Initiative accelerates ideas into action

A little while ago I had a little notion for a blogging challenge and was waiting for the right time to launch it. Little did I know what form that would take – a challenge that raised over $1500 in just a few days for women in poverty! So how did this happen?

Thinking Ahead – Ideas for a rainy day
While I was arranging the last fundraising event and making mental notes of things that were working, and things that I would do differently, I came up with an idea. I wanted the next creative challenge to be really simple and the word ‘Tribute’ came to mind. I wanted to honour the women in the Philippines who were taking steps into working their way out of poverty.

Opportunity Arises –  social networking serendipity
One morning I friended the friend of a friend on Twitter. I never expected him to follow me back  with a direct message the next day, asking me to call their offices. When I rang, I never expected to be having a conversation about a potentially significant donation to my fundraising project for Women’s Opportunity.

Money changes everything – respect the community
I had a weekend to think about the ideas they suggested and think up a project. I read up about Incentive House. I had to consider what I wanted to achieve (awareness of the Philippines, fundraising) and how I could still respect and create something that my online community would appreciate. I wanted this to be as authentic as possible (at least, as authentic as corporate sponsorship can get). Suddenly my ‘Tribute’ idea sprung back to mind. By Monday I shared my idea for a paid blogging challenge ($100 per post donated to Opportunity International) and soon after the initiative was launched,  raising $1300 in just a few days through the generosity of bloggers around Australia.

Sharing Ideas – social media sanity check
Before launching the initaitive I vetted the idea with a social media friend Des Walsh to get his feedback, which was all positive and helpful! He even interviewed me later on for the Social Media Show to get some more information about microfinance and this project. Subsequently I received two more donations creating an additional US$200 donation.

Experience –  investing time where it matters
I didn’t just have an idea that was suddenly funded. There have been a number of good people in my social network who have been involved in creating some awareness about poverty in the Philippines, trust banks and microfinance.  Together some amazing people have been collaborating with me to create slideshows, blog posts, tweets and finding all kinds of ways to help create some publicity for the entrepreneurial poor, from the Women’s Investment Slides, to the Beyond challenge, SOS09 and this recent Tribute project . Not every project has had equal success in raising significant funds, but I feel it’s a collective contribution that helped get to this point.
I was thrilled to see that the ‘Tribute’ blogging challenge for donations worked, and that it was well received. Which leads me to wonder ‘what’s next?’  This project seems to have created a little buzz with other Australian corporate sponsors, and I’m talking to some more for another project I’ve had in mind for some time (hint…email wonderwebby at gmail.com if you want to be involved!) More details to come!
Intiative – the first step to great things
When you take the initiative to help make a difference, (no matter how big or small the effort) your contribution might end up accelerating other ideas and initiatives way beyond your imagination. I really value the energy that many people have taken to write blog posts, make donations, tweet, retweet and encourage me along the way.  What about you? Are you ready to leap into a project? Every jump counts!


Image originally uploaded by Ryan C Anderson