to be creative. I didn’t ask anyone for money directly. Rather I used creative ways to have people donate.
I continuously brainstormed ideas and kept a running list.
Facebook! Definitely a great resource.
The fundraisers I organized were ones that appealed to the interests of those around me and seemed to be popular at the time.
Fundraisers were an exchange, meaning that individuals “paid” for an activity, item, etc. with a donation, so they walked away with something or enjoyed some experience. Win-win for all!
Putting together fundraisers takes a lot of planning and time to organize, send invitations and follow up with reminders. Sometimes it was stressful because you think a fundraiser is going to do well and you have expectations to receive a lot of donations, but that may or may not happen. But that’s when you have to remind yourself to never give up, and move on to the next idea. Fundraising strategies that I used:
Letters to businesses that I visit frequently (doctors’ offices, hair salon, gym, etc.)
Used the 3-Day app, which automatically posts reminders every week to my homepage for friends to see.
When a donation was received, the 3-Day app shared donation announcement, and I also gave a personal shout-out on my page to the person/business who donated.
Advertise fundraisers on personal homepage as well as on the 3-Day Facebook page.
Share pictures and quotes, and update profile picture and cover page with 3-Day images.
Penny Social Drawing at a local high school basketball game
Rubber Bracelets (either sell or gift to those who donate)
Canvas Painting parties (huge hit!)
3-Day Business Cards
Afternoon event at Texas Roadhouse restaurant, with games, baked goods and vendors
Be a walking advertisement every day (this was probably my most successful strategy). I think the best way to receive donations is to share breast cancer awareness daily. By actively being involved, others will notice, ask questions and share stories, and before you know it there’s a donation added to your page.
Home: my house has a flag in the front and other memorabilia. It serves as a “shrine” to the cause.
Work: the office at the school where I work also has breast cancer awareness memorabilia
Me: my tattoo, pink ribbon necklace and bracelets, and other accessories are great conversations starters. I am always talking about the 3-Day – training, ideas, etc. I especially try to talk to people who I notice also have breast cancer awareness paraphernalia. You’d be surprised the people you meet who are thrilled you are participating in such a big event and will gladly donate.
Other Ideas I’d Still Like to Try!:
Stuffed Animal Sale – the donor pays for the stuffed animal and writes a message on a tag; animal is donated to local organization (kids with cancer, etc.) and the money is donated to your cause
Exchange your talents/skills for donations (for me, I’d teach a yoga class!)
Poker or Golf tournament
Designer bag Bingo
Football or Basketball pool
Wawa Hoagie Sale
maniCURE—local nail salon donates money paid for manicures
Restaurant Fundraiser Nights (Ex. Chick-Fil-A)
The advice I would give to other first-timers, or anyone who is anxious about fundraising, is to believe in themselves and stick with it. If they are like me and are starting out with limited experience, I would definitely be honest and say it was stressful, but that’s me. However, it IS possible. It takes a lot of planning, creativity and interpersonal skills, but it is an awesome experience because you learn a lot about the event, about others and most importantly, about yourself. Like the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and I believe this is true for the 3-Day, especially the fundraising. So first-timers, lace up your shoes, embrace the pink and face the challenge. Note from the 3-Day: Please check our fundraising policies at The3Day.org/policies before planning any fundraising events, to make sure you are collecting donations in compliance with our guidelines and your local laws.