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Serena’s Fundraising Success Story

Written By
By Steven Weddle
Co-Founder, Volunteer Forever
Volunteer Forever fundraising

Volunteer Forever fundraiser, Serena, raised $5,515 for her volunteer trip to South Africa! Serena will volunteer with the organization, African Impact, in Zimbabwe.

We’re super excited to share Serena’s fundraising secrets with you!

1. Can you tell us about your cause and why you chose Africa Impact?

Serena: I am fundraising for the volunteer organization African Impact.  African Impact has different volunteer projects all over Africa. Donations received from volunteers working on African Impact go to The Happy Africa Foundation which works to implement long-term, positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Africa. The charity has financed the building of clinics, school classrooms, and provided communities with education and skills training.

For 10 years I have been researching and it has been my dream to volunteer in Africa. African Impact was the first organization that I found and I kept going back to it! At first I was drawn in by the hands on experience with the lions. After becoming a teacher I realized that I wanted to help children as well. The project I found was absolutely perfect because I will be volunteering at an orphanage in Gweru, Zimbabwe during the week and on the weekends I will be volunteering at the lion rehabilitation in Antelope Park.

2. How did you let your friends and family members know about your fundraising campaign?

Serena: At first I was hesitant about posting on Facebook; I didn’t want people to think I was trying to do this for free! After looking at other volunteer pages and seeing the success they had I decided that it was worth a try. I made a volunteer video (that took a lot of time!), I did my research, and then I posted it on my Facebook page. I also posted it on my parent’s business pages.

3. How did you follow up with potential donors who were initially unresponsive?

Serena: My father and I came up with the idea that giving back to the donors might make them feel better about donating. He is a well-known artist so we decided that if people donated a certain amount of money they would get an original oil painting at a discount! I posted a photo of one of his paintings along with my volunteer page on Facebook. I also added it to my blog on my volunteer page as well.

4. What resources on Volunteer Forever did you utilize while running your campaign?

Serena: I loved using Volunteer Forever to make my campaign more appealing. Making the video was the best part, every time I watch it I get more excited about being able to volunteer and make this dream happen.

5. How helpful was the fundraising video for the campaign?

Serena: I think the video is a HUGE part of getting people to donate. The video gives people an idea of what you are doing rather than just reading information.

6. Are there any specific donors that you would like to thank?

Serena: EVERY single one of my donors is important to me and I am so thankful for their support. I honestly would not be able to do this without them! Having people donate that I have never met before is an honor because it shows me that they fully support what I am doing and want to help with this wonderful charity. I want them to know that they are a huge part of the program as well because they have donated and allowed this volunteer trip to be possible.

7. Do you have any other tips you’d like to share?

Serena: Do your best to promote your volunteer page, put effort into making a video, and make sure you give information about your organization and why you are volunteering. I found it very helpful to speak with people from the project over the phone so that way I knew exactly what I would be doing and where I would be staying.