Fundraising Challenge Winner Lucy D.

As part of the 2021 San Diego Virtual Kick-Off, we held a fundraising challenge during the week leading up to the Kick-Off, November 16-20. The 3-Dayer who raised the most money 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 Lucy D., who raised $4,881in 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 did my first walk in San Diego in 2005 and have done it every year since! I did two walks back-to-back in 2007, Tampa Bay and San Diego, and 2021 marks my 17th walk! I have raised more than $50,000 for my own 3-Day fundraising and way more than that if you count all the money I gave to team members to help them get to their goals!

Why do you walk?
I started out doing the walk as a fitness challenge. A co-worker had done the 3-Day a couple of times, and I was overweight and needed some motivation to exercise. So, I decided in 2004 that I would make it my goal to be able to do the 3-Day with my friend by the next year, 2005. After all the training, by the time the event came up, I had lost over 100 pounds! But after all that work, I didn’t want to stop. I had come to realize that breast cancer was everywhere! I signed up to walk again! That year, three of my co-workers’ lives were impacted by breast cancer, so I knew I needed to keep walking and keep fundraising and keep making a difference!

What is your connection to the cause?
Fortunately, no one in my family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, knock on wood! But over the years of doing the walks, breast cancer keeps rearing its ugly head in people I care about—friends, co-workers, plus all the wonderful survivors (teammates) I’ve met and walked with for so long! Big shout out to my Powered by Optimism team captain, Lisa Partner! I am more than connected to the cause by now—I am immersed and enveloped!

What techniques did you use to raise that much money in just five days?
Since 2010, my husband and I have been putting on a golf tournament as my big fundraiser. Since it usually is in September, very often I will have my minimum fundraising goal already met via my regular donors by that time and I am able to help support the fundraising efforts of my teammates with the proceeds of the tournament.

This year, even though we weren’t walking, I wanted to honor my commitment to raise at least $2,300 so we decided to go ahead and have the tournament, though it was delayed until November 14 and modified to conform to COVID regulations: no dinner, no silent auction, no congregating. We just had raffle prizes so I was thinking we wouldn’t do that well, but amazingly enough we had a huge response! I was able to get all that tabulated and logged in to my fundraising account just in time for the fundraising challenge!

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

  1. Keep asking your donors. I send out a note once a month starting in May.
  2. Don’t be afraid of doing a big fundraising event. It can really pay off!
  3. Engage teammates or walking partners, family members, friends, co-workers to help with ideas and execution of your fundraiser.

Thank you for sharing your fundraising tactics with us, Lucy! Your amazingly successful fundraising events are inspiring. Even in a pandemic—you are still making it happen.