Thursday, September 4, 2008

My 2008/09 Giving Project

Over the last few months I have been working on raising awareness - and ultimately funds - for SALVEASERRA, an organisation in Brazil that is working to reduce poverty, encourage sustainable land use and restore part of the Atlantic Forest (possibly the most engdangered tropical forest area in the world).

I am primarily using the internet to achieve my goal for this project - which is to raise the full amount required for their GlobalGiving 'Trees and Education' project - $60,000. Given that I am a fundraising novice, this is a fairly ambitious target.

I have been using Razoo without a great deal of success. It seems like a site with great potential, but is very quiet and there doesn't seem to be a lot happening there or many active members.

I have also been trying Zazengo. Its a great platform, and it also has the fantastic widget you see in my sidebar. But once again, there isn't a great deal of action/discussion/networking going on.

The other platform I have been using is Care2. I have been a member of Care2 for years and I love the site! I have recently joined several discussion groups related to both fundraising and rainforest protection. I post something at least once a week to try and stimulate discussion. I also have the RSS feed of my How to Make a Difference blog directed there.

So far, these platforms haven't generated a lot of response. But they have meant that SALVEASERRA has a much greater presence in the search engines - which can't be all bad.

I have also created a great toolbar for How to Make a Difference that links to the site and will - when enough people download it - generate a monthly donation for SALVEASERRA. You can download it here.

My other fundraising campaign at the moment is selling fantastic organic cotton t-shirts from WE ADD UP. I have signed up to their affiliate programme and have used a free Google Adwords credit to advertise. It has been moderately successful so far - but I have yet to achieve the $50 payout amount.

I was hoping to have been able to make my first contribution to SALVEASERRA (via GlobalGiving) at the end of August. But it hasn't worked out that way. However, I feel that I have made a positive start. Traffic to How to Make a Difference is increasing slowly but steadily which will help the cause even more.

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