- Fri, April 22 2011
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
The title of this post was the subject line of an email I received this week from Jeff Power at the Global Hope Network. Naturally, I was curious. What was he talking about?
It turns out that Jeff met a “mommy blogger” named Jennifer McKinney last year, and she traveled to a one of his organization’s projects in Kenya. Jennifer then posted of how hard the village was working to dig a 1.1-kilometer trench to bring clean water to their village. And she said the program needed 100 people to commit $12/month each to fully adopt the village program.
Three hours, 10 minutes later, she succeeded.
This story illustrates people-to-people fundraising at its best: A cause champion reaches out to her community with an emotionally compelling, tangible goal told in story. The charity involved provided encouragement and help from the organization - but rightfully kept the spotlight on the Jennifer.
I asked Jeff more about this story so we can all learn from it.
Q: Why do you think it worked so well?
A: What we all really want is connection. Humanitarian aid is, after all, “human” at its root! So in GHNI we’re just trying to do everything we can to creatively and directly connect people with people.
Q: What did you learn that you’d share with other charities about this approach?
A: In general we’ve been learning how to keep the focus on connections and relationships, and NOT on cool geeky technology (though I’m a total geek at heart! For instance, I bought satellite equipment so we could connect to high-speed internet from anywhere on the planet. But I did that so we could have live Skype conversations between villages and the people who support them—to build the relationship. And we’ve given a few locals smartphones and training on how to upload pictures with captions to a couple of new village blogs we’re testing. And we did that so villages could share their story themselves, directly to their new friends around the world.
Q: How are you building off this success?
A: We believe in building slowly and carefully. This approach is testing the capabilities of rural villages (from a slower-paced culture) to provide regular updates to westerners (from a “give me progress NOW” culture). We want to see if the relationship can withstand the differences. If it can, we will scale in an appropriate and thoughtful way that is honoring to both cultures!
GREAT advice from Jeff. Thanks for the lessons and inspiration.