Sára Zörgő, head of the Little Flower of Life Foundation, was one of the guests on a joint podcast by NIOK and Hive Mind. The foundation helps parents, families and siblings of children with disabilities by offering experiential programmes, stress management and relationship counselling, funding training courses and even purchasing equipment. Their very first crowdfunding campaign was recently finished, run entirely by Sára, who started the foundation as a mother of a disabled child herself. In the podcast, she talks about what she has learnt and what she will do differently in her next fundraising campaign.
"With you, we can now create the opportunity for caregiving mothers to get jobs. Working as a home care mother is important because it creates the opportunity for freedom. It gives mothers the opportunity to work part-time or at home, to take the burden off their overburdened shoulders. When the quality of life of the mother in a home-care family improves, it makes the life of the whole family better. Donate now to set a mother free and make a family's life easier." (Excerpt from the campaign call.)
The campaign, called Mothers within the four walls - give the key to freedom, ran for a month and a half and finally reached its goal of raising €1200 to fund courses for three mothers. The Foundation - in which everyone is a volunteer - also learned a lot, and they shared their experiences with us, from which we highlight 5 tips.
Find an outside eye to help shape the message
They asked a friend, a copywriter, to help craft the final message. Having worked on the cause for years, it was clear to the Foundation’s team why this was important, why they were asking donations for this specific thing. However, this made it difficult for the texts to appeal to a wide audience, and for those who were not involved to instantly understand it. So the texts and message ideas they had collected were passed on to the volunteer helper, who turned them into a simple text that others could relate to.
Be open to change on the go
The original idea was to use photos that showed the vision they wanted to see: mothers studying, working mothers, women sitting in front of laptops. However, while this was the aim, they were not compelling enough. When they realised this, they changed tactics and used photos showing home care and hardship. Then there was a noticeable surge in donations.
Crowdfunding is not just about money, it's about so much more
Although it was successful in terms of funds raised and enabling three mothers to study, this was far from the only result of the campaign. Multiple prospective volunteers reached out to work with them in the longer term and they received several free course offers in addition to donations, which multiplied the number of mums they could help.
Don't underestimate social media
Facebook was the main channel for the campaign, as this is the platform where the foundation is most active. Sára learned the ins and outs of Facebook advertising sitting on her sofa in the mornings. Spending a few euros on advertising really boosted their reach, so the "investment" paid off. However, despite the success, she decided that in the future, if they were to start a new, larger campaign, she could do it with the help of a competent volunteer: even if we know the platform as users, ad management requires more expertise.
Use the results of the campaign for future use
They recorded interviews and videos with mothers who received funding for courses from the campaign, which will be used by the Foundation in social media and newsletters. The fact that they can see who their donation has helped is good feedback for the donors and strengthens the bond with them. It is also good material for showcasing the work of the organisation, which can introduce many people to the work they do through personal stories.
+1 Go for it!
"My message to anyone who is just getting started is to go for it, because in addition to the funds, the campaign is making an incredible difference to the work of the Foundation. So be brave! I did it almost on my own and I didn't have any difficulties, I can only be grateful for the fact that I learned a lot, I gained a lot of experience [from the campaign]." (Sára Zörgő, Director of the Little Flower of Life Foundation)
The podcast is available in Hungarian, but you can find more English content on Hive Mind's Spotify channel.
Background illustration: Photo by Prazis Images from shutterstock / shutterstock license