Meet Laila: One of our 2019 Top Fundraisers
Christmas is a season of giving. It gives us thousands of opportunities to bless those who are in need. A deep sense of gratitude compels us not just to help, we want to make a difference. But how can we do so when our own resources seem to be so limited? Where do we start? Who will support us in this cause? These are just some of the questions you might be asking by now.
The good news is, We can help more people with the resources we currently have through fundraising. All you need to do is launch your campaign in simplygiving.com and invite your friends, families, and colleagues to donate to your cause.
In an interview we had with our Simplygiving Top Fundraiser, Laila shares the inspiration and challenges behind her fundraising journey:
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO FUNDRAISE FOR CHILDREN?
It’s heartbreaking for me to see children who go to school with no school supplies. It’s already hard enough to study but it’s even more difficult if you do not have the tools you need to facilitate learning. When I was growing up, I was privileged enough to have new school supplies every start of the school year. It made me excited to go to school and learn. I want all school-age children to experience this as well but I know that it is just impossible as there are thousands of children from impoverished families who cannot afford that “luxury.” Still, I knew that my family, friends and I can all work together to help some of these underprivileged children to experience the same experience we had when we were kids. When I got their support and pledges, I decided to finally set up my own fundraising page.
HOW MUCH WAS YOUR TARGET AND HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO ACHIEVE IT?
I was not really sure how my family and friends would respond to the call for donations so even before launching the fundraising page, I already told them of my plan by messaging them on Instagram and Facebook. I approached my friends who are not yet child sponsors (those whom I invited to sponsor but said that they are not yet ready for regular giving) as they are more open to one-time donation.
When I got 20 pledges, that’s when I decided to launch my fundraiser with PhP20,000 as my initial target amount. (I pegged the donation to a minimum of PhP1,000 to automatically help 2 kids). I was surprised to be able to reach this initial target overnight (to think that not all of the 20 people who pledged actually donated). Finding out that it was possible to increase the target several times, I decided to increase it every time I reached my previous goal. I started the campaign on June 25 and hit my final PhP60,000 target on July 21.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCE?
Although I have always believed in the generosity of my family and friends, I did not imagine that through their support (38 of them), we will be able to raise PhP67,516 and provide school kits to at least 135 less fortunate children! This is amazing and I am grateful to God for touching their hearts to help. My heart is also full knowing that these people are not excessively rich. In fact, they also face financial challenges. Still, thinking that their struggles are lighter compared to those of the poor children that they can help through their donation and believing that God will bless them more abundantly because they shared their blessings, were more than enough reasons for them to reach out. Because of this, I am grateful to them and for having them in my life.
DID YOU ENCOUNTER CHALLENGES WHILE FUNDRAISING? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
If I was amazed by the generosity of most, it was inevitable that I also got disappointed. Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Being willing is not enough, we must do.” We all have our own circumstances. I continue to pray for those that they will give at the right time.
Another challenge was the online mode of deposit requiring credit card. Some of my friends do not have credit cards so I told them to just deposit to WVDF’s bank account.
Last challenge was the online platform. I have friends, especially those abroad, who relayed that their transaction was denied because their bank perceived the fundraiser as a fraudulent transaction. While some were accommodating enough to have called their banks so they can proceed with the transaction, others did not have much patience and eventually withdrawn their pledge/discontinued the transaction.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME TIPS IN ACHIEVING THE FUNDRAISING TARGET AND WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THOSE WHO FIND FUNDRAISING CHALLENGING?
I think the most important tip is that you have to believe in the cause or goal of your fundraiser. It is easier to convince other people to give when you, yourself, believe in the change that your campaign wants to achieve. Giving is not just about making a donation; it’s about making a difference. This is what you want to emphasize to people.
Personal experience is key. There is no better testimony than your own. I personally find joy in giving and I want my family and friends to experience that joy as well. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Furthermore, personal touch is helpful as people respond better when the call for donation is directly addressed to them (in my case, even if it meant sending private messages to each of them). You need to have patience. So this is where targeting comes in. You don’t message all of them. You message those you know are capable and willing to help, at the same time. Again, however, be prepared for possible rejection as it depends on their own circumstances (as I mentioned in question #4).
Also, put yourself in the shoes of potential givers. Ask yourself, what would make you, yourself, give? Then provide those things to them – your own experiences, evidences of where their donations go, assurance that their donation will reach the children, stories of transformation, etc.
Lastly, fundraising is not a one-time endeavor. You build your credentials overtime so people will not only believe you but will ultimately choose you among many other options where to entrust their hard-earned money. In a world where there are lots of competition, you need to find that one thing that will differentiate you from the rest. For World Vision, it’s the spiritual nurture we provide to children on top of their basic needs such as school supplies.
We all have the ability and resources to make an impact in the lives of children.
May we all find this Season of giving a timely chance to be like Laila.
Fundraise for Noche Buena 2019