A Fundraising Party, three ways

When it comes to raising money for the 3-Day, there are many ways to go about it. The easiest, and for me, most successful approach is a letter writing campaign. Some people host bake sales or yard sales or make something to sell online. One of my favorite options, though, is to host a fundraising party. It's a great way to educate people about the event, raise some funds and thank your donors all in one shot. This year, not only did I host my own party, but I've also attended two other fundraising parties, all of which were very unique!

For my party, I invited my local, Atlanta-based friends over to my apartment for a small house party. Mike and I provided the beverages and snacks for the night and there was no cover charge. We just asked that everyone come prepared to donate something to the cause. I also spent a good amount of time preparing our apartment for the party in order to ensure that the purpose of the party didn't get lost along the way. Ultimately, my set-up looked like this:

While some people chose to donate online prior to the party, the majority of my friends donated via checks or cash. This is what my "donation station" looked like:

We also made sure to provide plenty of snacks and lots of pink plates and cups. I even found some great pink ribbon napkins at Linens and Things.

One of the best treats that we provided was a plethora of pink cookies. As everyone knows, I can't cook to save my life. But when it comes to baking cookies, I am something of an idiot savant. This year, I prepared M&M chocolate chip cookies (with special pink M&Ms), pink-ribbon shaped sugar cookies and my favorites, "Pinkerdoodles", which were really just Snickerdoodles made a bit more festive with some pink food coloring.

One of the best things about the 3-Day is how willing people are to help spread the word about the cause. In order to help my friends out, I provided them with all sorts of information to take home and share with others. I set out extra copies of my letters with the details from last year's event and as well as about how to donate this year. I also made up smaller post cards with my donation information on them and I printed some pamphlets that I found on the 3-Day website with general information about the Breast Cancer 3-Day and it's beneficiaries. Finally, I had some extra printable sticker paper on hand, so I made up two sets of stickers for my guests: one set with the Breast Cancer 3-Day logo and one set with our Walk Stars team logo. If anyone would like extra copies of any of these, I still have plenty left, so please let me know and I will get them sent out.

Finally, after my great experience with the 3-Day last year, I really wanted to give my guests an idea about what life is really like on the 3-Day. I scored some really beautiful picture frames from Michaels Craft Store (50% 0ff!) and put together two large collages including lots of pictures from last year's event and training for this year and some notes of encouragement that I received from my supporters last year. I also sprinkled in various things that I collected at the event last year, including my route cards from each day, our 3-Day Times newsletter that was distributed in camp, stickers and pins that supporters handed out along the route and my credentials from last year. The collages came out beautifully and I like them so much that I haven't taken them down yet!

All in all, I had about 15 guests for my party and raised $605, including some donations made online in advance of the party. We had a great time and we still have a lot of beer left over, if any one's interested!

When my teammate Kelly set about planning her party, she decided to take advantage of her connections in the community and host her event at a local bar, The James Joyce in Avondale. The Atlanta Brewing Company (or ABC as they're commonly known) donated a keg of their Red Brick Blond beer for Kelly's fundraising purposes and the party was scheduled for a Thursday night to correspond with the weekly trivia contest which is really popular in Avondale. For a minimum donation of $20 per person, donors were given a pink ribbon which gave them unlimited access to the Red Brick keg. This is what Kelly's set-up at the James Joyce looked like:

All in all, Kelly's event was very successful and raised almost $1000. In addition to the generous support of the local Avondale community, Kelly also promoted her event at the East Atlanta Animal Clinic where she works, which also helped to bring in more donors, including these two ladies:

Finally, this past Wednesday, I attended my third 3-Day fundraising party, this one benefiting the I Hart Boobs 3-Day team. This team is made up of two girls, Cari and Hannah, who are good friends with my friend Anjali. For this event, the girls hosted a happy hour fundraiser at the Atlanta Brewing Company Brewery. For a $25 donation at the door, donors got food off the grill (which the girls provided themselves), four beers fresh from the brewery and an ABC pint glass. Talk about a deal! Once the overhead was subtracted, I estimated that the girls took in about $15 per person. With their great turnout, I bet they raised close to a $900 in just two hours. Congrats girls!

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