Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fundraising: It Ain’t Rocket Science!

Posted by: Jenn Latino

I am in the fourth week of training for the Komen 3-Day. That is about 20% through the 24 week schedule, so it seems like an appropriate time for my first fundraising update. I’ll get to the punch line first (surprises aren’t my thing)….drum roll….I have reached 20% of my fundraising goal with $457.00 donated so far! OUTSTANDING!

I have always been more daunted by the fundraising challenge of this journey than the physical challenge. $2300 is a big darn deal! But, breast cancer is a big darn deal and we have to take bold steps to beat this terrible disease. Raising the $2300 challenges me to be creative. I have had some fundraising gigs gone great, and some gone, not so great.


I have found that the most effective method of fundraising for the 3-Day is through personal donations. I am fortunate to have a large network of friends, colleagues, and family who are supportive of my efforts and who generously make donations for no reason other than to let me know that they are cheering me on! I am incredibly grateful for these folks as they ease the “raising” out of fund raising and give me the boost I need to keep from being discouraged about the daunting amount.

Another round of donations has come in from folks who have been affected by breast cancer. Friends and family members of survivors or those who have lost their lives to breast cancer often will send along a message or story with a donation in a loved one’s name. These stories keep me going! I am encouraged and inspired by their strength and it keeps the pep in my step knowing that I am working to make sure that future generations do not have to know the pain that breast cancer causes. I often share these stories with you through my blogs and hope that by sharing their stories I can honor them and inspire you!

I can’t rely on donations alone! I am challenged to put on my creative cap and find new ways to raise some funds! I am not above fooling my loved ones into making a donation and I will use any occasion to collect some funds. This year, I capitalized on my birthday and saw great results! In lieu of gifts, I invited folks to make a $29 donation, in honor of my 29th birthday. IT WORKED! I received $182 in birthday donations and it was a full month before my training even started!

WHAT DIDN’T WORK? Not all of my fundraising efforts have been so successful. Sometimes what seems like a good idea at the time…..

Sin City
Take, for instance, my proclamation in April that I would donate 50% of my winnings from my annual trip to Las Vegas to the Komen Foundation. I posted this promise on Facebook (which makes it extra official) and headed west to win big! I just knew that karma was in my favor-I was rolling the dice to save 2nd base! Despite my positive outlook, I had the worst luck I have ever had in Vegas and left with an empty wallet. Based on my calculations, the Komen Foundation owes ME a few hundred dollars!

Baking for Boobies
You may recall last year that I sent out a challenge to my blog readers to make a $50 donation, promising that anyone who met the challenge would receive a batch of homemade cookies. This sounded like a fantastic idea! I planned for a weekend of baking, made sure my apron was ready to go, and waited for the money to come rolling in. I received 1 donation that week. Clearly my blog readers are far too informed about my baking skills. Actually, in hindsight, this wasn’t such a bad thing. The donor was from Fayetteville so my mom volunteered to be the baker and the deliverer of the cookies. Score!

New Ideas
I am excited to continue working to raise the remaining $1843 to reach my goal! I have a few ideas up my sleeve.
• I have considered a yard sale. I have the yard---but nothing to sell. That may present a problem.
• There are a few restaurants in Columbia that often host percentage nights-I have plenty of friends who like to eat and am sure I can convince them enjoy a burger or two on behalf of the tatas.
• I saw an episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 where the Gosselin kids brought in some serious money with a lemonade stand.

Fundraising isn’t the hardest thing I have ever done. I’ve climbed Diamond Head Mountain in Hawaii, biked part of the National Sea Shore in Cape Cod, earned a terminal degree, and memorized the quadratic equation for my high school algebra test. It’s not rocket science, but it does take some planning and creativity. I’m up for ideas! If you have any ideas, please send them my way.

I am grateful to the 12 folks who have already made donations to get me to the 20% mark!

The $29 club: My birthday crew
1. Claire Gonyo *First Donor!
2. Sara Jones * For some reason, donated $33….hmmmmm
3. Maegan Gudridge *My aerobics and cycling partner who never judges me in spandex
4. Karen Pettus *Who donated while also raising funds for her own efforts to fight cancer by participating in a triathlon! YOU GO GIRL!
5. The Thorn/Creamer Crew-Mary, Kristi and Wyatt *Wyatt gets the prize for cutest and youngest donor
6. Mandie Thacker *In honor of her grandma, Jamia Clark, who was a breast cancer survivor!

After the birthday campaign, the money kept coming from:
7. Jenny Bloom *In honor of her friend Sandy who was introduced in a previous blog
8. Frank and Christine Ellington & the Camp Bow Wow Crew *These wonderful folks assist in my efforts to wear Riley OUT, and take the best care of the pups when I am away.
9. Grahaeme Hesp *On Sunday, Grahaeme will begin a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS. And you thought 60 miles was a lot??
10. Jenifer Maund *The other Jenifer in my mom’s life-she keeps the magic alive for the Disney Stores and shares that with me as well.
11. Jean Weingarth *One of my most loyal cheerleaders, Jeannie was in the office today, wearing her pink, and asking about my training.
12. Penny Smoak *Penny is everybody’s cheerleader and made her donation in honor of our co worker Rosa who just completed her radiation treatment for breast cancer and is looking and feeling great! You go Rosa!

I appreciate all of you who have donated and everyone who plans to donate before the October 22nd event! Throughout the summer, I will continue to share my adventures and also remind you of the impact that your support can have on the fight to find a cure for breast cancer. Take a look at this video to see more about why I am committed to walk 60 miles. Why Walk 60 Miles?

Until next week, Happy Stepping!


1 comment:

  1. Jenn:

    I have enjoyed your blogs so much. I miss coming to South Carolina to visit and talk to you. All the Ashcrafts are wishing you the best!