An overview of our first Winter/Spring of fundraising:
Almost immediately after the Vision Nepal School Project kicked off, money began to fly in. From the donations of a few generous college students, we were sitting at around $8000 raised within the first two weeks. At that point, we thought the money would be raised in a matter of months. We were wrong, but in a strange way, we were glad that the money did not fall straight into our laps.
It made us step up, it made us persevere and take ownership of what we were doing. It forced us to be innovative and get some skin in the game. We began by doing work-days for people in our community. We did other’s dirty work in exchange for donations towards the school, and to be honest, it was a lot of fun.
Our next fundraising project was ordering 300 Nepal themed t-shirts. They were generously sponsored by The Hat Shop, and we began to “sell” them to our families and friends. Below is a picture of us “modeling” (a term I use loosely) the shirts:
Our last fundraising push that spring was a concert. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that none of us had any idea what we were doing. None of us had put on a major concert before, but we decided we were going to go for it regardless. We rented out Kane 130 (one of the biggest lecture halls at the UW) and invited everyone we could think of. It was an absolute scramble and we didn’t have a sound system until the day of the concert.
Thanks to the generous outpouring of energy and time by many people, the concert happened. One of the musicians told me that he thinks there were 300 people in attendance. I think he was blowing sunshine our way, and a more realistic estimate would be around 150. Nevertheless, the concert was a great time to connect with others, share what we were doing, and listen to some great music.
Natalie Closner playing at the concert:
Mark Wagner and his band:
All things considered, we entered the Summer of 2011 with around $14,000 towards our goal raised. We learned a lot those first few months about the difficulties of fundraising and the joy of working together to turn a dream into reality, lessons we continue to learn today.