Friday, July 13, 2012

TCS World 10K fund raising

It's now official. The TCS World 10K 2012 Bangalore raised about Rs 3.06 crores for 84 NGOs that were registered with Bangalore Cares, the official charity partner for the event. Releasing the charity docket on 11th July 2012, Mr Murray Culshaw of Bangalore Cares said that this international race has emerged as the best platform for NGOs in Bangalore to create awareness about their cause and to raise funds for their work.     

This was the first time that PNLIT participated in a fund raising event and we are happy that we could raise Rs 37,301/-. While some of the donations came through the PNLIT page on the Bangalore Cares website and through direct efforts, a significant amount of Rs 14,000/- was raised by 10K runner Abhijith Rao. Our sincere thanks to him, to all the donors and to the other 10K runners (Farhana Ritesh, Sanjeev Daithankar, Subramanyam Putrevu, K.P. Suresh, Jayaraman) and their friends who helped in creating awareness by wearing PNLIT bibs during the 10K run. We look forward to your support for future fund raisers too.
During one of the NGO interaction events organised by Bangalore Cares, NGO reps were sharing experiences and ideas on getting people to donate towards their causes. When it was PNLIT's turn, despite the media exposure we have had, many people present had never heard of PNLIT. So some time was spent in talking about our trust, what we are doing, how we have been managing the lake with individual donations and the challenges we face in fund raising. 

Though we get a lot of appreciation for saving a water body and looking after it, when it comes to financial and physical support, our general experience has been that people are reluctant to give money or volunteer for a "still lifeless" government-owned lake and prefer healthcare, education, children, underprivileged, disabled. PNLIT had first hand experience of this - we got an overwhelming response for our Puttenahalli Government School Charity collection whereas other requests for donations to the lake went by with minor responses. (There have been exceptions though - which is why we've got the donations and volunteers that we have.) At present we manage with about Rs 20,000/- per month but to be comfortable without compromising requirements at the lake we need Rs 40,000 - 50,000 (Rs 5-6 lakhs per annum). We're trying to build a corpus and make the lake a self-sustaining replicable model through other activities.   

The Association for People with Disabilities (APD) has been a major 10K fund raiser and this year they raised a whopping Rs 72.17 lakhs! One of APDs top fund raisers, a dignified old man was listening to woes of inexperience. Apparently, he does not use the internet and all his fund raising is through postcards/ snail mail and face-to-face meetings. 

"How many houses do you have around the lake area?", he asked. 

Doing a very rough calculation... Brigade Millennium - 500, South City - 1000, Brigade Gardenia - 1000, Pioneer Paradise - 300, Brigade Palm Springs - 1000, Sobha Tulip, Elita Promenade plus all the independent houses... "About 5000". 

He had comments and suggestions on his fingertips, including some listed below.
- When you ask for donations, remember you are not asking for yourself, so don't feel embarrassed to ask.  
- Do a house to house, building to building campaign. Rs 100/- per house - This will get you your Rs 5 lakhs for the year. People spend so much on so many unnecessary things. Rs 100/- once a year for a lake in their neighbourhood... it is a duty! 
- Get retired people and youngsters to help.
- Get the locality RWAs to collect and contribute on behalf of the residents.
- Let the donation collectors carry receipt books with them.
- Don't be embarrassed to be a nag! Follow up with people who say they'll give later. Sometimes people genuinely intend to give but they truly forget.
- If people say they have already donated to some other organisation, suggest that next time they can divide the amount with you.     
- Get people who work in offices to get their colleagues to donate. Some people earn Rs 10,000/- a day! They will surely give you Rs 100/-. You may even get Rs 1000/-.
- Don't exclude the old pensioners. Retired people have limited needs and most will be proud to part with Rs 100/- for charity.
- Get people who travel abroad to support you by getting their colleagues abroad to donate through them. A couple of dollars would make no difference there.
- Don't wait for the 10K next year. You can fund raise through the year.

All the advice of a very successful charity fund raiser recorded and saved, we look forward to your support to help us implement. We'll soon be knocking on the neighbourhood doors! 

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