Overcome the Challenges of Fundraising with Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing TipsOver the last few weeks, we have showcased the Jaycees primary public policy platform – the U.N.’s Millennial Development Goals. Chapters all over the country host thousands of events that raise awareness and help the United Nations come closer to completing their objectives. Unfortunately, the biggest struggle for any organization’s cause is coming up with the funds to help support their event. A great solution for these funding dilemmas is to turn to the digital fundraising tool known as crowdsourcing.

What exactly is crowdsourcing? It’s a little different from the traditional fundraising route in that the organization is trying to obtain contributions – money, items, ideas, etc. – from an undefined public. Fundraising efforts are primarily successful when working from a mailing list or another specifically— named group. Crowdsourcing can help you identify an audience to increase awareness, inspire people to volunteer, collect more information and roll right through the day of your event —all for a minimal investment.

So how do you get your philanthropic crowdsourcing efforts to reach maximum potential? Simplicity is key – be honest and forthright, why you need it and what donors can expect their funds to support. Whether you are soliciting uniforms for an underprivileged Little League team (if Mark Cuban can do it for the Mavericks, you can do it for deserving children!), raise funds for a local women’s shelter, or even for a trip to an international Jaycee Leadership Summit, people will only donate to a cause that they deem worthy.

Your local community crowdsourcing project will not only help to fund your philanthropic community efforts, it will also help drive engagement toward the Jaycees and make a positive impact on the organization of both the local and national level. Do you have any experience with crowdsourcing? Visit our Facebook or Twitter and share your experience with us!

7 Questions with Kris Wilke

Kris Wilke joined the Fergus Falls Jaycees in 1996 and was immediately nominated (and added) to its board. Because of her job at a local radio station, Public Relations Vice President (PRVP) was the perfect fit for her. After serving as PRVP, Kris then served in multiple capacities: President, Community Development Vice President, Management Vice President and Secretary. Kris has won numerous state awards, including Gold PRVP, Gold Secretary and Gold Jaycee. In 2010, Kris stepped up to the role of Regional Director (Region 1), a region that had not seen a regional director in more than a decade. Kris was able to make contact with all of her chapters in her region and get them involved. As a result of her hard work, Kris was awarded numerous awards: Gold Regional Staff of the Year, a Presidential Medallion, Silver & Bronze Regional Staff of the Trimester and a Silver Key.

The following year, Kris served as Jaycees Awards/Performers Points Program Manager. In that capacity, she continued to fill up her trophy case, nabbing a Gold Program Manager of the Year award, a Presidential medallion, a Gold & Silver Program Manager of the Trimester nod and a Gold Key. Kris also received a US Jaycees Presidential Medallion and was awarded the Sergi Hourchi (Sir-gee Ha-ruchee) award for her work in her programming area. In 2012, Kris served as the Community Development Vice President, where she landed  the Gold State VP of the Trimesters award and also received the Sheridan Adams Memorial award for the outstanding service as the Vice President of the Year.

Kris also serves her community outside of the Jaycees in a number of different volunteer capacities. For the past six years, she has been the Walk MS Fergus Falls site coordinator. She also is serving on the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team and on the Downtown Association. Kris also has served on the Fergus Falls Summerfest Committee as a board member and chairperson, and the Fergus Falls Bike-MS/Tram planning committee in 2008, 2010 and in 2012.

How did you decide to get involved with the Jaycees?   I was “voluntold” to join the Jaycees by my employer when the chapter was re-chartered in Fergus Falls by the Brainerd Jaycees. At the time I was not old enough to join the chapter, as the age range was still 21 – 40. BUT – once I turned 21, I joined and have not looked back.

What has your experience been as a leader within your organization?  This is an amazing organization. I have never grown, learned, or have been tested as much as I have with the Jaycees. Every opportunity is a chance to learn something new and to grow as an individual. I have learned that a positive attitude can go a long way and bring amazing results. The lessons I have learned in my Jaycee career can never be duplicated.

Is there a special recipe for leadership? Or is it more about learning as you go?  It truly is learning as you go. Going into your year as President, whether it is local or state, you know there will be problems – you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. But learning how to deal with those problems is one of the amazing things about this job. Learning how you deal with problems and conflicts only makes you stronger.

How has joining the Jaycees enriched your life?  I cannot imagine my life without the Jaycees. I have been a Jaycee for most of my adult life. The friends I have are because of Jaycees. My career I have is because of the Jaycees. I don’t want to even imagine how my life would be different if I had not found this organization.

Do you have any advice for Jaycee members seeking a leadership role within the organization or in the workplace?  DO IT!  When people approach you and ask you to step up and lead, go for it. It is an amazing opportunity. The people you meet, the places you road run to, the experiences you have are all fabulous – but the self-confidence and the self-esteem that I have gained – absolutely priceless.

What are the best skills or knowledge to have in order to be successful in this job?   Communication is key. I have tried throughout my Jaycee career to make sure that my communication with others is swift and prompt. Even if you do not know the answer, reply with a response that you are looking, and when you find the answer you will get back to them.

You also need to realize that people are here to help you and the organization succeed. Accept their help – you are not in this alone!

What part of your involvement in the Jaycees makes you most proud to be a key member of the organization?   I love watching people and chapters succeed. Whether it is a local chapter running a food drive, or a local chapter member receiving an award at convention for their hard work – I love to see the pride they have on their face. Their successes make me work harder. I am so proud of the work of the Minnesota Jaycees chapters. The chapters don’t realize the impact they are all truly having in the local communities.

Exploring the UN Millennium Development Goals: Part Two

Professional networking groupDid you know that the Jaycees has officially been a partner with the United Nations since 1954? So it’s no wonder that our organization decided in 2003 to make the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the official public policy platform we support. In the past decade, the Jaycees has helped advance these time-bound goals that target poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. How exactly have we been doing our part to help the United Nations achieve their goals?

Every year, members of The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce organize thousands of projects that help raise awareness of the U.N.’s MDGs. At our annual Leadership Summit, we join representatives from the United Nations to brainstorm workable solutions for our members to bring back and implement at their local chapters. Here are a few of the Jaycee events that local chapters have created to help the U.N. reach their 2015 goals:

  • Nothing but Nets US Jaycees, in partnership with the U.N. Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign ,has kicked-off a multicity “BzzzTour” to encourage elected officials, chapters and communities throughout the country to continue the fight against malaria globally.
  • One Thing That’s Green – A New York Jaycees chapter participated in an Earth Day event earlier this year, supporting the sustainability goal of the U.N.’s MDGs. This is the fourth year that they have participated.
  • Can’t Stop the Serenity – The Mid-County Jaycees in St. Louis, Mo. are hosting the Can’t Stop the Serenity event in September. This affair promotes and protects the human rights of women around the world – another MDG. By encouraging gender equality, this chapter is doing their part to empower women.

Have you or your local chapter participated in a Leadership Summit? Does your chapter have an event that helps promote one of the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals? Do you have a great idea that can help raise awareness? Visit our Facebook or Twitter and share your answers with us!

Exploring the U.N. Millennium Development Goals: Part One

The United States Jaycees has adopted the U.N. Millennium Development Goals as our public policy platform. The Millennium Development Goals – or MDGs – are eight ambitious goals set by the United Nations to address some of the most pressing needs here in the United States and also around the world. The US Junior Chamber is doing our part to help the U.N. achieve the following goals:

  1. Ending poverty and hunger
  2. Universal education
  3. Gender equality
  4. Child health
  5. Maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
  7. Environmental sustainability
  8. Global partnership

Why exactly did the Jaycees choose to support the U.N.’s MDGs? The Jaycee Creed aligns specifically with what the United Nations is trying to accomplish worldwide, specifically, “…that Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life!” We are happy and proud to be a part of the most successful global anti-poverty push in history.

With two more years to achieve the lofty goals set, there is still work to be done. While many Millennium Development Goals have or will be met by the 2015 deadline, progress in many areas is still short. Join the United Nations in their efforts by participating in events with your local Junior Chambers chapter. Tune in next week for details on how you can help!

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