There are good reasons why many walkers sign up for the 3-Day months in advance of their events. A lot of it has to do with training: getting your body ready to walk 60 miles is a gradual process that takes time. But maybe more pressing than training is fundraising: raising the $2,300 required to walk the 3-Day is a task that, in most cases, is achieved gradually over many weeks or months.
Even knowing that, many walkers find themselves putting off their fundraising at this time of year. We’re familiar with the reasons why these delays occur, and have some advice for moving past the fundraising procrastination and getting started early.
Excuse: “Starting my fundraising takes a long time.”
Response: It doesn’t have to. A lot of times, walkers look at fundraising with an enormous expectation in mind: I have to raise all $2,300 right now. If that’s the expectation that you are putting on yourself, then yes, getting started could be daunting. At times like these, it’s important to remember that any start is a good start. Don’t look at the entire objective, just look at the smaller goal of getting yourself off of the $0 mark. Getting started is as simple as asking one person for one donation today.
Excuse: “My event is [6, 7, 8, 9] months away.”
Response: How many times have you looked at the calendar and thought, “Where did the last month go?!” Time has a way of passing very quickly. You don’t want to look back later in the year and wish that you still had 6 months left for fundraising. Think how much better it will be to look back and say, “I sure am glad I got it done early!”
Excuse: “I have tons of time.”
Response: See above. Really, why wait? The great thing about fundraising is that you don’t have to stick to a set schedule other than “reach your goal before your event.” That’s it. The same can’t be said for training (if you started trying to crank out 15-mile training walks in March, you’d probably be burnt out by the time your event gets here) or other event prep (I mean, you can pack your bag now if you want to, but aren’t you really going to need those sneakers and sports bras throughout the spring and summer?). So use this time now to get going on fundraising, and free up your time later for those other things.
Excuse: “My donors said they want to wait until my event gets closer.”
Response: It’s natural for a donor to look at an event that isn’t happening until later in the summer or fall and think, I can wait to donate. Remind them that funds raised for the 3-Day don’t sit in a bank account until they end of the year, they go to work right away, funding vital research, education, screening and treatment programs. A donation made today could conceivably help someone tomorrow.
Excuse: “People are waiting to do their taxes to see if they have money to spend.”
Response: This may be true for some of your donors, but that absolutely shouldn’t stop you from asking for donations now. A lot of people have already done their taxes and know what kind of refund they’ll be getting, and even if they haven’t, it could actually benefit you to put the idea in their heads that they should donate some of their refund to you.
Excuse: “My team raises funds together, and I’m still recruiting teammates.”
Response: Yes, a lot of teams work on fundraising as a group; in most cases, this means working together to hold high-yield fundraising events. But even if your team is not quite whole yet and you don’t feel ready to dive into planning your fundraising event, start your individual fundraising anyway. Ask for donations on Facebook, hit up your closest friends and family for personal donations, send out a fundraising letter to your email contacts. When it’s time to rally the team for group fundraising efforts, you’ll already be off to a great start with your own fundraising goal.
Excuse: “I don’t know what to say in my fundraising letter.”
Response: Look no further than your Participant Center! In it, you’ll find numerous sample letters that you can use as-is, or as a starting point that will inspire your own words to flow. The3Day.org/letters has even more. Your own 3-Day friends and teammates are also a great resource for letter-writing ideas; ask them to share what has worked for them. And if you’re still looking for more sample letters to get you going, try calling your 3-Day coach (800-996-3DAY). Some coaches have been known to keep their own collection of letters that they’ve liked or used over the years.
Excuse: “A lot of my donors have questions/concerns about donating to Susan G. Komen, and I don’t know how to answer them.”
Response: Giving to a charitable organization is a personal decision, and of course your donors want to feel informed and confident about giving to Komen. We have a number of resources, including some very insightful (and easily sharable) infographics that are new for 2016 3-Day participants and supporters. You can find the infographics and links to several other documents and fact sheets by visiting The3Day.org/Komen. Share these with your donors!