Running for Change: How LetzChange Spread the Colours of Giving in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017

LetzChange - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017

LetzChange recently concluded the charity fundraising for Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017 as their official fundraising partner. It was a privilege for our team to enable close to 50 non-profits to leverage the widespread popularity of the event for raising funds.

This year, thanks to the dedication and hard work of several volunteers (of the partner NGOs), we have managed to raise a cumulative of Rs. 40 lakhs within a span of two months preceding the runs, which were held on August 19th and 20th, in Hyderabad.

How it all started

The journey started with LetzChange hosting the partner organizations for a workshop in Hyderabad, to teach and discuss with them the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising and how it was the most ideal way to expand their donor base. They were provided with a live demonstration on the method through which anyone could create campaigns for their charity and invite their friends to garner support. This would only them to find new avenues to reach out to potential donors and impact investors.

Participating in the workshop and understanding how to optimize not only the fundraising tool but features such as e-receipts, made charities realize how much they raise is directly proportional to the amount of effort they are willing to put into training their team and effectively communicating with their donors.

100% impact

The fact that we ensure 100% impact by not charging a single rupee from any donation implied more organizations came forward to participate in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017. Our team ensured their smooth onboarding on the platform after thorough verification of their registration and legal documents and trained them via presentations and informatory discussions.

NGOs too, were fast learners and put in a lot of hard work and used the platform exceptionally well. They rose to the occasion and optimized the media attention generated by the marathon to get more people talking about their cause and raising funds. Around 270 campaigns were created for the partner charities, gathering close to 1500 unique donations, till September 5th, 2017.

Culminating on a high…

The race day was exceptionally energetic, invigorating us with the excitement shown by the participants and NGO volunteers, leaving us with great memories. This proves that marathons are one of the best mass events to help charities in reaching out to more donors. The only thing required is to make them aware about this rising phenomenon and guiding them to use such events to their benefit.

Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2018, here we come! ūüôā

 

 

You are not disabled, until you think so! The motivational story of Dolly Sahare

To be able to fend for oneself, is the biggest source of independence, self-respect and self-confidence. Many people however are unable to get decent employment due to reasons not under their control. Many times, people need to put extra efforts to achieve something because they do not start from the same level as others.  Dolly was one such girl who had her share of hardships, owing to her hearing and speech impairment.

She had a humble beginning.¬† The family of five was raised by her mother, with the help of her brothers’ modest incomes after her father passed away.¬†Although the means available were limited, Dolly worked hard to fight the odds. She wanted to prove herself and become financially independent to support her family, just like¬†her brothers did.

Her disability however, brought another set of problems- her underdeveloped interpersonal skills.  Being the only member in her family with a disability, she had trouble expressing herself and as a result, did not make friends easily therefore limiting her social circle. She was excluded from the village community because of the severe communication barrier.  Her mother was quite worried because she could see Dolly struggling through her childhood years.

Nonetheless, Dolly worked on herself.  She studied up till 12th standard from a special school in Nagpur after which she joined a distance course in B.Com. Her loved ones, who always motivated her to do better in life, advised her to join Youth4Jobs.

Youth4Jobs provides vocational training to youngsters and hones them according to the needs of the industry.  She enrolled at the Nagpur Training Centre where she was taught English, Computers, Life Skills and received customised training in Hospitality. Not only did the acquired skill-set land her at a job with Le- Meriden Nagpur as a steward but she also gained more exposure by mingling with people from different walks of life, gaining from their experiences and becoming more confident in herself as a person. Dolly now earns an annual salary nearly equivalent to the combined salary of her brothers, along with numerous other perks. She saves a substantial amount that is sent home. She is extremely happy and her family is very proud of her!

She is one of the many persons-with-disability who have decided not to give up on life. ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ and organisations like Youth4Jobs & Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi are working to assist strong willed individuals like Dolly to carve a career and a create a quality life.

If you too want to motivate someone to be the best version of themselves, in spite of what life throws at them, log onto LetzChange to know more about how Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi is working to bring a positive change.

Fighting drug abuse: Building a new life!

Adolescence is a scary and fascinating period of life to be in. You are young and free, with not much responsibilities to shoulder and your entire life is in front of you. In a way, you are the master of your own destiny, willing to take risks and flirt with danger.

Karma was one such boy from Panipath. As a young and experimental child, he got exposed to cannabis pretty early in his school days and continued its regular use even after his marriage at the age of twenty. Moving out in search of work and making new set of friends gave him the opportunity to learn more about life.  Unfortunately, it also exposed him to newer substances to abuse. He started using injections and enjoying the euphoria that the recreational drugs gave him.

Slowly however, he developed a dependence on these substances and started losing touch of reality. Regular doping had an adverse effect on his overall health, decreasing his efficiency and ultimately, he lost his job due to irregular attendance.

One day he met one of the outreach officers of Turning Point Foundation (TPF) who was on rounds around injecting spots. Karma spoke to him and saw this as an opportunity to start afresh. He started visiting the TPF drop-in centre regularly and doing odd jobs. Recognising his interest in work, he was appointed as a peer educator.

He was one of the first few beneficiaries of the Oral Substitution Centre when it was started in the district hospital.  After one year of Oral Substitution Treatment he decided to leave drugs completely. It was during this time that he was appointed as a peer educator. Taking up responsibility to ensure that others do not fall into the vicious cycle, meant that he would have to discipline himself first, practice what he preached and continuously struggle in the period of recovery and relapse. As he was finding strength within himself by assisting others to fight with their drug problem, a generous donor from Germany extended financial support under the Peer Progression Program to sponsor vocational training for Karma’s wife, in sewing and tailoring. Later Karma got himself admitted in the TPF de-addiction centre while his wife opened a tailoring centre in their village.

Karma’s wife with her sewing machine, sponsored by the donor associated with Turning Point Foundation

Thanks to their own will to build a better life for themselves and the unfaltering support of volunteers as well as donors associated with Turning Point Foundation, Karma is leading a healthy and productive life. He is not dependent on drugs anymore and is the master of his own destiny, in the truest sense.

There are numerous people like Karma who fight with their own addictions, one day at a time. They are all in need of a helping hand, a savior to assist them in this journey. Offer someone a ray of hope today. Extend your support to Turning Point Foundation 

The Giving Premier League: a recap!

What started as an experiment to discover the most generous region in the country, left us in amazement, with a total or Rs 1.17 Crore being raised, over a period of 40 days, thanks to the contribution of 6772 supporters of the 105 NGOs participating.

Giving Premier League 2017 - Results

Empathetic East led the League with a cumulative of 3.3 lakh being raised with Parivaar Education Society raising the maximum amount of Rs 2.6 Lakh, followed by Northern Knights at 3 lakh where Project KHEL raised the highest in their team. The others, Heartland Heroes, Bengaluru Bravehearts and Chennai Changemakers raised approximately 1.8 to 1.5 lakh.

LetzChange allows NGO supporters to raise funds by launching campaigns, where they can invite their friends, family and involve their connections. The whole idea of leveraging their social network to raise resources for the cause that they are passionate about, was well recorded this time as approximately 74% of the total funds raised, i.e. Rs. 73 lakh+ has been collected on these campaigns itself.  A huge token of appreciation to Deepa Araganji (Vidya Poshak) and Poornima Achari (Vidya Poshak) as well as Navin Vishnoi (Sant Singaji) for campaigning for their organizations and securing the highest number of donations.

The Giving Premier League was an attempt to bring the people of the country together, to develop their region by making active contribution to NGOs in their zones. The teams were carefully divided, ensuring that each geographical part of India was well represented and each zone had a somewhat equal number of participating charities.

So we had Chennai Changemakers, Empathetic East, Bangaluru Bravehearts, Magnanimous Maharashtra, Heartland Heroes, Telugu Titans and Northern Knights in the running to prove that theirs is the most generous region in the country.

The NGOs are working for diverse causes, including childcare, education, women empowerment, skill development and livelihood. It was a brilliant opportunity for NGOs in zonal clusters, to collectively attract people/ potential donors and showcase the multiple activities undertaken by them to serve their beneficiaries.

Every year LetzChange hosts the fundraising challenge to incentivize NGOs to garner resources by offering a matching grant up to a certain percentage, according to how much the organization has raised. However the previous formats usually asked for linear thinking on part of NGOs, to get more donors or persuade them to donate more.  However this year, what was different was the grouping of 10 to 12 NGOs together, whereby some were well established in the development sector and others lacked exposure. It was an attempt to make the NGOs learn from one-another about better utilization of the LetzChange portal for raising funds as well as leveraging the massive reach of social media to draw attention to their cause.

Throughout two months that the League Challenge was ongoing, the team managers assisted NGO founders/persons-of-contact of charities, to understand their strengths and weaknesses and leverage this opportunity to maximize their incoming donations as well as win the highest amount as matching grant.

The NGOs raising the maximum amount along with the highest number of unique supporters would have received a matching grant of 30% and 25% respectively however, no participating NGO would have left the league disheartened as LetzChange assured a minimum of 15% as matching grant for every participating NGO. The rest would have won based on their performance, depending on the slab system as given below.

Slab System for rewarding participating NGOs

All NGOs have a different set of strengths and weaknesses, depending on their volunteer network, beneficiary network or corporate partnership and multiple other factors that contribute to its growth and well-being. This is that time of the year when NGOs come together to put in concentrated efforts to achieve targets. It’s beautiful to see volunteers passionately work towards making their organization win the highest prize money by optimizing their strengths in accordance with the basic ground rules laid out.  They are willing to conduct live events, push their boundaries to reach out to more and more donors as well as undertake innovative campaigns during this time.

The most successful NGOs are those that have worked hard throughout the year, putting in consistent efforts to communicate their vision and providing regular updates about their performance, to their beneficiaries a well as volunteers. Networking takes time, so does adoption of technology. And the best performing NGOs are those, who, year after year make efforts to be better at not only the former but patiently help donors understand the ease with which they can use the portal and the simplicity in social giving that they can experience.

The results were unexpected. For the longest time Heartland Heroes was leading with Northern Knights in tow. However, weeks before the ending, Empathetic East took a lead as Parivaar Education Society charged ahead and finished first!

The Giving Premier League was a joyous experience indeed, engaging the entire team in the planning and execution of the campaign, from the very scratch.  While the team saw a brilliant ending to the financial year, one can only imagine what the future holds for the championship in the years to come.

Giving Premier League 2017: The Journey That Was

Giving Premier League 2017

What happens when the entire nation comes forward to give?

The Giving Premier League, an initiative to help Indian charities in expanding their donor base through empowering tools and rewards, was concluded on March 25th, 2017 and the results were exemplary, to say the least. With the intention of bringing awareness about non-profits that are contributing towards the welfare of the society, the potential donors were enthused to make a contribution to the charity or a cause of their choice.

Non-profits from across the nation engaged in fundraising in the digital space as they represented teams from seven different regions across India, with the ‚ÄėEmpathetic East‚Äô team, comprised of NGOs from West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Bihar, emerging the winner by raising a total of over Rs. 26 lakh . As a contributing grant for the winning team, LetzChange‚Äôs partner organization Letz Dream Foundation matched 30% of the total amount raised by the qualifying NGOs of the Empathetic East, thereby taking their total donation value in excess of Rs. 33 lakhs. The second position in the League has been secured by the ‚ÄėNorthern Knights‚Äô team, comprised of NGOs from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who raised more than Rs.¬†24 lakh.

Giving trends observed at the culmination of the competition revealed that education was the most preferred philanthropic cause for donors, with more than 60% of the total donations raised for non-profits in the education sector. Parivaar Education Society, a Kolkata based organization working for the overall care and development of underprivileged and vulnerable children, including orphans, street children, abandoned and impoverished children from tribal areas, collected the maximum funds of over 26 lakhs, followed by Sant Singaji Education Society, a co-educational college with a focus on educating the rural youth, based in Madhya Pradesh, which collected almost Rs. 14 lakh. The Society for Development Activities, based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, collected over Rs. 11 lakh for their flagship initiative ProjectKHEL that uses the concept of play and fun as development tools to engage with children and impart life skills education.

The aim of exercises like these is to remove physical barriers that stop prospective donors from contributing to society, by allowing them to use our dependable platform along with their own social networks, to raise funds for the causes they believe in.

 

Fundraising @ LetzChange: Making the Experience Better  

At LetzChange, we are always working hard to find better ways to allow people to communicate and raise funds from their social networks. In the recently concluded Giving Premier League, we promoted the fundraising tool, which enabled people to urge their social contacts to support their campaign for charities, via personalized emails. What came as a sheer encouragement for our efforts was that a lot of campaigners used the service, which resulted in more than 22,000 invites being sent in the 40 days.

We always recommend that fundraisers select and segregate their contacts and only send invites to those who they think will be interested in the said campaign. However, we are changing the way this communication used to take place as it was observed that there were attempts to send mass messages to their out of date contact lists, resulting in a lot of hard bounces (unsent emails).

To make the entire process better, we are now allowing people to connect their own Google accounts to their LetzChange profile. In doing so, the invites and thank you emails will be sent from the person’s own account, instead of our servers. This will make the invites more personal, giving them a better chance of landing in the recipient’s inbox instead of spam and allow invitees to have successful conversations. Our servers will also manage sending the messages in batches, so that we comply with the limits set by Google.

We hope the experience of fundraising at LetzChange will only get better, as our team strives to come up with more tools that help our partners scale up, without any hurdles.

#GivingPremierLeague: Introducing Teams and Crossing the 25 lakh mark

LetzChange is proud to announce the launch of the Giving Premier League, India’s first ever fundraising challenge where we are curious to find the most generous region in the country.

This is where NGOs, working to serve various causes have been clubbed together based on their geographical region to form teams. These are teams of hardworking Samaritans who have dedicated their lives to bring about a change because they believe that their vision, passion and initiative can make a difference in this world. This is their chance to not only network with other like-minded people in the region but also appeal to generous donors to contribute in the development of their region.

After putting in gruelling amounts of effort to ensure that each Team was well balanced and had equal number of NGOs as well as a good chance of winning in the league, here’s presenting the teams for this year!!

Bengaluru Bravehearts

Telugu Titans

Chennai Changemakers

Empathetic East

Northern Knights

Heartland Heroes

Magnanimous Maharashtra

Each state is well represented and each team has a mix of NGOs that are representing multiple causes like education, child care, women’s welfare, elderly care, etc.

The biggest giving league is on, in the first twenty days itself we have crossed the 25 lakh mark, every 10 minutes there is a new donation coming in and the social media feed is buzzing with #GivingPremierLeague.

The LetzChange team is really excited and brimming with active arguments and sometimes cheeky insults as Regional Managers defend their teams passionately.

It’s getting crazy competitive in here, and we want your help to win. So what are you waiting for? Lend your support to the NGO you find most deserving in your region here.

 

Introducing Giving Premier League 2017: India’s Biggest Fundraising Festival

With an aim to help NGOs complete their fundraising targets at the end of the financial year, ¬†LetzChange is proud to present the ‚ÄėGiving Premier League 2017.‚Äô This is a one of its kind online fundraising event where donors can contribute in the development of the region they hail from, by supporting the team that represents their home town.

Continue reading “Introducing Giving Premier League 2017: India‚Äôs Biggest Fundraising Festival”

From a Little Boy Running Away From Misery, to a Man Facing Challenges Head On

There are traffic signals in every part of the city and there are people associated with those crossings. While we might get accustomed to their faces but their existence becomes worth only a passing glance.

It‚Äôs almost as if we register their presence absent-mindedly and rarely do we pause to think of their identity. Rarely do we ponder about their past or the future that awaits them. And since ‚Äėthey‚Äô might not be closely related to us, their situation is not of immediate importance.

Many of them are run away kids, who have left their homes and families behind, in the naivete hope of finding a better world. One such child was Brijesh, who, fed up of his family, for they gave up on the mischievous child who got scolded wherever he went.

Continue reading “From a Little Boy Running Away From Misery, to a Man Facing Challenges Head On”

Gramin Samassya Mukti Trust: Creating Opportunities for the Deserving

In the Hindi movie Talaash, Kareena Kapoor who plays an escort makes a heart wrenching statement ‚Äújinn logon ki ginnti hi nahi hoti, unke liye kya justice?‚ÄĚ And momentarily, going beyond our day-to-day concerns, we are forced to think about the plight of commercial sex workers.

Knowing that poverty doesn‚Äôt hold many doors open, we are forced to think about what could possibly serve as a beam of hope and happiness for Continue reading “Gramin Samassya Mukti Trust: Creating Opportunities for the Deserving”