Fundraising Challenge Winner Shelly F.

As part of the 2021 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Virtual Kick-Off, we held a fundraising challenge during the week leading up to the Kick-Off, November 2-6. The 3-Dayer who got the largest number of individual donations during the challenge period won an amazing 3-Day branded prize — a Birdie Box with headphones, a water bottle and a Bluetooth speaker. The winner was Shelly F., who raised $2,136 with 18 donations in just five days!

We wanted to know how she did it and pass her advice and experience on to other 3-Day participants. So, we asked her a few questions.

What is your history with the 3-Day?
I have walked in nine 3-Days. I started with Atlanta in 2010 and 2011. Then I did San Diego in 2012, 2013, and 2014. I walked Dallas/Fort Worth in 2016 and then back to San Diego again in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Why do you walk?
I walk because I have known too many people with breast cancer, and I want to see a cure. It’s that simple.

What is your connection to this cause?
My children had a teacher in preschool who got breast cancer and died when her children were just three and one. It was heartbreaking for everyone at the school. My best friend also had breast cancer. Although she is now 15 years cancer-free, I have had several other friends who were diagnosed and treated during that time. As a Jewish woman, I know that I and many people in my close circle have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. 

What techniques did you use to raise $2,136 in just five days?
I sent emails to everyone I could think of letting them know that I am still fundraising and walking this year even though there is no in-person 3-Day event. Then, during the days immediately after the election I sent another email letting people know that if they were looking for something positive to do while votes were being counted, they could donate to Komen. Many people did, which led to my raising $2,136 in just five days. 

What are your top three fundraising tips for other 3-Day participants?

  1. Ask everyone you know, even if they haven’t donated in past years. Each year someone surprises me. Unfortunately, it is often because they know someone who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and they are looking for something positive to do, so they donate. 
  2. Send several requests. I always start with an email that has the subject line, “Please help cure breast cancer.” Then about a week later I send a second one with “second call” before the same phrase. Sometimes I do three or four calls and then end with “last call.” I find that this really helps people who procrastinate. 
  3. Don’t be shy about asking. In the beginning I was shy about asking because I felt like I was imposing upon people. Over the years I have learned that people are looking for positive things to do with their money, and many, many people have a connection to breast cancer. Sometimes they just need to be asked and then they are proud to support such a good cause. 

Thank you for sharing your fundraising tactics with us, Shelly! Just like the winner of the New England 3-Day Virtual Kick-Off fundraising challenge, Christine, and the winner of the Chicago 3-Day Virtual Kick-Off fundraising challenge, Charmaine, Shelly found that the secret of fundraising success comes down to the basics —ask everyone and ask often. Take the word of our fundraising challenge winners and ask someone for a donation today!