Talking with Jade about Fundraising and Life-Changing Connections
There wasn’t a lot of time to pull everything together, but Jade’s determination—and a little help from friends and family along the way—made it happen.
In January 2018, she found herself in the middle of our presentation that was focused on kindness. During that time, she was introduced to the Builds program and received the invitation to make a difference with us internationally. One month later, she signed up for our March Break Build to the Dominican Republic.
Now, it was time to start fundraising.
She found success early
For that first trip, her parents gave her a list of 30 emails.
Armed with her fundraising page, some information on the cause, and the support of her parents, Jade sent individual messages to each of them. And to her surprise, she met her goal in just over a week.
While it seems relatively straightforward, when reflecting on her fundraising success, Jade admits that to see success, there is a bit more to it than asking.
“If you’re just sending out a quick email like, “Hey, please donate.”, it’s not as impactful as you, sending pictures or talking to them face-to-face. Once people understand how passionate you are about it, they are more willing to help out and contribute.”
During her time on the Build, Jade was able to make strong connections and work alongside a family to build them a safe, new home. Together with other volunteers, she played a part in leaving lasting change in the community—and it left her wanting to return.
Seeing the difference that a home has on a family first hand made Jade want to return and do it all over again. But the second time fundraising proved to be a little more difficult.
“The first time is a lot easier, and then it progressively gets more and more difficult. Going back to the same people is really hard because they are more resistant.”
Jade admits that she found herself feeling a little worried about hitting her goal and started pursuing other ways to raise money, including bake sales and raffles. She also expanded the circle of people she would ask for support to include teachers along with friends and their families.
Spoiler alert: Jade reached her goal and returned to the Dominican Republic.
Sharing advice for people getting into fundraising
With two successful fundraising campaigns under her belt, we asked her what encouragement she would share with peers wanting to make a difference but worried about fundraising.
“If I had tips for anybody looking to fundraise for their own Build, I think the biggest thing is being persistent. Because at first, you may not get the result that you want, and it may be harder than you really think… so just try not to be down. The more you radiate a positive energy towards what you are doing, and you talk about it, the more people are willing to listen and contribute.”
When coming up with fundraising ideas, she believes that everything should be on the table and encourages people to not look at the amount raised because every little bit helps.
But in the end, to Jade, successful fundraising is all about relationships.