There are two approaches to fundraising that I can think of: one is to come up with an angle so compelling that people pull out their wallets with a sense of urgency; the other is to think of an activity that is just too much fun to pass up. For my first campaign, I’ve chosen the latter. and judging from the photos, I think I’m succeeding.
Fundraising for a good cause should make both giver and receiver feel good. One shouldn’t give out of sense of guilt, nor should you feel you’re begging by asking.
But it is up to the fundraiser to make it a good experience. I don’t want people to avoid me when I come around. What I want is for them to be curious as hell as to what I’m up to this time.
Now, less than a month to the Moncton Youth Residences’ QUEST for 5 run/walk and to date I have 24 people photographed with my yellow shirt on. I haven’t been refused yet and this is good for my spirit. Sure, I’m only asking for $2 to sign my shirt, but even that can be annoying when it’s for tickets on something you don’t want or never expect to win.
The cost of the campaign has been minimal: some gas money, the shirt, and the fabric markers. But lots of time. Lots of time.
I’ve spent a lot of time getting the photos right, drawing on all my photography and Photoshop skills to make people happy to see themselves online. And I’ve spent lots of time getting the captions right so it shows I noticed them. That’s probably more difficult than the photography.
It’s not hard to see if someone looks good; but to say something that’s personal and non-trivial requires that you know something about the person. Yet some of the people I’ve only just met so I have to pay particular attention to remember something from a 30 second shoot. That’s where lots of photos comes in.
A subject’s reaction to my rapid-fire photography usually catches them off guard enough to get an authentic and therefore unique reaction. And a solid 10 photos or so usually gives me enough story to write something about them that is directly related to the moment we shared. And so far I’ve come up with something about everyone. None of the captions has been particularly insightful, but all of them have shown my supporters that they’re more than just a source of $2.