October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in a world where breast cancer impacts hundreds of thousands of people each year, initiatives to research and treat the disease often hinge on financial resources. Your commitment to raising $2,300 (or more!) as a 3-Day participant provides critical funding for research, care and advocacy so that we lose fewer of the people we love to this terrible illness. As you work to make positive change in peoples’ lives across the world, there’s much more to fundraising than meets the eye. Let’s dive further into the art of fundraising, exploring the strategies, challenges, and rewards of mobilizing collective efforts to empower change.
Understanding the Importance of Fundraising
Fundraising plays a vital role in filling the financial gaps that public and private funding may not cover entirely. Since 2003, the 3-Day has raised $889 million to help support more than 2,700 research projects and more than 500 clinical trials.* Great progress has been made in drug development, including Kadcyla® and many other cancer-specific drugs. Without a pipeline of resources to continue this life-saving work, such progress will come to a halt.
The Art of Storytelling
Here at the 3-Day, every step is a story. Though it may bring up complicated emotions, being authentic with donors is the best way to connect and raise funds to fight against breast cancer. By sharing your personal story, you are more likely to motivate and inspire your donors to give. In addition, share this infographic to show them how funds are actively helping us get closer to finding the cures for breast cancer and assisting those receiving treatment. Other powerful resources to share with potential donors include the 3-Day Impact Since 2003 and Komen Research Programs.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives
Be sure to continually check back into your fundraising progress and see if you can push further. Need some motivation to kick it up a notch? Check out our 2023 fundraising rewards.
P.S. Our 2024 fundraising rewards will launch next spring!
Diversifying Fundraising Strategies
An effective fundraising campaign should employ a variety of strategies to engage different audiences. Lean into your skills and interests. Are you a fitness fanatic? Contact your local gym to see if an instructor would be willing to volunteer their time to teach a donation-based class. Maybe you’re a foodie and you can connect with your favorite restaurant to host a fundraiser where a portion of the proceeds goes towards your fundraising. Are there services you can provide in exchange for a donation (babysitting, grocery shopping, etc.). Take a peek at these 101 Fundraising Ideas and get inspired!
Check in with your job to see if they provide corporate matching, which can double your fundraising efforts. And ask every donor if they work for a company that matches. Go to The3Day.org/Matching for more information. Remember that matching gifts can take 4 to 6 weeks to post to your account.
Harness the Power of Social Media
There’s no arguing that social media has revolutionized the world around us… and fundraising is no exception! Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and beyond provide 3-Dayers with powerful tools to reach a global audience. Maybe you met someone on vacation who you friended on Facebook last year or your middle school classmate follows you on Instagram. Personally ask people in your network if they will donate to your participation in the 3-Day, and then ask if they can help you spread the message. Download the Komen 3-Day app, share your personal fundraising page link, and post photos of your training walks whenever possible. Take advantage of the extended reach and get to posting! Remember, fundraising via social media should be one part of a multi-channel approach you use to fundraise, not the only way you ask for donations.
Engaging Donors and Building Relationships
Fundraising is not meant to be a one-time transactional event. Building lasting relationships with donors is essential for sustainable fundraising efforts. Express gratitude with handwritten cards, provide updates on how their contributions have made a difference, and involve them in the organization’s activities to help foster a sense of ownership and commitment to the cause. Also consider how you can involve them in your event experience. You can ask your donors for the names of the people in their lives who have been impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis. During the event you can carry or wear something with those names. Knowing that your steps will be dedicated to those your donors love as well will make the event even more impactful for them. And increases the likelihood that they will become repeat donors.
Fundraising is not without its challenges. There are times where you may struggle, but by staying adaptable, maintaining transparency, and effectively communicating the impact of contributions, you can overcome these obstacles. Keep track of your progress with our Journey to the Goal Worksheet and be kind to yourself every step of the way. And remember that you must follow-up with your donors. You will not get a donation the first time you ask from everyone you’ve asked. A good fundraising strategy means you have to ask more than once! There are so many resources available to you, including your 3-Day coach, who are here to ensure you meet your fundraising goal.
A successful 3-Day is not just about walking 60 miles. It’s about coming together to fight against breast cancer and doing your part for the community. No matter how much you raise or how far you walk, your fundraising efforts, this month and every month, are making a difference.
For a wholistic list of fundraising resources, visit The3Day.org/Fundraising
*Totals since 1982. ©2023 Susan G. Komen