As the fundraising campaign "Provide one ambulance for Archale Village, Nuwakot" in Globalgiving comes to an end, the representative of ICA Nepal in the Globalgiving accelerator and campaign leader, Ms. Pritha Khanal shares her descriptive experiences and learning from the 2 weeks long training.
"A month before the training started, I received a mail from Globalgiving stating about an online training on crowdfunding and fundraising which was called Globalgiving Accelerator. Remembering my prior efforts in crowdfunding and the utter failure in raising any money, I decided to join this training in the hopes to learn some technique or strategies in learning about the online fundraising. And I must admit, the training was totally worth it.
The training provided a detail insight on how we are supposed to start if we are thinking of raising funds through online platforms. Crowd funding, as easy as it sounds is not so, infact, it is very much difficult. Jumping without any prior information at hand and a very clear strategic planning, would only result in failure, loss of time and effort. However, if done everything in right way, crowdfunding would be a major boon for your organization's financial status.
Therefore, what are the important things to be taken care of are that you need to have a clear vision and detail planning to make that vision come true. And a detail planning includes SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. If your goals lack any of this element, its highly likely to invite challenges and failures. Next very much important thing is a highly active and competent team and proper network mapping. Without mapping the network with your team and reaching to every possible individual and organizations, the success is hard to achieve. Then comes the most important part, telling your story to the donors where focusing in why your cause matters and how the donors contribution will impact your beneficiaries is very important.
Well, that's what I got to learn in the training. Then, we launched our campaign "Providing an ambulance to Archale village in Nuwakot" and with full enthusiasm I jump to apply all the techniques and still failed!
Yes, we weren't successful on reaching our goals. But from the day campaign started to the day it ended, there were quite a lot experience I had already gained.
Firstly, we started without proper knowledge about the place we are about to provide the ambulance, which was the biggest blunder and realization. Having proper photos ( and proper includes highly appealing individuals,children, their natural state) is very important. Some videos and case stories about the relevant beneficiaries would be cherry on the top, however, photos are basics. So, not having very strong materials to communicate was our weak spot.
Then, a team work. Since one individual getting involved in the project would only reach limited potential donors, it is very important to have a team and contact every potential supporter of the team members. Networking mapping is another must do thing where all the team members must join their heads and map every potential donor on their list. Which is where we lacked and which I consider a big challenge for a small organization like ours where all the staffs wont be able to contribute all their time and effort to one single campaign. Anyway, team effort is the must.
Then a proper strategic plan is where we lacked because the plan I had didn't work. I had Plan A, and Plan B but not Plan C or D or E, because that's very important to have alternate ideas and plan. Especially when it is the first time because you reach everyone without hints of who are actually supportive and who are not. Therefore a proper strategy and indepth network mapping to collect particular amount with particular group within fixed time is very much important.
There are much more factors to consider in coming days as well. But, next time I am sure these factors will be solved and we can succeed over these mentioned issues.
Personally it was an enlightening experience for me. I had to reach out to so many people I would have never thought of connecting with. I had to ask for donations again and again and face the refusal, the denial, the irritation by some, the acceptance and no support from some, and many difficult instances. But amidst everything I also received encouragement, motivation, support through donations and shares, the "Good job" comments, the "keep it up" comments and lot more. I learned the value of single share on facebook, literally, lol ;)
So, All in all it was an enriching experience of the training. To anyone who are considering raising funds through online platforms, please go through all the points mentioned above and prepare yourself very well before hitting the website and expecting money to roll in. One of the comments I really liked when attending the Globalgiving fundraising conference conducted on 23rd September,2016 by Globalgiving UK was that crowdfunding is being "consistently optimistic" which is harder than it sounds at times, after all it is about getting money out of people's pocket for a cause you feel is good. Challenges are a part of it, however, a little effort of shaping your strategies is all that it takes. "
(Ms. Pritha Khanal works as a Program Officer in ICA Nepal and is also an anthropology student and looks after her blog: www.prithakhanal.com )