For our Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers who are headed to Michigan, the event is less than a month away, and for everyone else, your Komen 3-Day event isn’t far behind. There is so much to be excited about, but some 3-Day® walkers may also find themselves stressing out as they inch toward Day 1 and still have not reached their fundraising minimums. The anxiety of that ticking clock doesn’t have to signal doom though, even if your event is just a few weeks away. See below for some time-tested tips that will push your last-minute fundraising through to your goal.
Set a Deadline – This is a great little fundraising trick to use all the time, but especially when you’re crunched for time. The pressure of a deadline is a powerful motivator for just about everyone, including your donors. The deadline can be whatever you choose, though you should make sure your donors get their online donations in no later than the Monday before you walk (two weeks prior to that if they’re mailing their donation in) . Reach out to all your potentials—by email, Facebook, face-to-face, whatever it takes!—to share the deadline and encourage them not to wait any longer.
Follow-Up – Remember back to the beginning of the year, when you sent fundraising emails out right after you initially registered for the 3-Day? And remember all those people who replied and said, “I’ll definitely donate, but I’m going to wait until later.” And then remember how that was the last you heard from those folks? Now is time to follow up with these wonderful “procras-donators” and very sweetly remind them that later is now. Send a personal text or email and tell them how much their donation will mean to you and to the cause.
Divide Up the Balance – Take the amount that you have left to raise and divide it by the number of days until your event. That’s how much you have to raise (at least) each day in order to reach your goal. Share this number with your donors and ask them to donate in that amount. Sometimes the unusual dollar amount (“I need $41.07 every for the next 4 weeks!”) is just catchy enough to inspire someone to give.
Increase Your Facebook Activity– Perhaps you’ve already tossed up some posts on Facebook about your participation in the 3-Day, and maybe even made some donation requests. As you approach the final countdown to your event (starting one month out or so, I’d say), update your status on a daily basis, let people know exactly how much left you have to raise, and divide up the balance as mentioned above. Did you know that posts with photos are more likely to be shown in your friends’ Facebook feeds? But sure to include a shot of your lovely face with your posts!
Delegate – Think of five of your most spirted, ambitious, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer friends or family members, and ask them to help you. Assign of them the task of procuring five (or whatever number you choose) donations each, or set some dollar amount for each of them to aim for. By delegating in this way, you’ll be able to reach potential donors (your friends’ friends and coworkers) who aren’t even in your circle.
Recycle for Cash – If you live in an area that has recycling programs that will give you cash for your empty bottles and cans, this can be a great way to drum up a few hundred bucks. Distribute trash bags to your neighbors, your office, your gym—any place that generates a lot of recyclable trash—and tell them you’ll return in a week to collect whatever they’ve saved up. Then take it to the recycling center and walk away with some green. (Long time 3-Dayer Jim has been extremely successful with recycling for donations. See his story here.)
Go Where the People Are – It’s summertime and people are out and about everywhere—the beach, parks, outdoor concerts and movie nights, parades. Throw on your 3-Day t-shirt or other pink ribbon gear, grab some friends or your kids, give everyone a bucket, and go where the crowds are. The more elaborate and eye-catching your efforts look (how fun would it be to bling up some pink bras and send your crew out in those?), the more you’ll be likely to inspire donations from complete strangers.
Shorten Up the Ask With a Text – It may sound crazy, but for some people, an email or Facebook message just isn’t short or fast enough. For these donors, craft a brief, catchy text message and send it their way via text message. Add a picture (a selfie sporting your best “pretty please” face, perhaps?) and don’t forget to include your personal URL. One simple tap on their smartphones, and your donors will be taken to the 3-Day mobile site where they can donate quickly and easily, no matter where they are.