This blog is taken from one of our volunteers in Mérida, Dhana Borkar. To learn more about her volunteer experience, click here. Half of our registration fee ($150USD) goes straight to our volunteer projects, places like Casa Crisal. To learn more about fundraising, check out our blog 'Fundraising Your Volunteer Program.'
On a lovely Valentines day Sunday morning 2016, I was up before the sun and my program director was on his way to pick me up along with the girls from Casa Crisal and Anna.
In Mérida that day they had organized a Run and Walk event exclusively for women called Somos Runners, around a thousand women took part in the 7.4 Km marathon. You could see everyone that morning; moms, aunties, abuelas, chicas, kids with theirs pets. It was an inspiring sight at 6 en la mañana. Somos runners was a fundraiser/ donation marathon for women who have been through sexual abuse and mainly or only for Casa Crisal, the race was due to begin at 7 am and it turned out, me and Anna, being the happy helping volunteers we are, had to report for duty plus. FREE marathon tee’s, so yay! It was a perfect Sunday.
The donations that my shelter received were mainly toiletries and other health and hygiene products along with some monetary donations. Yes, taking care of 15 young and adolescent girls, this was a success for the mom’s to tick off toiletries from the donations list for a while. This got me thinking about other important day-to-day things that we need to survive, food and shelter.
For whatever few hours I worked for that morning, it was surely enough to inspire me to go ahead with my own fundraiser. I decided to take the quickest route as I had only 2 weeks left, get money from all my rich friends and Mom. Bravo! If a thousand women can donate and help fundraiser for the shelter, I thought, so can I.
With the help of my program coordinator, Madeline and director, Miguel, we collected a list of all the things that the shelter required. At this point, they are being moved to a new shelter and more than anything they needed money to seal the deal and pay the first few months. I managed to raise around 10,000 MEX pesos in a week for food and their accommodation needs. It had to be done, someone had to do it, so I did it. You can view my successful fundraiser here: Casa Crisal donations.
1.) Start early! If you want to donate a generous amount and have a kickass fundraiser start early and have a plan. I wish I did to double up my donation amount.
2.) Start small, you can always exceed your monetary goals, but first you need to achieve the bare minimum to attract attention.
3.) Start with family and friends, approach as many family members you can, they can’t say no, they are obligated to help you. So if you have a big familia your donations are on a roll!. Friends first, they will probably get you more funds than any community on Facebook you just joined to share your link.
4.) Start with low-cost fundraiser website. Have you ever heard of Youcaring? they have the lowest admin fee, as low as £2. You don’t have to use big famous fundraising website (unless its free). Some of them have higher admin cost and that wont make sense because you will end up loosing half of your donations, now we don’t want that do we?
5.) Last most important, start with what they NEED and not WANT. Sure you can donate a sack of rice and bunch of note books, crayons and toys but whats the use if that is not what they need. Find out more about your placement, talk to your coordinator or director or the person in charge of your project and only buy what they need and hey!, if you still have spare donations they can always use that money later.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
-The Lorax, Dr Seuss