If it’s your first year for the 3-Day for the Cure, or even if you have participated in it before, you may not be aware of all the things that the participant center has to offer you. In this column, the first of a series on your digital 3-Day life, I’m going to go over several of the features, some well used and some possibly not, to help you get the most out of your participant center. In this, I’m going to try and stick to the rough order that I do things in my participant center when I first sign up for the 3-Day.
First thing’s first when I get a new participant center and that is to set a goal. It’s on the right hand side of the page and is fairly noticeable when you first log in. I usually try to give myself a goal higher than the minimum to give me something to shoot for. This year I gave myself a goal of $5,000 for each walk and I’m over that goal on one and $1400 away from it on another. Setting a goal is good not only for you, but also for people you are going to be sending to your site so that they can see that it’s no small amount that you are going for and you’re serious about fund raising.
It’s Says It’s Personal, But You’ll Share it With Everyone
Directly under the update goal button is a link to update your “personal URLs”. This is an excellent place to go to next. It’s much easier to give people a link that looks like this:
Than it is to give them a link that looks like this:
So go to this link as quickly as possible to change this to something that your friends and family will more easily recognize. If you are a team captain, this is the same location that you will go to in order to change the URL for your team (so that you can easily direct people to a place where they can learn about your team and possibly decide to join!).
Let’s Get Stuck in the Middle for a Little While
The middle of your participant center has some useful links too. This is where you need to go if you want to do stuff like read your walker handbook (or if your a team captain, your team captain handbook). If you scroll down, it will also give you links to this month’s 3-Day news and a PDF for 3-Day business cards. However, for business cards, I usually prefer to use VistaPrint with their free cards that you pay for shipping with.
Just below the business cards is a section to start fund raising with Facebook. I’m going to cover some 3-Day social media information next week, but please feel free to add this now if you would like. The last thing I will cover about the middle is at the bottom where it tells you how many days you have left until your event. A good thing to keep in mind for fund raising AND training purposes.
My Web Page Was Made By Acme
The next thing I usually take note of is my personal page itself. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure has done a pretty good job of giving you a participant page that you can use to do fund raising with no additional work. HOWEVER, you should really take some time to tweak this page. For instance, your friends and family would probably be a lot more interested in reading about the challenges and decision making that you went through to decide to walk in the 3-Day for the Cure. They’re not necessarily going to be interested in the two sentence blurb that is there by default.
While you are changing the text on the page, you may as well go ahead and put up a new picture. My friends would rather look at me surrounded buy a bunch of guys wearing pink with fake boobs than the sneaker of some complete stranger. Make this page your own!
So to do this, there is a handy button at the top of the screen that says Personal Page. When you click on this, you will have a link near the top that says “Click here to open this page for editing”. Once you click there, you will be on your way to having your own personalized personal page.
There are a couple of things to note on the editing for this page: First, you have the option to add a blog to the bottom of your page. I’ll be talking about blogs, hopefully next week as well, but if you want to add a blog to your 3-Day participant center, by all means go ahead. I’ll just say that some of the blog tools in true blog software or sites is going to be more robust and allow you to do more. It just depends on what you want to do with this. Second, there is the option instead of having a picture on your page, you can have a video. I really like video because it allows people to see something that tells them more than a picture would, if you have a video go ahead and put it up there!
The Electronic Mail Man Isn’t Afraid of Dogs
Now that you have your personal page URL and you have your goal set and you have your personal page customized so that it looks just like something you would do, you can start telling people about it. Your participant center has a built in address book and e-mail system that you can use to send out mail asking for donations. You can import your existing contacts from Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail and CSV among others, so you don’t have to worry about typing addresses all over again. The advantage of doing mail through your participant center is that it all goes out with 3-Day for the cure branding and pictures. It will also include the appropriate links to your personal page and team page, however it doesn’t appear to use the personal URLs that you define. I personally only use the e-mail system for thanking people for their donations and use my own e-mail client for sending out fund raising e-mails. I don’t know why, it’s just a personal preference.
To access the address book and import users from your own address book, just click the Address Book button at the top of the page. To send e-mails using your own pre-defined text or to start with a template that the 3-Day provides for you, just click the e-mail button right next to that.
Leaning Towards the Left In a Non-Political Way
Ok, the last section that we are going to talk about is the resources section of the participant center. It’s on the top left of the page. This has a variety of things that you can use, and I’ll try to go through them quickly here:
- Donation Form: Just what it says it is. It’s a PDF of your donation form so that if you have someone that doesn’t want to or can’t donate online, they can fill out the form and mail in a check.
- Event Info: Incredibly useful, especially if you are out of town. This is where you check for information on the event, things like where it will start, where it will end, and where you should probably get a hotel so that you can ride a bus to and from the event.
- Online Check-In: This is where you go when they finally open the online check-in for your event.
- Fundraising: Great place to go for tips and tricks to help you super charge your fund raising efforts
- Training: Gives you links for a training check list as well as a variety of resources for your training questions. Everything from Achilles Tendonitis to Warm Weather training tips can be found here
- Outfitters: If you live in or near a host city for the 3-Day, this will provide you with a list of stores that you can go to that will help you with all of your gear needs
- Clinics and Calendar: These two links will provide you information on upcoming clinics, training walks, getting started meetings and more. These meetings are great for beginner and veteran walkers alike.
- Legacy Pins: You can get several different kinds of pins for doing things with the 3-Day. From being a walker, to raising a lot of money to having to take the sag bus, there is probably a legacy pin that you can earn. Check here to see what they all are!
- Komen Toolkit: The toolkit will take you to a page on the Susan G. Komen site with links to information about breast cancer facts, risk factors, detection and more.
- Share List: Want to do a training walk, but you don’t know anyone on the 3-Day? The share list give you a searchable page to find other walkers, crew members or team captains near you that you can contact for training walks or support. Even if you do know people near you, this is a great way to reach out to other walkers that may not have a team.
- Widget: The widget is a slightly customizable image that you can use in your e-mails or on your web site to drive people directly to your donation form.
- Select Another Event: If you are one of those people that felt the urge to sign up for more than one 3-Day for the Cure walk, then this is the link that you need to click in order to go to your participant center for those other walks.
To sum up, the participant center is a page that you can really use to help out with fund raising and preparing for the 3-Day for the Cure. Definitely spend some time looking through it to see what tools will work best for you.