She fundraised, she came and she conquered! If i could… intern SriMilan shares her secrets to a successful fundraising campaign and what she has loved about Cape Town.
1) Fundraising is crucial to securing your position abroad. How did you devise your strategy for successful fundraising and which platforms and tactics did you choose?
The immediate objective was devising a timetable with respect to known income I could put monthly toward an overseas venture. With that information, I drafted a GoFundMe that included a break down of anticipated costs and what donor contributions would be spent on. Facebook was my primary sharing platform. In person interaction however, with my referral to where people could find the campaign, prompted the most donations.
2) If you diversified your fundraising efforts, which was your most successful activity – one you would recommend to others?
Start a GoFundMe. If you can generate a passive income to cover your program cost, flights, etc. you will have proactively eliminated one or more of your original expenses.
3) What was the biggest challenge you faced while fundraising?
Isolating the duration “sweet spot” for time spent in South Africa. Aside from sufficient funds, my career and ventures stateside had to be taken into account. How many weeks would serve me and after how many would begin to hurt me? I trimmed my internship from an anticipated three months to six weeks. The decision imposed a greater drive to hit the ground running and therefore, gave me focus.
4) How long did it take you to raise the minimum funds for your trip and how long in advance would you recommend starting?
Three months. Mind you, it would have been tight had I left for South Africa then and there. The GoFundMe enabled me to funnel my earned income toward anticipated living expenses as the campaign covered the program cost. Future interns, I would recommend building a timetable that accommodates your monthly income. Correspond the time out from your departure with your monthly profits.
5) What was the fun part of your fundraising experience?
The writing. Storytelling is my default mechanism. The GoFundMe campaign was an event to draft and ship a persuasive writing piece whilst conjunctively shedding light on an organization that fosters meaningful work opportunities.
6) Did you reach your fundraising goal and is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?
According to my GoFundMe, I fell short of the $2,500 goal. According to me, any donation was a contribution to a goal already attained. I gave myself enough time to earn in profits all anticipated costs. I did not want to find myself reliant on donations leading up to my internship. In hindsight, I would have liked to edit the campaign format and publish the written content on Medium.com with contact information available.
I would want to give the story precedent over asking for money.
7) You must have had a lot of learnings. What 3 tips can you pass on to others who are looking to fundraising as a way to fund their internship abroad?
- Write a well composed campaign that includes a compilation of images that provide insight as to who you are.
- Reach out to social media influencers and/or companies that may resonate with your campaign and reason for travel.
- Document on social media how you demonstrate your passion and/or mission now and link it to your campaign and social profiles.
8) Tell us about Cape Town and is the experience thus far what you expected? Do you have any highlights or low points to share?
Cape Town has my heart. A city interwoven with mountains and the sea at one’s fingertips; heaven. My excursion rapidly took shape. I fell into a directing role for a production of “Romeo and Juliet” and my internship evolved, sustaining a marketing focus. From an artist standpoint, opportunities to create continued to pop up everywhere. The people, as well, felt like an extension of my family.
9) Are there any particular tips you have now knowing what you know about Cape Town?
Find the gaps. If you are yearning to create value for your assigned non profit but have yet to be given the direction, brainstorm a personal project. Then do it. Not only will you have established a direction for your internship but you will have readily available content to present that demonstrates your ability as a professional.
10) What has surprised you on your internship thus far?
That the skill set I have cultivated thus far is of value to more people than I previously conceived. Cape Town has set a wonderful tone for launching my career, both as a creative and entrepreneur.
You can check out Sri’s GoFundMe campaign here.