If you have ever gotten a donation for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure before, then you know the feeling that you get when that e-mail hits your inbox:
A donation was made on your behalf.
Those six words can really make your day, especially if you have been in kind of a slump for fund raising. I feel that’s where I was a couple of weeks ago, so you can imagine how excited I was to get not just one of those little e-mails, but four all at the same time. As I went to click on the e-mails my mind raced through all the questions that usually happen: Who sent in the donation? How much was it for? Why were there four?
As I opened them up one after another, a couple of things became clear. One, I was pretty sure that I didn’t know these people. I say pretty sure because over the years there have been a lot of people that have heard me talk about walking in the 3-Day and occasionally I have gotten donations from them. This doesn’t happen a whole lot, but when it does sometimes I’m left trying to figure out who the donor is. As I looked through the names on the donations that I had received, I didn’t recognize the names at all.
The second thing that I noticed is that they were all from Michigan. This is where I started realizing that my excitement may have been a little premature. While I do know some people in Michigan, the number is fairly small. This meant that the chance that the donations were meant for me and not someone else was getting less and less every minute.
The third thing about the donations, they were all mail in donations. When you get a donation for the 3-Day, within your participant center you can tell whether it was made online or mailed in as a check. There’s a field that says “offline confirmed” if it was a check and all four of these had this displaying on them.
The last item I noticed is that they were for a sizable amount of money. The total for all four donations was for more than $800. That amount happened to get me over my minimum fund raising requirement. Because of this, I had to find out what the situation was, whether or not the donations were going to stay in my fund raising or not. In the past I have always encouraged people to continue fund raising when I reach my goal, so you might be asking yourself why it mattered if the donation went to me or not if I was going to continue fund raising. The fact of the matter is, yes, I will continue fund raising but whether these donations will stay with me or not will determine whether I will continue fund raising on my account or whether I will fund raise to help my teammates. Trust me, I have no intent of slacking off.
Since the donations had no contact information (no e-mail address was provided on the donation form) I had to find some way of verifying what was going on with the donation. Enter the 3-Day hotline.
Have you ever contacted the 3-Day coaches at 800-996-3Day? If you haven’t and you have questions about anything 3-Day related, this is a good place to start. I haven’t had many opportunities to call, however whenever I have the 3-Day coaches have always been helpful and worked to get me an answer to my question. I called them up last week to ask a status of the donations I had received because I wanted to make sure that if they were supposed to go to someone else that they would get there and help out with their fund raising. The person I talked to was helpful, but in the end she told me that it looked like the donations were processed as they were supposed to have been based on paperwork. She put a note on my account in case anyone showed up with missing donations, but that’s where we sit right now.
Take it from me, when you get a donation e-mail from the 3-Day it may not always be as cut and dry as you think. Sometimes donations end up in the wrong place. Sometimes they end up in the right place, but it doesn’t seem like it. If you happen to get one of these unexpected donations, be thankful for it but also follow up with it. Those donations could be the donations that someone else needs to actually participate in the walk. For my case, I’m going to view this as a sign to start helping my teammate fund raise. If it happens that the donations are in the wrong place then I’ll just go back to wrapping up my fund raising again.