Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update to Handbook

New enquiries will receive the updated Handbook but we've added some help on Fundraising.

Fundraising promotes the work you are doing, the work AVIF is doing, the work our Kenyan partners are doing and raises awareness of the needs of the children in Kenya. It will also cover your travel expenses! It's not about paying for your airfare, its about getting you into Kenya, onsite, which is essential to the progress of our work.

Fundraising will draw friends and family together around a good cause and is an excellent entry to your CV.

Think carefully about your reasons for volunteering.
Remember these reasons throughout your fundraising.
Network - this means people helping people either financially or simply with advice and support.
Friends, family, everyone you know can help with brain-storming.
Ask all the people on your Christmas List !
Ask all the people on your email list, in your address book !

You can use AVIF's logos and images, as well as our FREE design services.
Get yourself a mature email address NOT
Be prepared for people to say NO.
Be innovative.

• Include your name and contact details together with the AVIF's name and contact details so donors know the work you will be doing has been arranged by a committed, REAL organisation. We will give you as much detail about the project you will be assisting with.
• Explain how your work will make a difference to the local community
• Include a short biography of yourself with your picture and reasons for volunteering abroad.

Make a list of companies, organisations, places and people who you think will be interested in your project and send the leaflet to them.

Letter/email writing is an essential element of fundraising.
Large businesses receive hundreds of letters asking for donations every year so you need to make sure it goes to the right person and make sure it stands out. Always address a particular person.

Business will be most interested in the positive contribution to their CSR (corporate social responsibility) and good citizenship obligations, whereas grant-giving organisations also take into account the personal development the experience will bring you as an individual.

Be brief and to the point. One page is enough but keep your reasons for volunteering in mind when writing.
If you know senior members of a company, or you live close to company headquarters, your request will stand more chance of success. Contact employers of your friends and family. Companies will be more inclined to donate money if they have some kind of link with the individual, or Kenya.

Say exactly how much you need to raise and why and ask for a specific donation. Deadlines are also important: give a time limit for people to make a donation.
The bigger the organisation, or wealthier the individual, the more you can ask for.

Offer something in return; a presentation of your experience after the trip for the company newsletter, updating an online blog for donors to read about your progress week by week, company acknowledgement on AVIF website, wearing the company logo on a T-shirt during your trip.

Telephone prospective donors. Many companies may read your letter and put it to one side – they may only be reminded about your request once you phone them to follow up.

Use the media
For help with media contacts, photographs or writing your press releases, contact AVIF.
If you know of any specific publications or contacts you would like to target, highlight them in your correspondence.

Send press releases to the appropriate editor or other media contact. If in doubt telephone, explain what you are doing and ask for the contact details of the most relevant people.

News is about “new” things and people.

Target your local newspapers, specialist magazines, company newsletters, local radio stations.
Create your own website e.g.
Put leaflets on your old school/college or on your university notice boards.

Ask your university or employer for their support.

Individual trusts have been set up to help people with worthy causes. Just Google Individual trusts.

The Directory of Grant Making Trusts – check your local library as this is expensive to buy. The CD ROM version is very useful as the directory lists 3,500 grant making trusts with extensive indices including geographical area, field of interest and type of beneficiary.
The Directory of Smaller Grant Making Trusts – covers more than 1,000 smaller trusts and is
useful for small-scale, local fundraising.
The Educational Grants Directory – contains a list of 1,200 local and national educational charities that support students.

Contact us with any questions.

, , , ,

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wise words from the volunteers

After brilliant results from the latest volunteers in Uhundha village, we've been discussing that necessary evil; Money.
I'd like to share some comments that we all need to remember, wise words indeed from Soraya & James, Summer 2007 volunteers. They kindly shared some photos with us too.

I strongly believe in transparency and honesty. AVIF has never been about money, our only wish is to assist in sustainable development. Of course there are costs involved in volunteering in Kenya, which is exactly why we don't charge fees on top, but since it is always a personal choice of the volunteer to travel over, AVIF only serves to make it a successful, inspiring experience for all concerned. Everybody wins.

Soraya explains ".....we paid 1500ksh [US$20] a week for fish or meat to be delivered twice a week and for some salad and tomatoes. I know this is a lot more than what it costs and seems extortionate compared to local prices....but we offered extra because of the small costs that most people don't realise these people incurred just to get food to us...such as petrol/motorbike fare to get to Usenge, and also the fact that if we ever received milk or tomatoes from someone's shamba [agricultural small holding], it was at the expense of them going without as much produce to sustain themselves...and for that reason we were happy to pay extra, and didn't feel like there was anything wrong with the people involved in helping us get local produce benefiting a little financially."

"We were extremely clear after our first meeting that we were not there to give money and everyone seemed to respect that so money never really became an issue". If each volunteer simply hands over money, "the danger is that this lovely community who expected nothing from James and I (and who were truly excited about doing things to help themselves by the time we left) will soon get used to being overpaid/receiving gifts and this would be very negative in the long term so I would be keen to work with you to make sure this doesn't happen - not only because I agree volunteers should not be taken advantage of...but most importantly because the whole point of sending volunteers should be about finding ways to improve self-sufficiency."

"....I think the key is reinforcing that the placement is unpaid, and that volunteers will discuss costs on arrival but not to go beyond that...otherwise it becomes too business like and it shouldn't be about reality, you cannot put a price on how much it costs to keep a volunteer so we did as much for ourselves as possible and gave very discreetly for anything that was provided for us."

I hope volunteers will take this advice.
Many thanks, Soraya

, , , , ,