This past year was an amazing Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season for me. I completed my first full year as 3-Day Specialist for Susan G. Komen®, walked in my very first Komen 3-Day in San Diego with my mom, and had a chance to interact and foster relationships with many participants throughout the 2016 events.
Over the past two months, I had the honor of speaking at the Komen Impact Forums that were held in our seven host cities: Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Twin Cities, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle. I know not everyone was able to attend, so I wanted to share some of the most important information that was presented at the forums as well as point you to a recorded version of the presentation here.
Hopefully you have heard of the Bold Goal announced by Komen. The goal is to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. This can’t be accomplished without you, and our 2017 Komen Impact Forums were a chance for us to share the details of the Bold Goal and how everyone (Komen Headquarters, Affiliates, 3-Day® participants, Race for the Cure® participants) is needed to make that goal a reality.
It’s clear that the 3-Day family is More Than Pink™. This means that while today, pink equals awareness, tomorrow, More Than Pink equals action. You are not a group to get lost in a crowd of pink and you all do one of the biggest things you can do in the fight against breast cancer. You all are much more than just a color; you are the most dedicated, passionate and loyal group of supporters in the Komen community. From fundraising, training, advocating and educating, the 3-Day community does incredible work for Komen year-round and truly embodies what it means to make an impact and to be More Than Pink.
As mentioned last year, we are committed to transparency and working to give you the details you need. 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 steps we’re taking toward that goal:
- We’ve updated some easy reference toolsyou 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 are posted here. This page is also home to our Komen Mission Webinars as well as additional resources regarding Komen.
- We are continuing to meet with the advisory council of 3-Day participants from each host city as well as participants from across the country. We just made our selections for the 2017/2018 council and had our first meeting at the beginning of April. This group is comprised of participants with varying perspectives and participation experiences. This is our way of giving the 3-Day community a voice.
- We’ve expanded our mission resources to connect the 3-Day community directly with our researchers. This includes our Sidewalks to Science bi-monthly webinar and blog series. There is a face and story behind every part of the community, especially research, and we want to connect you to it!
Those of you who have been with the 3-Day for years 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. We have been exploring various avenues to make that happen and are always adapting and changing our methods to make sure we are seeing results.
This isn’t going to happen through traditional 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. The biggest piece of this is that traditional advertising is expensive and unadaptable. We want to invest in ways that make sense financially and can adapt to the people we need to reach.
To that end, we’ve been investing in you, our 3-Day family. We turned our focus toward the future and continuing off the momentum of our 150th 3-Day Celebration from 2016, we’re now celebrating the 3-Day’s 15th Anniversary. We are continuing with various travel/referral programs that motivate and reward you, the folks that keep coming back every year. But I also want to mention that we haven’t given up on advertising; we’ve simply changed our strategy. This year, we are investing in some digital/social media marketing to help reach audiences we’ve never reached before. This form of advertising is much more cost-effective, trackable and adaptable (meaning we can change the ad quickly if it isn’t yielding results, something TV can’t do). We are committed to trying several methods until we get results.
We all want the same thing—more people, more money raised, and more impact, so that one day no one else dies 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 still believe we can reach that mark by 2020. We will never give up!
I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to connect with so many 3-Day participants over the last couple of months. It’s always great when I have the chance to see you in person outside of the event season. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to this mission and for being More Than Pink.
– Amber Livingston, 3-Day Specialist