Sometime last semester I stumbled upon Indiegogo while browsing Tumblr. I thought it was an interesting idea and mentioned it to Brin, the founder of the African SOUP (an organization I’ve worked with for a few years). This semester, we decided to go for it. I found myself making plans, putting together material, and getting ready for a huge campaign. Most Indiegogo campaigns are several weeks long. We decided to push the limit and make ours 10 days.
There were a lot of components to putting together the campaign before we’d even launched, and a lot of the preparations happened to be the things I normally do for the SOUP (fancy that!). I found myself writing content, updating our old video, putting together graphics, arranging our perks… Luckily a very talented freshman stepped in to make new videos and I had some help from a coworker getting interviews with our founder!
We launched on Tuesday, April 16. My life became stuffed with work and school projects during the day, and a good two hours of media prep every night. I learned how to navigate Hootsuite and schedule every post. I also learned a lot about management, asking people for money, and strategy for getting donations. My supervisors in Philanthropic Communications were particularly helpful in giving advice and encouragement throughout the campaign.
By day 9 of the campaign, we were still about $2000 short. Even though I was beginning to resign myself to not making it, I still pushed friends and family to promote and give. I even auctioned off my graduation outfit—telling people they could donate funds to go toward me wearing a medieval bodice to graduation, or they could save my dignity and vote the other way. (Funnily enough, no one tried to save my dignity.) Donations started pouring in from all fronts, and by 11:00 that night we passed our goal! We ended up making about $6400 total!
It was a fantastic feeling to make the goal, especially after all the hours of work that went into it. I’ve never done anything like that before, and now I know a lot more about how to organize a campaign, motivate staff, and gain donors. A great ending to my time with SOUP.