Volunteer Forever fundraiser, Casey, has kicked off her Volunteer Forever Campaign. She’s a new college graduate, and is headed to Kenya with her mom and friend Jackie to volunteer with the organization, African Impact.
We’re excited to share Casey’s story about her decision to volunteer abroad, making this a group trip, and how fundraising is helping to make her trip a reality!
1. Can you tell us about your cause? What organization are you fundraising for?
Casey: I am fundraising to become a part of an organization called African Impact and will volunteer in the New Life Homes project. The project provides care for abandoned babies and children in centers set up throughout Kenya. I will travel to Kenya to volunteer in some of the care centers for two weeks and I also hope to raise extra money to bring supplies and donations these centers have been needing.
2. How did you select this organization and why did you choose them?
Casey: I have been interested in volunteering somewhere in Africa for years but never really knew how to do it, so one day I just started searching online for organizations. I came across African Impact as well as many others but decided to go with them since all of their past volunteers seemed to have such great experiences. I also love how many projects the organization is involved in not only working with children but also environmental and healthcare projects which I am interested in doing one day as well. Next, I shared their site with Jackie and my mom who both loved it, and we started the process!
3. Can you share about your experience fundraising with your friend Jackie? Are you coordinating your efforts in any way?
Casey: Yes we are definitely working as a team to help each other reach our fundraising goals. If I have an idea I can tell Jackie and we can make the idea better and use both of our resources to make it happen, having double the power I know we can meet our goals. We will be traveling to Kenya together, with my mom as well, and it is such a great experience to be able to plan and fundraise together. It is also really nice to have someone going through the same process of fundraising especially when I need inspiration or encouragement.
4. How are you reaching out to your friends, family members, and personal network about your fundraising campaign?
Casey: Well, I am actually graduating from Arizona State University this month with my Bachelor’s in Microbiology so I first decided to use my graduation announcements to spread the news about me traveling to Kenya. I put a little bit of information about the project on them and it let my family and friends know I was planning to go in September. A lot of people were asking me about the trip when they saw that I was going and it gave me a chance to personally talk to a lot of friends and family members about the cause. Now I am reaching out to my family and friends through Facebook posts, a Twitter account I made just for the project, and a homemade video. It is only just the beginning though and we are trying to plan some fundraising events we can do this summer to get people involved.
5. Can you share a bit more about your “Love Kenya” bracelet reward?
Casey: I was trying to think of something small I could give my donors as a thank you for their donations and also something that would encourage others to donate so I thought of making these support bracelets. The bracelets have the Kenyan flag colors which look really nice and also make them personal to this project in Kenya, not just Africa. To receive a bracelet you just need to donate 6 dollars and I am hoping everyone will wear their bracelets to support the project and get others asking “what is that for?”
6. What resources on Volunteer Forever have you been utilizing to run your campaign?
Casey: I used a lot of resources on Volunteer Forever especially looking at other volunteer projects and pages to get ideas and encouragement. Many other volunteers have experiences and stories that can really help get motivated. I didn’t even think about making a video for the campaign until I saw it can increase donations on Volunteer Forever and saw a lot of other volunteers making one. I also love how easy it is to share the link and allow people to donate online versus finding time to give you the donation. Lastly, I use the dashboard and statistics link to see how many views my page is getting daily and how my posts and blog changes it.
7. How helpful was the fundraising video for the campaign?
Casey: The fundraising video has been extremely helpful for the campaign because it takes less than two minutes to watch and gives everyone a lot of information about the project and goals we have. Also, it has been an easy way to keep sharing our message over the internet. We have been posting the video to news station pages, personal pages, and have written into networks and companies using the video to show our enthusiasm. I think by making a video we have shown how dedicated we are to the campaign and are planning to make more videos for future fundraising events we will be having over the summer. It also provides us a lot of encouragement and every time we watch it we get amped up to fundraise! 🙂
8. Do you have any other tips you’d like to share?
Casey: The best advice when fundraising is DON’T GIVE UP. I have done fundraising before and it is important to realize that not everyone is going to start making donations right away. It is okay to not be at your goal every day because people need to be reminded and shown that you are dedicated to your campaign first! I have found that keeping people up to date on what is going on really helps too, and tell anyone and everyone about the cause!
Kelly Ling · Guest Writer
Kelly Ling is a guest volunteer travel writer for Volunteer Forever.