Pink Day Planning Guide

What is Pink Day?

Pink Day is a way for independent garden centers across the U.S. and Canada to host fundraisers for breast cancer research. They are unique, wholly customizable events that are fun for you, your staff, your customers, and your community!

How it began: Since the first pink ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea - Invincibelle Spirit, and now Invincibelle Spirit II - was introduced in 2009, $1 of every plant sold has been donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Independent garden centers have been a key part of reaching our million dollar goal by hosting Pink Days, events to raise money for breast cancer research and keep customers coming back after peak spring sales.

On this planner page, you’ll find lots of ideas about how to create your own Pink Day event, but consider them guidelines. You and your staff have interests and talents that will make your Pink Day completely unique. Hosting a Pink Day is not about complying with long lists of requirements: It’s about building community, spreading the love of gardening, raising money for one of the most widespread forms of cancer, and spending time with your friends, family, and customers.

Why should we get involved?
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime as will one in one hundred men. If this disease has not yet touched your life, chances are, it will. The same goes for your customers: Breast cancer is a cause close to their hearts, and they value contributing to a cure in new and unique ways. Hosting a Pink Day is an opportunity to mobilize your community, build staff morale, and fill your garden center with customers while raising money for an important cause. You might be surprised to see how powerful an event like this can be – the average amount raised on a Pink Day is $880. 

How do I actually raise the funds?
Garden centers have raised significant donations using some of these ideas:

  • Donating a percentage of the day’s sales
  • Matching every customer donation
  • Donating a percentage from the purchase of a particular item (hanging baskets, pink plants, etc.)
  • Donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of all Invincibelle Spirit II hydrangeas
  • Make an additional $1 donation for the sale of each Invincibelle Spirit II or another plant in the Invincibelle series of hydrangea
  • Silent auctions or raffles
  • Check the BCRF website for more ideas

Pink Day Planning, Step by Step:

  1. Set a date for your event.
    June is the perfect time for your Pink Day. Most garden centers have found this works well for several reasons: Invincibelle Spirit II hydrangea is in bloom, customers are still thinking about gardening, and plant inventories are still fresh and attractive. A June date allows you to promote your event from spring’s first pansy sales, giving customers a reason to come back! So while weekends in June and July are an optimal choice, it can be any time.
  2. Let us know you’re hosting a Pink Day so we can help you start promoting your event.
  3. Set fundraising and outreach goals. 
    For example, “We will raise $x with our event” “We will contact 50 customers to spread the word about our event.”
    Then decide how you’ll actually raise the money: raffle ticket sales, a percentage of day’s receipts donated, etc.
  4. Set your budget.
    Determine how much you’ll spend on decorations, advertising, prizes, and the donation your garden center will make. A limited budget does not mean you can't host an event! Not every fundraiser needs to be a weekend-long blowout. When you donate to BCRF, every dollar really does count: $25 directly funds 30 minutes of scientific research. Simply matching the $1 per plant donation on Invincibelle II Spirit hydrangea or asking for and matching customer donations for the day can make a huge difference. 
  5. Plan activities to include in your event.
    Interesting activities attract people to your event and help structure the day. Some time-tested ideas include discounts, entertainment (musicians, jugglers), speakers and special guests, contests, door prizes, and raffles. Utilize the talents and interests of your staff and community!
  6. Set up a staff meeting.
    Let your staff know when you are hosting a Pink Day so they can accurately answer customers’ questions. Discuss the benefits to the business, the customers, to BCRF, and the community. Designate responsibilities and let staff know what is expected of them for the event. Invite them to contribute their own ideas for the day as well.
  7. Plan your promotions.
    Before committing to a date for your event, do an online search for that date and the name of your town (e.g., “July 21 Indianapolis”). Previously scheduled events could compete with yours for attendance. Consider capitalizing on your spring shop traffic to publicize your event. Put up posters about the day and have a signup sheet at the register for customers to receive an official announcement of your event. Use a Facebook event or other online resources to invite people to your event. Make a list of snacks and drinks, pink decor and other pink items you can offer for free, and for sale, during your event.
  8. Contact a grower to secure your Invincibelle Spirit II hydrangeas.
    Your local grower should be able to easily obtain Proven Winners Invincibelle Spirit II hydrangeas for your event. With 12 weeks’ notice, your grower may even be able to time your plants to be at peak flower for your event. Contact us to find your local grower.
  9. Gather support and build partnerships. Local businesses are an excellent resource for spreading the word and for contributing prizes or food for your event. Bakeries, coffee shops, boutiques, and services (spas, salons) are good partners for your Pink Day. This also opens up abundant opportunities for cross-promoting one another. Other local resources to consider are your local cancer centers and awareness groups. They can put you in touch with like-minded businesses and can also contribute volunteers, literature, and other support to highlight the importance of the cause.
  10. Reach out to local breast cancer groups or cancer centers as well.
    They may be able to provide speakers, educational materials, volunteers to staff your event, and additional promotional opportunities.
  11. Publicize your Pink Day
    Reach out to local mass media outlets, but don’t neglect more grass-roots efforts, like posters and roadside signs. Include your Pink Day in your e-newsletters before the event. Social media is a highly effective and free way to spread the word.

The week of the event:

  • Stage displays of Invincibelle Spirit II hydrangea, additional pink plants, and pink merchandise around the store.
  • Install signs on the road and other appropriate sites (street corners, downtown, etc.) with the date, time, and name of your event.
  • Make sure that logistical needs like tables, chairs, audio/visual equipment, eating utensils, etc. are met.
  • Review list of participating businesses and coordinate their needs for electrical outlets, extension cords, etc.

During the event:

  • Take lots of photographs! Document your event for your newsletter, blog, and social media. Press releases with interesting human interest photos are more likely to be printed, and read, in your local paper. Photos are also the best way to promote your next event.
  • Enjoy yourself and have fun while raising money for a great cause.

After the event:

  • Tally up your funds raised – congratulations! Contact us for instructions on where to send your donation.
  • Send a press release to your local paper, your local DDA, and your chamber of commerce, with photos of your event.
    Use the link above to request a press release template.
  • Send thank you notes to everyone who helped make your event a success. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note, it goes a long toward showing your sincere appreciation. 
  • Plan a post-event meeting with your staff that night, or the following business day. Talk about what went well, and what improvements could be made. Make a note of your donation amount, your sales and anything that would have affected them...what the weather was like, competing events, etc. If you can, schedule next year's Pink Day. Write all of this down and keep it in a file for next year. Immediate reflections about your event success are the best way to ensure success for years to come!
Host your own pink day, like these gardens centers across the US and Canada!