8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Started Fundraising, and How to Fix Them

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.3DAY_2016_Social_Text_FundraisingFriday_1

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!



Take a LEAP Into Fundraising

Hey 2016 3-Day participants – you get something extra special this February to help you with your fundraising: a whole extra day.

That’s right, 2016 is a leap year, and we want you to be able to make the most out of February 29 with these fun fundraising ideas. For most of the challenges below, social media is the best, quickest way to reach a large group of potential donors with your message at the same time. So get posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – wherever your social circle gathers. This is the last time until 2020 that you’ll be able to use these particular fundraising gimmicks, so don’t miss this chance to take a huge leap in your 3-Day fundraising. 2015_SGK3Day_Dallas_GF_332

  • Get as many $29 donations as you can. This unusual dollar amount is just catchy enough that it will grab donors’ attention and they’ll want to be part of the action. Get 29 of these leap day donations and you’ll have $841, just like that!
  • A leap year has 366 days. Make it your goal to raise $366 in one day on February 29. Again, an unconventional, catchy dollar amount tends to pique interest and get people involved.
  • On February 29, you get an extra 24 hours. See if you can get 24 donations in that amount of time. Ask your donors for a specific amount to make it easy. Getting 24 donations of $50 each will get you more than halfway to your $2,300.
  • Put on your favorite 3-Day victory shirt, team t-shirt or anything pink and have someone snap a picture of you doing your most dramatic leap. Post it to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on February 29, and every time someone Likes/Hearts/Favorites the photo, send them a direct message and ask them for a donation. Want to take this photographic fun to the next level? Snap and post a different leaping picture every day between now and the 29th. By the time your friends and followers see two or three of them, they’ll be anxious to know the story behind the photos, and you can use that curiosity to open the conversation about donating.
  • Make your own personal list of 29 reasons why you take part in the 3-Day and share the list with your donors. You can make your list funny, sentimental, powerful, or any combination, as long as you make it personal. Send it out all at once as an email, post Facebook status updates throughout the day on February 29. Or if you’re feeling really ambitious and are savvy with moviemaking, put your list into video form and share it that way (video posts on social media are considerably more successful at reaching followers than text-only posts).
  • Leap year comes once every 4 years, so use this February 29 to remind your donors that they can break their donation up to 4 monthly payments. Being able to pay in installments over several months often compels donors to give even more than they would have with a one-time donation.
  • Mile 29 of the 3-Day is at roughly the halfway point of Day 2. Set a personal fundraising goal just for February 29 (aim to raise $500 in that one day, for example), and tell your donors that if they get you to that goal, you’ll do something funny/crazy/playfully embarrassing at Mile 29. What kinds of things could you do? Let your teammates attack you with silly string; choreograph a song and dance routine and perform it at the Day 2 lunch stop; stop at mile 29 and write your Leap Day donors’ names on your arms and legs in Sharpie… You know yourself best, so pick a payoff that’s good for you, but try to go a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone and make it entertaining. Whatever you decide to do, be sure someone is taking video for you to share with your donors and supporters.

Got any other Leap Day fundraising ideas? Share them in comments! And keep an eye out for a shareable Leap Day graphic we’ll be putting up on the 3-Day’s Facebook page next Monday.

Your Dollars at Work: 3-Day Funds and Komen’s Mission Objectives

Participants often ask me how 3-Day funds are put to use. It’s a logical question: If you’re working hard towards raising at least $2,300 each year to walk, you want to know how those dollars get put to work.

If you’ve done the 3-Day before, you’ve probably heard that 25% of the net proceeds goes to local Affiliates to fund community education and treatment assistance programs while 75% of the net proceeds is used by Komen on a national basis to fund research programs and global strategies. But what does that really mean? Here’s some detail to help make this more concrete.3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_3_fp (002)

First, let me explain how Komen is structured: There is the national office based in Dallas, which receives funding through national partnerships, individual giving, and national programs like the 3-Day. And, there are also more than 100 Komen local offices called Affiliates, that receive funding through local events like the Race for the Cure, sponsorships, etc.

The funds you raise through the 3-Day (managed by our national office) and the Race for the Cure (managed by our local Affiliates) are unique as both programs have global, national and local impact.

At the end of each 3-Day season we total all of the funds raised on a national level to distribute to the national and local mission. So, the 3-Day’s local proceeds (that 25%) are divided at the end of each season among the 7 host city affiliates, so that 3-Day dollars have a direct impact in 3-Day cities. In most 3-Day cities, there is a single affiliate office, but in Dallas and Michigan, there are several who divide the funds to maximize reach and opportunity in their respective service areas.

Why is this important? Susan G. Komen has funded nearly $889 million in research and nearly $2 billion in community grants. Through this, we have made great strides in decreasing mortality rates from breast cancer, increasing 5 year survival rates, and improving access to screening and treatment for countless women and men. It is this combination – a balance between funding community needs and research priorities – that is so important, and a big reason that 3-Day and Race for the Cure funding is so unique.

In the coming year, a few of our primary mission goals are:

  • We are focusing major research efforts on metastatic research, primarily what causes the disease to spread from the breast.
    • Nearly half of Komen’s funding in 2015 went to metastatic research (23 grants, $16 million)
  • We are collaborating with other national and international breast cancer organizations to refine goals and minimize redundancy
  • We are working towards making health resources equally available to all, with a focus on disparities and why the risk of breast cancer is higher amongst African-American women.

Komen President and CEO, Dr. Judy Salerno, said at the Komen Impact Forum in Dallas, “I believe that in a generation we will see more treatments and more cures. You, [our 3-Day community], have been a part of this every step of the way. And we must support you so that we can be successful in achieving this goal.”

We want to make it easier for you to talk with your supporters and donors about Komen’s mission in action. So we’re creating a library of sharable resources on The3Day.org/Komen. The first set is available today: Three infographics talking more about 3-Day funding and our mission in action. (Note: these infographics are in .jpg format below, which you can save to your computer and share on social media. If you would like printable .pdf versions of the infographics, you can find them here.)3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_33DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_2 3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_1

Soon, we’ll be sharing more specific details of how each local 3-Day affiliate is putting Komen funds to use in that 3-Day city.

This is just the start of the tools you have told us you need. This will be an on-going project from here forward as your needs change and the 3-Day program begins to grow. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we are forming a 3-Day advisory council (2 participants from each 3-Day city) to help you, the 3-Day family, have a collective voice as we work to meet needs, improve your event experience and grow the 3-Day into the strongest program it can be.

Stay tuned to the blog for more info! Thank you for being you!

– Chrissy Mathews