Spreading awareness about a cause or a movement is important to build interest and support. So far this Spring semester I have been educated about the cause “School Supplies for Afghan Children”; I’ve learned how to spread the message; and now I am focusing on encouraging others to donate.
Jillian Alpert, Associate Director for WUSF Public Media, came to speak to our class this week with tips to adequately collect funds and materials for the School Supplies for Afghan Children. It is a process that should be specific and the details must be focused on. Include this, double check that, send this out on time…the process can be quite intimidating. Additionally, there seems to be a stigma that people do not like to be asked for money. But Jillian advises to “stay positive” and I intend to do just that.
Sometimes I think of fundraising as a balancing act. You want to entice others to give by giving back to them in a way they will be satisfied with but will not monetarily negate the donation. As our class is deciding on what type of event to hold, we are realizing there are many options. And thus the fun begins. Do we give out free food? A chance to win a prize? A free t-shirt? How can we build excitement, collect donations, and not get lost in the thousands of other organizations that are constantly giving away free things to students on campus. I want to be different, and I want it to be fun.
It is a large task to handle, but knowing the impact that the last group of students made only encourages us. The last class collected 220 boxes full of school supplies and $4,000 for shipping costs. Talk about motivation.
Fundraising is tricky. It can be intimidating to walk up to a stranger and ask for money or a donation of school supplies. I never want to bother people or be pushy. But one thing I noticed in Jillian was the passion she had when she spoke to us. She wasn’t asking any of us for a contribution, but she was selling us on the idea of engaging others and creating loyalty to the cause. It filled me with empowerment that I too could raise funds and supplies for the children in Afghanistan. The nerves have left me. After all what is the worst someone can say, no?