Valentine’s Day Fundraising Ideas

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Valentine’s Day is next week, and we can’t wait to see how all our 3-Dayers spread the love! From sweethearts to Galentines and beyond, it’s the perfect time to show everyone just how much you care. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for your donors to show YOU a little 3-Day love, so here are some unique ways to ask for a donation. Valentine’s Day can be a fun holiday to start or reinvigorate your 2018 fundraising with easy ideas like these…

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Valentine Donor Letters

This is the easiest and most simple way to start your Valentine’s Day fundraising. Pick your favorite Valentine (you can buy whole packs of them on a budget) and include your next donor outreach inside a “love letter”. Explain why you care about the 3-Day, how it brings happiness and joy to your life, and encourage your friends and family to donate in 2018. By adding a more personal touch, and showing the emotion behind why you walk, you can bring people into the pink bubble just by sending some snail mail.

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Appeal to their Sweet Tooth

Candy and other sweets go on super sale the day after Valentine’s Day (sometimes even the day of), so take advantage of this chance  to make or buy tasty treats at a bargain. Pick up a range of goodies, and make gift bags to deliver to your friends and neighbors. It gives a personal touch, will have them feeling sweet inside and out, and you can attach a quick donation reminder to the treat!

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Throw a Galentine’s or (Guy’entine’s) Party

If you’re single this holiday, or just want to give your pals some extra love, celebrate with a party on February 13th. That’s the official Galentine’s Day holiday, and you can plan a fun night for yourself, your team, and all your favorite people.

If you’re part of a team, invite all of them to bring their best friends over for a night in with romantic movies, house made snacks and lots of fun times celebrating each other. Then, remind your friends to donate to your pink family — or join it — this year. You can accept donations that night, and send your guests away with information about how to donate and join the 3-Day.

You can do the same thing if you’re walking alone — just cast a wider net for your invites.

Also, be sure to remind your friends that if they sign up before February 20th, they can take $20 off their registration fee!

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Use Flower Power

Just like candy, many florists put flowers on sale after the Valentine’s Day rush. If you call ahead, and work with your local flower shops, you might be able to get options at an even bigger discount, or for free. There are often leftover buds and stems from bouquets, or whole arrangements that don’t get picked up. See if the shops will donate flowers directly to you, for you to use for your fundraising efforts. Then, deliver them to potential donors with donation forms, or let donors “send” them to loved ones, with you playing the mail carrier.

How will you be celebrating the love-filled holiday? Tell us in the comments!

And don’t forget, if you haven’t signed up for the 3-Day yet, now is the perfect time! Through February 20th, you can take $20 off your registration fee with no code needed.

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Feel the Love: Meet Lauri Y., 3-Day Walker

Kindness. Generosity. Compassion.

These feelings are commonly associated with love-centric holidays like Valentine’s Day, but are also how Lauri Yanis, veteran 3-Day walker and crew member, describes the 60-mile adventure that is her 3-Day journey.

Lauri has been walking and supporting the 3-Day for almost two decades, and is firmly entrenched in its community. Luckily, she has had someone very important by her side for every step: her husband Matt, whom she met on her first 3-Day walk.

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Finding a love connection on the 3-Day has led Lauri and Matt to a relationship based on the principles of “Communication. Honesty. A willingness to ask for help, and a willingness to offer help.” It’s also kept them walking and crewing at least one 3-Day every year since they met. Lauri still remembers the moment of their first meeting on “Day Zero,” as the Thursday before the 3-Day was called before walkers were able to check in online.

“My (random) tent-mate and I agreed to meet on Day Zero, and then it was a last minute decision that we would stay overnight together in a hotel before Opening Ceremony. To get assigned to a tent together, we had to be there at the same time and go up in line together. And when we finished, we got on the very last bus to our hotel. This is important because I am never last! I am always early, but they were shutting things down, we had been there for hours and we got on the last bus. And this is where it’s so funny how fate and karma work.

This guy gets on the bus after us, even later than us, and he made a snide comment. And that’s him! That’s the man I’m going to marry! He was a wise ass. He was sarcastic. […] But, I said “Hi” to him, and the rest is history!”

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Lauri and Matt ended up having dinner together that first night, and shared their reasons for walking the 3-Day. Lauri was walking for a dear friend who at that time was battling breast cancer. Matt, on the other hand, did not have anyone in his life who was directly suffering from the disease.

Lauri explains, “He said ‘I’m walking for my mom, and my daughter, and my grandmother, and I’m even walking for my ex-wife.’ And I thought that was just great!”

The two walked much of the sixty miles together, and a few weeks after the walk, Matt came to visit Lauri for the first time. From there, they united their two families, and years later made it official with a wedding and a “honeymoon” spent on the 3-Day.

“In 2006, we walked two weeks after our wedding so we wore hats that said ‘Newlyweds for the Cure’ and tied little plastic champagne bottles to the back of our tent. We joked that more people should honeymoon with hundreds of their closest family and friends!”

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Though Lauri and Matt have never personally met any other couples who have met on the 3-Day, Lauri has heard stories of them, and says she’s not surprised that love could bloom on the walk. It has, after all, helped shape her and Matt’s love story.

“It’s really central to our relationship. We have lived inside the “Pink Bubble,” and you spend 3 days being your very best self. People are just decent and kind, and inspired to be their best self for those three days. Because we’ve done that together so many times, we can bring each other back to that spirit. It’s truly shaped who we are.”

Since their meeting, Lauri and Matt have recruited multiple family members to the 3-Day, and say that’s no longer a matter of “if” they will participate each year, but rather what cities they will be participating in. This year, keep an eye out for them walking in San Diego and crewing in Philadelphia.

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“It’s such a great event, and any difference I can make for people facing the disease is a big part of it for me. I believe in the research being done by (Susan G.) Komen. I think that what Komen offers to families who don’t have good support, or who are lower income, or who don’t live near treatment centers, that is very important,” Lauri explains. “There is this body of caring people who really want to make a difference. So you see that body, and you want to be a part of it, and it keeps swirling and growing.”

Lauri and Matt are doing what they can to keep the community growing each year. This includes continuing to walk and crew together, doing their fundraising as a couple, and even going on walking “dates” whenever they can.

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As for their plans for Valentine’s Day 2017, Lauri says she is lucky enough to have every day feel like Valentine’s Day.

“We’re sappy like that so we don’t have any special plans,” she laughs. “We do a romantic date every week. I got lucky.”

Lucky in love on the 3-Day, indeed!

 

Valentine’s Day Themed Fundraising Ideas

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With one week until Valentine’s Day, the countdown to love is on! Aside from all the fun and romance of the holiday, this time of year is also perfect for 3-Day fundraising efforts. Spread the love, and help raise funds for the fight to end breast cancer, by tailoring your fundraising efforts to the holiday. We have some ideas from our team to get you started!

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Send out unique fundraising letters:

Take your 3-Day fundraising letters up a notch with a special Valentine donation request! These pasta-decorated cards are easy to make and will put a smile on everyone’s face.

You can also sell the cards for people to send as their own Valentines.

Spread love you can wear:

Make and sell festive paper flowers or hair bows that you can wear throughout your 3-Day walk. Encourage people to buy a pin or bow and then you can take photos of yourself sporting the donations over the course of 60 miles.

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Try some puppy love:

If you have a pooch, set up a dog kissing booth in your front yard! You can always do your own, personal kissing booth too, but people will love a kiss from your furry friend. Accept donations for a smooch, and put them towards your 3-Day goal. Thanks to coach Joanne Taylor for this fun idea!

Or kisses of a different kind:

Eileen Barnick, Twin Cities 3-Day coach, suggests filling small mason jars with a variety of Hershey’s Kiss flavors and selling them as sweet Valentine fundraisers. You can even decorate the jars and accompany them with notes like:

“Hugs and Kisses just for you!”

This idea can also apply to chocolate heart shaped candy, cinnamon heart-shaped candy or even candy hearts (which come with ready-made notes).

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Photo via Martha Stewart

Get your foodie on:

If you’re an expert baker, or general culinary extraordinaire, you can try any number of love-filled cupcakes and host a bake sale next weekend…right before Valentine’s Day! If you’re not as comfortable in the kitchen, you can still spread sweetness with this Oreo cookie bark recipe.

You can then take a leaf out of Michigan coach Ann Love’s book and ask for an extra donation to hand deliver the baked goods to loved ones for the holiday. Baked goods are the best kind of snail mail!

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Personalize your Participant Center emails:

There is a special email template in your Participant Center with a Valentine-themed fundraising message and photo. Log in to your Participant Center, click Compose Email in the right-hand menu, then select “Create Your Own Message” and the “Valentine’s Day Fundraising Ask” layout. Add your personal message and a sweet Valentine’s note and photo will appear at the top of your emails.

How are you celebrating the holiday? Tell us your fundraising ideas, or just spread some love, in the comments!

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