I sometimes wonder how I ever functioned when I was in my 20s – I feel like I’ve learned and experienced so much since then that, looking back, I feel like I knew nothing (which obviously isn’t true). Not that I feel I know that much now – life seems to be a constant learning experience.
What I’m learning about at the moment is fundraising for non-profit organisations. I’ve done little bits of fundraising in the past, but not that much.
To be honest, I knew it wasn’t easy, and preferred to leave it to people who had established skills in that area. Or that was my excuse anyway. Now I don’t have any excuse… it has to be done.
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So I’ve launched the fundraising page for The English Volunteering Project. This in itself wasn’t easy and I laboured long and hard to try to get the text right – enough information to get people interested, not too much to bore them. Finally I had to let go, make it public, and trust that it was good enough to do the job.
In the first week there were over 600 hits on the page, which is, frankly amazing. So there is obviously a great deal of interest in the project. But not so many people have given. I know that with any fundraising campaign the challenge is to turn interest into actual donations, so part of me is not surprised, but another part of me is rather disappointed. A friend has assured me that for the length of time the campaign has been live it is actually doing incredibly well, but that doesn’t stop self doubt creeping in. Maybe the text isn’t right? Maybe I haven’t explained it properly? What else could I have done?
I know that obviously not everyone will support every fundraising campaign they come across – that would be impossible and unaffordable. But that doesn’t stop me wanting everyone to like this project so much, and think that it is so worthwhile that they do give. If everyone who had looked at the page had given 50kr (less than the cost of a coffee and a cake- in Sweden) we would have 30,000kr by now and be well on our way to achieving the money we need to make this project happen.
My challenge is to learn how to maintain people’s interest in the project and to encourage them to give, without hassling people and becoming a bit of a bore on the subject. Not easy.
There is a bit of good news to add to the mix. If we raise at least 40,000kr through the campaign then it is very likely that a grant-making foundation will top up the rest of the money we need to reach our 80,000kr goal. Now, wouldn’t that be nice.
By Claire Thomas
Check back in a few weeks to hear more about Claire’s progress.
Claire Thomas was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Northern Ireland and has lived in Scotland, England, Germany and now Sweden (where she hopes to stay for a good long while). In this blog she shares her experience of setting up a project focused on helping non-Swedish speakers to find volunteering opportunities with non-profit organisations in Stockholm.
If you are interested in the project you can contact Claire by email at email@example.com
Like us on Facebook to follow the project’s development – go to ‘The English Volunteering Project in Stockholm’.
The project is part of Volontärbyrån www.volontarbyran.org