Congratulations to Michelle Millions from McGill University, who raised $412 in her 50:50 campaign. This is what she had to say about her trip to Esmereldas Ecuador and about running a successful fundraising campaign.
What made you decide to do a 50:50 Campaign?
Well, originally I was with other organizations at my University, but I didn’t agree with the full scope and the full mission statement that they had. So, this summer I spent a lot of time researching different NGO’s and things I wanted to be a part of and I found out about MEDLIFE through that. I really really believed in their mission statement and what they were doing which made me really want to come on a trip and see first hand how they were impacting communities. I decided to do a 50:50, because it’s one thing for me to come and help, and it’s another thing for me to come and bring resources and for the community that I am helping.
Can you tell me more specifically what about the MEDLIFE mission was more in line with your values?
I really really appreciate the idea of local doctors, and people staying here for an extended period of time, like the interns for example, who are trying to make a lasting impact on the community. There are so many NGOS where they will bring in an American doctor who isn’t really well versed in the area, leave them for a week, and take them out, and that’s great, but that isn’t sustainable for the community. What I believe that MEDLIFE does is really allow a community to stand on it’s own and contribute to the help that they are receiving.
What strategies did you use to be successful in your 50:50 campaign?
I had a blurb I had written both about MEDLIFE itself and what I believed I would be doing on the trip and I shared it through facebook and a lot through emails, to coworkers of parents or people I knew who had gone on other trips or who I knew were into sponsoring things. So, it was mostly through sharing of emails.
What did you learn through running a fundraising campaign?
I learned the most important thing was to make it relevant to people. Like it’s one thing to say I want to go on a trip I want to help some people can you help me do that? It’s another to send them links to the information. Here are the problems going on in the area I will be going to, here are the communities you will be impacting, really show them what it is their money is going to do. I also sent them all follow up emails saying I would send them information from this trip about how it went so they would really know how they were making a difference, so it wouldn’t just be an abstract concept. I sent them pictures and updates, descriptions of how I felt about the communities so they would know where their money was going and to make it relevant to them so they would want to continue supporting MEDLIFE, and not just me.
How do you feel about the impact you made on the communities with the money you raised?
This last week- it’s been really great. There are very few ways an NGO can grow without people doing fundraising. You see all the medications we gave out, I worked in pharmacy a couple of days. There is no way we could have done that without people fundraising. It’s really nice to see where people’s money is going and have it be part of an organization that I believe in so much.