The Truth About Fundraising.WINE & BEER-2

When I talk about the fundraising work that I do for the organization I started, CleanBirth.org, I often hear in response, “I could never ask people for money.”

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a choice. When I began providing moms with life-saving birth supplies, in partnership with a local NGO in Laos, I used my own funds. Happily, the $5 kits proved effective and more moms wanted the sterile, convenient supplies that prevent deadly infections in moms and babies. How could I say no?

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So I promised to fund as many kits as were needed.

Since we began in November 2012 we have provided 4,000 birth kits to moms and training for 180 nurses and staff.

 Knowing that my own funds couldn’t sustain the project, I told my story to others. I wasn’t great at promoting the project at first but many friends and family supported me anyways. The tagline: $5 Saves 2 Lives in Laos proved irresistible.

Now 3 years on, the project has grown beyond my own social network. Thanks to bloggers at World Moms Blogs and others, we have extended our reach worldwide.   I am constantly touched by the simple notes of support that accompany donations from complete strangers:

Thank you for doing what you do for mothers and babies!

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Another great aspect of fundraising is working with others who want to share their special gifts to make birth safer. One example is a fun collaboration happening now for Mother’s Day. World Moms Blogger and photographer Ewa Kuc of Ewa Samples Photography in the Bay Area has developed awesome Mother’s Day photo session packages. A full 40% of the profits go to CleanBirth.org!

In my almost 3 years doing this, I have come to appreciate that fundraising is a give and take proposition.

I’m not just taking money but giving something to donors: a feeling of making a positive impact in the world; the piece of mind that comes from donating to a transparent, registered organization; or a tangible gift to give a loved one.

One such gift, our $10 Mother’s Day cards, honor mom or grandma & provide 2 moms in Laos with Clean Birth Kits.

So the truth about fundraising is that I do ask for money. (Please click here to buy our Mother’s Day cards!! J) But I also get to connect with many generous people who are committed to making their world a better place. We each give, and we each take. Not so scary after all.

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What benefits do you receive from donating or volunteering with a non-profit?

 This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Kristyn Zalota, the founder of Clean birth.org

Photo credits Kristyn Zalota.

 

 

Kristyn Zalota

Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to CleanBirth.org. She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment. After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of CleanBirth.org. She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.

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