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Fundraising in YWCA Women’s Triathlon: A Lifelong Gift to Yourself and Others

By Cori Mattli, YWCA Strategic Communications Specialist
June 25, 2018
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Susan is a triathlete, community leader and big-time champion for YWCA Minneapolis. She was chair of the board of directors the year of the inaugural YWCA Women’s Triathlon and co-chaired the Power to Soar capital campaign committee, which raised over $20 million. She’s no stranger to racing or fundraising! For her, it all comes together with the YWCA Women’s Triathlon fundraising team.

Supporting Girls and Youth

Susan first became involved with YWCA Minneapolis about 16 years ago when she was looking for a way to give back to her community. She is the owner of White Crane Design and was first drawn to supporting YWCA because of the Girls Inc. Power Girls workshops, which provide girls with mentorship from women in construction trades and teaches them skills like using power tools. YWCA’s equity-focused mission is what sealed her commitment.

Her First Dive into Triathlons

When the staff at YWCA Minneapolis were first planning YWCA Women’s Triathlon, Susan was asked if she wanted to race. Her response? “You’re out of your mind!” She had a lot of concerns, like whether her knees were up for the job and a fear of being too slow in the water. But eventually, she was convinced. And that was just the beginning. “I got sucked into it,” says Susan, and she’s been doing it every year since.

Fueling her Passion

What she loves about the YWCA Women’s Triathlon fundraising team is the full circle it makes to support and elevate YWCA’s mission, something that fuels her passion year after year. Susan doesn’t mind the perks of being on the fundraising team either: “You start earlier in a forward wave,” she says. Which means: “You get the food and can sign up for massages first!”

Susan’s Fundraising Tips

Susan’s keys to fundraising are to activate your network and don’t be afraid to ask. “People really do want to give and support you,” says Susan. She says it’s also fun to make up a theme for the year. Her suggestion: “Are you kidding me? I’m doing it again!” Susan says people really sign on when you emphasize “you help me and together we help our community.” It’s a win, win for everyone.

A Lifelong Gift to Yourself and Others

After all these years, it’s the Women’s Triathlon that anchors Susan to YWCA Minneapolis, and she’s grateful for it. She says the triathlon helps her keep focused on her health and fitness goals and it’s an event that motivates her every year. “There’s nothing greater than seeing a thousand women of all shapes and sizes to show up in bathing suits and go get in the lake,” says Susan. “It’s just as inspiring as it possibly can be.” She knows many women are conquering challenges just to be there: “There’s not a woman there who did not overcome fear to be able to do this.” Susan says participating in the Women’s Triathlon is “a lifelong gift you give yourself,” but raising money for YWCA’s programs pushes it beyond that – it’s an amazing gift to others, too.

Register for YWCA Women’s Triathlon

Participate in YWCA Women’s Triathlon Fundraising Team