NetChick: This Chick's Life
1. Tell me about you I'm Tanya Davis, aka "NetChick" online, based in beautiful Vancouver, BC. I'm 38, and I've been blogging my personal life for 11 years. I'm passionate about writing, technology, and building communities both online and "in real life". My blog is "This Chick's Life. I recently announced there that I'll be running a half marathon in Orlando FL for Team Diabetes. (My first run of any significant length)
2. Why is diabetes your cause? Diabetes has touched my life in several very personal ways. Not only does type 1 diabetes run in my family, with 3 family members suffering from this very debilitating disease, but I also have four close friends who suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A local radio announcer in Vancouver (Buzz Bishop of 95Crave) approached me to join his 95CRAVE Team Diabetes crew, a group of passionate runners raising money to support the Canadian Diabetes Association. It was a no-brainer for me, despite the daunting $4500 minimum pledge goal that I'm now working towards, as I knew that this disease not only touches my family, but millions of others in North America, as well.
3. What is your progress on your fundraising goal?
As I've only recently taken on this challenge, I'm currently at $700 in funds raised to date. My next goal date is September 1st, when I need to have raised $1500. By October 1st, my next goal arrives, and I need to have raised $3400, and finally, December 1st, my final goal date arrives, where the remainder is due, totalling the $4500 in pledges. I have two ways that I'm doing the majority of my fundraising... A $500 cash giveaway on my blog as an exciting incentive to give to my campaign, and an event that I'm organizing in October, to also fundraise and raise awareness.
4. What have you learned about personal fundraising that might be helpful to other bloghers? Personal fundraising is challenging, and what I've learned about raising funds for any campaign is to ensure that I have enough time to commit to the cause, pick a cause that personally touches me, and find unique ways to inspire others to give, as everyone is bombarded regularly to support causes of all kinds. Telling a personal story ensures your message gives others a personal reason to give, as well.
There are some interesting ways people are connecting and using social media to raise money for Diabetes. One of my favorites was Alan Levine (Cog Dog Blog), who ran a marathon last year. He used a blog campaign, but he also tweeted during his breaks while the race was on!
The Diabetes Hands Foundation, a non profit that operates two niche social networks for people touched by diabetes: TuDiabetes (in English, with close to 4,000 members) and EsTuDiabetes (with close to 1,000 members, which is turning it into the main community destination for Spanish-speaking diabetics). Both are growing very rapidly, as you can read here.
I asked Manny Hernandez, the founder of TuDaibetes, what advice he would offer Tanya. His advice was about online community building, helping set expectations, and also gave some specific tips:
1. If you haven't done it yet, you should join TuDiabetes.com. You could blog about your fundraising effort in the community and include a link to your page for it on your profile page: we just passed 4,000 members yesterday, so that will definitely give you some targeted visibility.
2. Do some networking with other people. We have a few hundred members from Canada, many of whom "hang out" in the Canada Diabetes group.
3. Use Twitter. I noticed the team you are a member of is Buzz Bishop's. I have been following him on Twitter for a while, and he's gotten quite a bit of attention through Twitter for the fundraiser. You would need first to work on getting more people (friends, other people you know) to follow you and then, periodically, post updates about your initiative.
If you are looking for a good blog about diabetes, be sure to check out the Diabetes Mine written by Amy Tenderich.