Engaging Friends in your fundraising efforts

As I have fundraised for Suubi Health Center, friends have been my strongest allies.

Many times, our friends want to support our initiatives, but they need to know what to do. So while you seek for help, be specific about what you need from them. In the past couple of weeks, I have organized two fundraising events for the Suubi (Hope) Health Center. I worked with my friends on some parties- because music and dance usually bring our Minnesota community together. And of course, what beats partying for a good cause!

There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into it. And I am very grateful to my friends who supported the Kampala Night Event and the recently concluded SUUBI #turnup for a cause and made sure I did not go crazy. Thank you, thank you.

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Here are 6 activities on my event planning to-do-list where my friends came together to help make the events successful and raise funds for the construction of Suubi Health Center:

  • Securing a Venue: I reached out to one of my friends with extensive experience in organizing and promoting weekend party events including bringing artists such as Beenie Man. To be honest, I had no idea if he could assist me in looking for a free venue to hold a fundraiser party for Suubi. To my delightful surprise, when I asked for his help, he enthusiastically went to work and found a venue that we used for FREE!!!
  • Getting a DJ: One of my close friends enjoys playing music as a DJ, and he knows other DJs. When I requested him to DJ for our Suubi event, he was more than happy to do it! Better still, he invited another popular Kenyan DJ and they rocked the party with great music including Ugandan, Kenyan, Reggae, and Hip hop. My favorite song at the party was Sitya loss by Ugandan artist Eddy Kenzo – the one with those rock star Ugandan kids who are teaching us all how to dance. If you have not seen the video, click here.
  • Collecting donations at the door: Four of my friends volunteered to welcome people and collect donations at the door. We worked in shifts, with two people helping at a time.
  • Checking IDs and providing security at the event: This was probably one of the toughest ones for me to figure out. However, the answer is simple – ask your friends if they have any friends who have experience as security personnel- and if they would be willing to volunteer at a fundraising event. Again, this worked for me! I managed to get a kind volunteer to do security for our event.
  • Creating posters with information about Suubi: My artistically gifted friends from college helped me figure this out.  We used to reside on the same floor in the dorm; in fact, one was my roommate during our first year in college. We had not talked for a while; nonetheless, I reached out and asked for help. They were happy to get on board and created beautiful posters that were showcased at the event.
  • Promoting the event: Many of my friends helped to promote the event through email and their Facebook profiles.

So, make a to-do list and if you have friends like mine (thank you, my people!), you should have successful events.

Latifah is fundraising to help build Suubi Center in Budondo, Luuka district. She will be sharing her progress and her learning process here every Tuesday and hopes that it will be helpful for other Ugandan women who are running-or thinking about running- fundraiser campaigns. 

You can donate to her campaign here or copy+paste this url in your browser: http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/helping-rural-mothers-regain-their-dignity-and-health-/148917 

UPDATE: Latifah is back in Uganda right now and will be able to give status reports on the construction as well.

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