Edhi Foundation Fundraising Experience

Muhammad Arbab Khan
5 min readApr 30, 2021

--

A Pakistani humanitarian, Abdul Sattar Edhi Saab founded the EDHI foundation which runs hospitals and orphanages across Pakistan. Before his death, Edhi was registered as a guardian of nearly 20,000 children. The Angel of Mercy, Mr. Edhi is considered Pakistan’s “the most respected” figure.

After the death of Edhi Saab, the foundation started to face problems. Currently, the charity ratio has dropped by about 25–30%, which is a very drastic drop for a totally functional foundation due to charity. So, Amal academy decided to fundraise for the foundation through fellows. We decided to organize fundraising week to encourage people to support Edhi’s mission.

We started with our homes, relatives, friends, and colleagues. It was very fearing and challenging, as it was our first experience to ask people for money for Edhi’s mission. But our team was very cooperative. While collecting funds we had a different experience and got comments. Some were very interesting and funny, and some were harsh and demotivating as well. Due to the COVID-19, the responses were so weird. We faced a lot of difficulties reaching out to the people because there are restrictions on public gatherings. So, we chose to take help from IoT. We made posters, used different social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and launched a campaign with the name of Edhi Foundation Fundraising Week.

Fear

When we heard about this project, we became excited that it is an entirely new activity, from which we can learn a lot. As expected, when we put our foot on the field for this activity, hundreds of fears stood around us. Firstly, fear of begging was an awkward thing for us. Everyone saw us as aliens, which makes us feel stupid, but later it became easy. As habits love to take fast but hate to leave us. Another was the fear of being rejected, if we will be rejected then what will we do? People asked a variety of questions from us i.e. who you all are? From which institute you are? What is the purpose of this activity? Are you sure that this money will be given to the Edhi foundation? etc. That too many questions which were asked by them made us fearful when we were giving answers.

Overcoming our fears

We mentally prepared ourselves that we are not in the race with people in our Amal fellowship groups. We tried our best to collect as much as we could. The experience was amazing. Our feet hurt by the end of the day. But the amount of the fund we collected was phenomenal and that was worth it. As far as how differently we should do the activity next time, we decided to add a few moving phrases next time. e.g. To tell people that their contribution can mount someone’s happiness. People gave funds happily and we received them humbly. The experience was probably one of the most genuine things that happened during that week.

Challenges that we faced.

There were a lot of challenges that at first did not appear to be a problem at all. But, once we started working, we realized that how important such small things can be. The list of challenges we faced are as follows:

1. Conveying message to the donor:

Conveying your message to the donors was the most important and challenging aspect of that campaign. We took some time, wrote thoughtful and impactful campaign descriptions of what we were hoping to achieve. And most importantly, told our audience that how their little contribution can change someone’s life.

2. Set a high amount to achieve our goal:

During the campaign, we demanded big amounts like 500 or 1000 PKR from donors. They were somewhat hesitant and might didn’t want to donate. So, we decided and focused on collecting money whatever people can spare, from coins to 100 or more. It was much better to set a realistic goal. Our collection proved that this was the right choice. Because, the majority of the people contributed, not much but something. And in the end, we were able to collect a good amount.

3. Staying Motivated Throughout Campaign:

Staying motivated throughout the fundraising campaign was one of the hardest challenges to overcome. Keeping up with energy and time to combat this obstacle by creating a campaign calendar and sticking to it, was not easy to be done. Especially, when we did not get enough charity from people. Despite all our efforts, it was the purity of the cause that kept us going and motivated.

4. Making Donors Feel Appreciated:

From an ethical point of view, the most important thing for us was to make our donors feel appreciated by thanking them. So, they might just donate again and tell their friends and family to donate. That way we were not just thanking them but paving the way for future donations as well.

When we started the activity, it was like, how difficult it will be to ask people for funding, it will be embarrassing for us if someone refuses, and it will be like we are street beggars, etc. But, when we were welcomed by 3–4 people and the people were pleased to help us in the name of Edhi Sb, we got the courage and enjoyed it.

It felt difficult when we were refused by some people, but these things are part of every activity. If you face difficulties with patience and courage, you will surely win a big reward for it. Overall, it was a great experience to collect funds for the Edhi Foundation.

--

--