How has your fundraising experience been so far? How have you felt throughout this journey?
It’s definitely been a challenge. By going door-to-door, I’ve faced a lot of rejection, but I’m also determined. In 5 hours I raised $150, which I think is pretty good.
I also held a bake sale in the lobby of the building I work in. The bake sale was definitely a good learning experience in terms of planning and in learning what sells well and what doesn’t. I was fortunate that I had someone help me with baking, which is another recommendation of mine. If you’re going to do a bake sale, make sure you have a helping hand. Overall, the bake sale was a good start given that I raised $312 for one day.
If you could offer 4 tips to preparing volunteers or to those who are interested in going on a YCI project, but are intimidated by the fundraising target, what would you say?
1. You can’t be intimidated. I was hesitant to do door-to-door, but it really helped me to learn how best to convey what YCI does. Being fully informed of the organization made me sound professional and in turn, people were more trusting of me and wanted to donate.
2. Think strategically about whether you can host one big event or do a couple of small-scale soliciting activities. There are pros and cons to both. For instance, with a big event you may fundraise more by having a company in your community sponsor your event, but large-scale events can be overwhelming and a bit out of your control. So in taking this into consideration and also considering your time availability, a series of small-scale initiatives may be more effective.
3. Remind yourself of your main purpose of volunteering with YCI. Frequent check-ins with yourself will help you remain focused on the larger goal. For me, I know I’m looking forward to doing what I can to strengthen youth and communities abroad. So, I remind myself of this to keep focused on reaching my fundraising target.
4. Ask your family and friends to donate! This can be great practice for when you eventually solicit donations from other community members and it helps you to learn what content is most effective in gaining donations. For example, with family and friends, I emphasized that volunteering with YCI will have an impact on my career development.
Going forward with your fundraising, what do you plan on doing?
I am going to continue with going door-to-door for 5 hours every weekend or every other weekend. In addition, I am going to have two more bake sales and encourage my family and friends to garner donations from their coworkers.
– Marie-France Chasse, Preparing Youth Ambassador Volunteer for Costa Rica