The AIDS Orphan Care vision is to improve the lives of African children orphaned by HIV/AIDS by providing them with the same things we want for our own kids – food, clothing, a warm bed, an education, health care and the knowledge that somebody cares. In Lesotho, Southern Africa, where 1 in 4 adults has HIV, a whole generation of parents have died of HIV/AIDS, leaving more than 100,000 orphans.
“We can let an orphan know that she’s not alone. Let her know that on the other side of the world, someone cares.”
Each year they hold the AIDS Orphan Care Walkathon, sponsored by the International Child Resource Institute. Their crowdfunding website shares some great fundraising tips, inspiring their participants to aim high. Through their example and those offered by other successful crowdfunding campaigns, we share their keys to success:
Believe in Yourself
- Registering to participate in an orphan fundraising crowdfunding event is the first step in believing in yourself – believe that you can make a difference.
- Create your personal fundraising page and add photos and videos that mean something to you and reflect your efforts.
- Tell your audience of why you care on your personal fundraising page and share your mission statement and vision for the future.
- Aim high and set your fundraising goal accordingly, believing that you can achieve it.
- Make a donation to yourself online. Your gift will set the tone for others to give, as leading by example holds such power.
Write about It
- Send a letter in the mail to friends, family, and co-workers who are not online, asking for their support. Explain why the cause is important to you and put your heart in your words.
- Use the same letter in emails to everyone you know asking them to sponsor you.
- Post your letter to your social media pages. You may vary each letter if you wish…be genuine, put some thought and time into it and reach people with your writing.
Make a List
Make a list of potential donors. Include everyone you know.
- Your family
- Your friends
- Your work or school
- Your church, temple or religious community
- Your neighborhood
- Businesses you support
- Your sports team or gym
- Your social media contacts – Facebook, Twitter, etc
- Other groups you participate in: Alumnae group, Book group, Dance or yoga class, Computer class, Bowling team, Your children’s play group
Ask in Person
- Take your pledge form and personal web page address everywhere you go and ask everyone you interact with to sponsor you.
- If you don’t ask, you are deciding ‘no’ for someone who may want to give.
- Get permission to make a brief announcement at a staff meeting, church meeting, or in class. Then make it easy for people to donate by being available afterward with your pledge form and webpage address.
- Hold public meetings at your library, school or town hall explaining the needs of orphans and why you’re involved in fundraising through your crowdfunding event. Post flyers for these meetings and pass them out on the street.
Reach out to local media channels
- Call your local radio station or visit in person to ask for an interview to announce your event. Ask them for an opportunity to explain what the needs are of orphans and how people can help through your pledge event.
- Call or visit your local TV station and ask if you and your team may appear, or ask them to make an announcement for you.
- Call or visit your local newspaper office and ask for an interview. Bring them your letters and mission statements that you have shared online.
- Remember that you are doing global community fundraising to help orphans who deserve the help of your local media channels. You are not asking for yourself.
Double and Quadruple Your Money
- Many employers offer matching funds programs. Inquire with your HR department.
- Why walk alone? Form a team and get everybody fundraising together. Teams generate fun and energy while you support each other to charge forward and raise more funds.
- Ask businesses to match your fundraising dollars earned, dollar for dollar. Offer them the recognition of posting thank you notes on your social media platforms and email. Share with local media channels who your fabulous sponsors are.
Free crowdfunding resources are available online to help you in getting started on the road to organizing a successful walk-a-thon. Whether this is your first time planning a walk-a-thon or you already have an established peer-to-peer event, you’ll find some helpful resources.