Photo by Shel Israel
Here's a few learnings, some highlights, and thanks.
- It's important to have a challenge grant or contest or something that gives both urgency and some confidence that others believe in your cause. The good folks at ChipIn, the personal fundraising widget that I used for this campaign, put forth a challenge. They would match donations $1 up to $2,000 I raised for the project. In return, I would write up a case study of what I did. That will come after I get back and will morph the campaign site in that. A nice win win for both of us. This not only gave me courage to launch this campaign, but helped leverage contributions. Also, it will force me to reflect and write about what I learned - so often we're racing ahead at 100 miles an hour -- we never pausse to consider what we've learned.
- Have different ways for people to support the campaign, not just money. Many small contributions can make a difference! At the end of the Global Women's Panel the moderator Georgia Popplewell mentioned the campaign, particularly my need to collect tech t-shirts. She suggested that if anyone didn't want to pack their t-shirts, that I would be happy to take them to Cambodia. Jen Lemen and Mom2Amara graciously donated t-shirts and I got three business cards from tech companies with an offer of t-shirts. Tara Hunt pledged a variety of t-shirts from Valley Schwag, thanks! In addition, I'd like to thank Britt Bravo who gave her covered AOL laptop bag to schlep home the t-shirts from BlogHer and to Gina Trapani for donating her extra t-shirts.
- Find other ways to support other causes while getting support for yours. Here's an example. I ran into Candance Nast at the final reception. I immediatley noticed her Creative Commons t-shirt. She told me that she bought because she saw the photo on my blog with my kids wearing my t-shirt. She suggested that I get some Creative Commons supporters to purchase t-shirts from Creative Commons and send them to me. We made a video. I posted it to the Creative Commons Facebook group. Next thing I know I got an email letting me know that Larry Lessig pledged 14 Creative Commons T-shirts.
- There are even small ways that you can support other causes or people who contribute your campaign. For example, the video blogging kits that I will purchase on Amazon - I will use the affiliates link for freevlog. And, since I raised an additional $15 over goal, I used that money to purchase a t-shirt from the donor who put the campaign over the top!
- Find creative ways to thank people. While visiting the BlogHer exhibits, I stopped by the Scrapblog booth to say hello because I'm huge fan. Alex de Carvahlo donated a bunch of their t-shirts to take to Cambodia and I took a photo of him presenting me the t-shirts. However, I thought it would make a great thank to create a scrapblog thank you. It's here.
- Acknowledge on your blog! I was amazed that I received donations from many people I didn't know face-to-face, but were in my various networks AND from around the world. This young Cambodian blogger working in Singapore contributed $5! I plan on writing the thank yous on my blog to everyone who donated between now and my departure in a way that also provides some tech learning content.
- It always helps to have celebrity endorsements of your cause! I didn't know any celebrities, but at the final reception at the BlogHer Conference I met Amy Sedaris. After working up my nerve to approach her (it took a glass or two of that delicious Hess Collection wine), I told her about my project and she agreed to make a campaign video on the spot!
- Don't be afraid to experiment with other social media channels, but make sure you've been a member of the community first. I've been using Twitter and I started posting tweets about the campaign and everytime I did, I got some contributions. The last leg of the campaign was raised primarily on Twitter. The final dollars from the campaign from someone seeing my twitter and it is quite an amazing story and finale to this campaign.
This is going to be a very busy 20 days while I madly complete other work before I go, make travel arrangements, and create instructional materials.