Archive | June, 2010

3-Day Fundraising and Social Media

26 Jun

Maybe some of you who are reading this are are Facebook. Maybe you’re on Twitter as well. Do you have a blog?  Social media for most people is a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family and is something to do when you’re bored. Unless you use social media for your business or company, then you’re mostly right. Facebook and Twitter are fun ways to connect with others, find old friends and make new ones. But you can also use social media for your 3-Day fundraising! Here are some tips for getting the most out of your networks.

1) Facebook – I know sometimes you feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over again, harping on donations and sending out the link to your 3-Day page. What you have to remember is that whenever you post something on Facebook, only a small percentage of your friends will see it. It shows up in their news feed but then gets pushed to the bottom, and unless you’re lucky enough to have it pop up in their Top News stories later on or a day later, then some of your friends have missed it entirely! And those friends who see it more than once certainly aren’t going to unfriend you because of it. You’re raising money for an important cause! If they haven’t donated after seeing the 4th post, maybe the 5th one will be the one that gets them to click and donate. And if they do donate, they’ll feel good seeing you continue to post the link knowing that they’ve already helped you out. So don’t be shy! Post away!

Create an event for your fundraising page and invite your friends to it. This is a pro-active way to share the link with people. If you have the time, post the link directly on your friend’s page, make it a personal ask!

2) Twitter – Everything I said above goes for Twitter as well. When you send out a tweet with your link in it, only a tiny percentage of your followers will see it right then before it gets pushed down the line. Send it out more than once a day! It shouldn’t be the only thing you tweet, but if it’s mixed in with other conversations you’re having it certainly can’t hurt! Make sure you’re using appropriate hashtags as well. Try using hashtag #komen, #the3day, #fundraising, #donation, #charity, #walking and more. Search for different words and see what comes up. You may get donations from people you’ve never met because of the hashtags you use. Also, in the tweet itself ask you friends to re-tweet it for you, and most likely they will. This opens you up to a whole new list of followers.

3) Blogs – Obviously so important to keep people up to date! Use your blogs to tell people why this cause is important to you, how much you’ve raised so far and how many training miles you’ve walked. Make it personal, tell a story, and you’ll get people involved. The wonderful thing about blogs is that they show up in Google searches and you’ll get readership from all over the country and the world, and readers who are specifically interested in what you’re talking about! Find other 3-Day blogs. Read them, support them, comment on them. Link to other 3-Day blogs in your posts. We’re all fundraising for the same cause.

Make sure that no matter what networks you’re in, that you’re linking them all back to each other. This is a great way to build a community on each platform that supports what you’re doing! You’ll meet so many great people who can give advice, who need advice, who can share ideas and thoughts and support! And don’t forget that above all social media is meant to be fun! Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and experiences with others, because then they’ll be willing to do the same with you and by the time you actually get to the 3-Day you’ll already have an awesome network of friends to share the experience with!

And always feel free to donate to MY 3-Day for the Cure walk!


Fundraising With Your Community!

15 Jun

From everyone that I’ve heard from, it seems as though the 3-Day fundraising is what keeps people from signing up. The $2300 minimum is really intimidating to a new walker; I totally get this. I waited years before I signed up for my first 3-Day walk because of that minimum. But I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Fund raising for the 3-Day was so much easier than I thought it would be. So here are some tips for some creative fundraising within your community!

1) Hold a fundraising night at a local restaurant – Most restaurants are more than happy to hold a fundraising night for you to support your efforts. I’ve done one for the past two years and really enjoyed the turnout and the results! There are a couple of different ways to go about it. You can either ask the restaurant to give you 10% of the proceeds that come in for the fundraiser (this is what I have done). You hand out fliers to your friends and family and ask them to come that night, and then the restaurant will give you 10% of the proceeds that come from people with the fliers. The other way which my sister did for a fundraiser, is to ask the restaurant to donate a stack of $10 gift cards to you. Then one night you hang out at the restaurant and whoever comes through the door, you ask them to buy one of the $10 gift cards from you. They give you $10, you give them the gift card. This worked really well for her because she kept the cash, the person who donated the money really wasn’t out any money because they were going to spend it anyway, and the restaurant gets a bunch of new patrons that night who came out for the fundraiser. It’s a win-win-win.

2) Hold a yard sale! – I’ve seen this in a couple of other 3-Day blogs, including the Breast Buddies website (Seattle walkers) and I think it’s a great idea! We all have stuff lying around our houses that we’ve been wanting to get rid of, so why not do it for charity! Ask your friends and family to donate items to the yard sale and then advertise it as a fundraiser. Increase the price of the items just a little bit, and explain to everyone that comes why you’re doing it, they may even give you an extra donation!

3) Hang out outside of a supermarket – With the supermarket’s permission, of course. By standing outside of your local supermarket, you’ll not only get to know your local community a bit better and you’ll get some donations along the way! This one takes a bit of courage, to ask strangers to give you money. But put on your best 3-Day gear, set up a pink table with information and you may find that people will come to you and you won’t have to go to them.

4) Ask your kids for help – I read Tammy K’s blog once where they had asked their kids for help, and worked with their kid’s school to hold a fundraiser! The particular fundraiser, which I remember very well from my high school days, is called Penny Wars. You create groups of kids that have to compete against each other, and they have to collect pennies for their team. So you set up the jars somewhere and everyday the kids come in a dump their pennies into the jars for their team. It doesn’t sound like it would add up to much, but here’s the catch, other teams can take points away by adding silver coins into other team’s jars. Those quarters definitely add up!

I hope this helps you with your fundraising! Feel free to leave your own creative ideas in the comments!

Boston’s Keep Going® Blogger!!

9 Jun

For those of you who don’t know, Energizer® (the presenting sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®) held a Facebook promotion encouraging bloggers from around the country to apply to be a Keep Going® Blogger for the 3-Day for the Cure. The Keep Going Blogger will blog all about what it’s like to stay motivated while training, share fund-raising experiences, and give insight about what it’s like to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. They looked to choose 15 bloggers, one to represent each of the 15 3-day walks that are held annually,  and they chose me(!!) to be the Boston 3-Day for the Cure Keep Going Blogger!! I am so excited for this opportunity to share my 3-day experiences with everyone and to meet my fellow Boston walkers!!

If this is your first visit to my blog I encourage you to read on. You’ll learn that I plan to walk this year’s 3-Day for the Cure in my Vibram Five Fingers (barefoot shoes) rather than in sneakers. I hope you’ll subscribe and follow along with my barefoot training journey, and I’ll be sharing my fund-raising tips as well! This is my 2nd year doing the 3-day, last year I was in D.C. If you scroll down far enough you’ll see my blogs from then.

I look forward to meeting you all in Boston, come see me in the  Energizer tent! And if anyone lives in the Hartford, Connecticut area, come see me tomorrow night at the Wood N Tap Hartford for my 3-Day for the Cure fund-raiser! I’ll be there from 5-11pm and 10% of proceeds will benefit my walk!

Check out Energizer on Facebook and Twitter, and say hi to me on Twitter too!

First Race in Vibrams… Check

5 Jun

Today was the 2010 Komen Connecticut Race for the Cure. I’ve been looking forward to it for pretty much an entire year, since last year’s race. I volunteered for my first Race in 2009 and was hooked. This year I ran in the 5k which was great; allowed me to combine a new favorite thing of mine (running) with a favorite, favorite thing of mine (Komen). Not only was this race awesome because it was a Komen race, but because it was my first race in my Vibrams! I’ve had them for about a month and have been taking short runs and longer walks in them but today was my first actual race. So here’s how it went: I ran the first mile in 8 minutes, that’s a record for me in a huge way. I’m usually a 10 minute miler and was shocked to cross mile 1 at 8 minutes. I’ve thought about it and decided there are probably a couple of reasons that I ran it so quickly; probably didn’t hurt that I started at the front of the pack rather than at the back of it like usual, and I also just think it felt good to run in the Vibrams! I felt lighter and more balanced. After mile one, however, there was a hill. My calves were already burning from my new running style and the hill didn’t help much with that. The last two miles were pretty painful in the really good, burning, sore, muscle building kind of way. And other than my calves, everything else felt great. My feet didn’t hurt (though that might change tomorrow) and my knees didn’t hurt at all, which I was waiting for the whole time, especially on the downhill. I’m excited to continue my running and my 3-day training in the Vibrams.

I got a lot of questions and comments about my Vibrams from people who had seen them before and wanted to know what they were like. I did see two other Vibram runners after the race and stopped to chat with them about their experiences and see if they had any tips. I was told that to help build up calf strength to do some short sprints interspersed with longer runs, and that seems to make sense.

So overall it was a really good run! It didn’t hurt to have the amazing energy from the other runners and the spectators. We were all there for an amazing cause and that kind of good energy helps to push you along. There were 2117 runners and I came in 1491 with a time of 36:46.

Komen Connecticut is still fund raising to reach their 2010 Race for the Cure goal, please feel free to donate to this amazing cause!