Fundly Spotlight: The Ultimate Recycling Project

27 Jul

We’ve all been on camping trips or visited state parks where nature seems to call and we really don’t want to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, there is no voicemail for these situations so we muster up the courage to march up to a fly infested outhouse, take one last breath of fresh air, quickly take care of business, and bathe in Purell afterwards.

While this is an occasional inconvenience for most of us, it is a way of life for much of the world. Now imagine taking this necessary function and converting it into a sustainable way to create fertilizer to improve farming practices in countries that are impoverished. That’s exactly what Fundly customer Ecofinder Kenya is doing with the money they have raised through online fundraising.

Mike Skuja, founder of the Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment (CREE), realized that by supplying families with an Eco-San toilet the long term benefits to the community can be monumental. At a cost of only $950, “these toilets provide an easy and low-maintenance way to convert human waste to fertilizer through a chemical process of mixing the waste with ash, which, after several months can be safely used on cropland” explains Skuja. “These toilets are more sanitary than the existing pit latrines since they prevent the waste from seeping into the ground and contaminating the water table. Additionally, when combined with environmental education, these toilets help prevent human-wildlife conflict since more productive lands reduce the need for farmers to encroach on fertile wetlands territory, home to hippos and rare birds.”

When Skuja decided to create a Fundly page his goal was to raise $950 for the Otieno family who live on the shores of Lake Victoriain Kenya. Currently he has raised $956 with the help of 20 supporters and 21 donors. Skuja comments, “We have now raised the full amount, and are in the process of transferring the funds to Kenya to get the construction started. We will keep our donors and supporters updated as the construction of the toilet continues.”

What tips would Skuja give to other Fundly users?

  • Add a Video to Tell Your Story – “We think that a compelling video is very useful. We felt that it was important for potential donors to be able to see the Lake Victoria area, and hear from a member of the Otieno Family herself.”
  • Make it Simple – “It is important to give clear, non-technical explanations of what the campaign is about, and why it is worthy of support.”
  • Vary Your Giving Levels – “It is important to have a wide range of giving levels. Our donations for this campaign ranged from $.50 to $200, but we were glad to have the support of our donors at all levels.”
  • Use Your Inner Circle – “Value your inner circle. In our experience, it was these people who really understood the mission of the organization, and the potential of the project. While we were able to draw in others – including some funders who had never heard of CREE – it was this inner circle that donated early and actively publicized this campaign through their own networks.”
  • It’s All About Marketing – “We utilized three primary marketing channels: direct outreach, Facebook, and Twitter. We sent personalized emails to existing supporters of CREE and of the Dunga Wetlands Project… We posted on the CREE Facebook page 11 times from June 10 to July 18. In this way, we were able to galvanize a few supporters who had, up until that time, been more passive, as well as to give the CREE supporter-base updates about a current initiative in Kenya.We used Twitter as a way to attract potential supporters who might not already know about CREE’s work. We used very intentional use of hashtags and other Twitter mechanisms to try to land on the radar of people who were interested in sanitation or human-wildlife conflict, but were not yet aware of the work of CREE. Over the course of this short campaign, we tweeted a total of nine times.”

 

A big thank you to Mike and Ecofinder Kenya for sharing their tips!

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One Response to “Fundly Spotlight: The Ultimate Recycling Project”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. You Ask, We Answer: The Future of Crowdfunding « Online Fundraising Blog - Jul 30 2012

    […] testing our product, partnering with our clients to gauge their successes (check out our weekly Fundly Spotlight), and analyzing market and fundraising […]

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