General chatter - Can I ask you ladies a non-diet question?

11-02-2008, 12:03 PM
OK this is so off topic but I need some help. I figured your ladies are pretty amazing and you might have some good ideas.

So here's the deal I spent 2 months during the summer in Peru volunteering in an orphanage. It was life changing and I plan on going back as often as it permits in for the rest of my life. It's an amazing place and it touched my soul and changed me forever. It's hard to put it into words because unless you've been in that kind of situation before its hard to understand. It shook my core and I have a huge connection to them now. I raised money for them before I left, about 1500 or $1900 and my dad gave an extra 500 or so. It went really far but they are so in need. For example there are always a few babies and they constantly run out of nappies and milk for them. They survive soley on donations and volunteers. There are 5 women who live there and work there full time. They were succesful women and they gave up their lives and sold everything to buy and run the orphanage. But it's quite small and there is a vacant piece of land next door. On one of my last days I was on the roof with the woman who is the director, lilia, and she was telling me they dream of buying it and extending. The kids have no where to play but the roof and 15 children are cramped in to 2 very small bedrooms and the 5 women share a room. Needless to say it's not going great. So I have been doing some soul searching since I came back about 3 months ago and I've decided I want to fundraise the money they need for the land and to build on it. It's not going to be cheap. I'd say $30,000. It seems like a unrealistic expectation but it's something I would love to do for them. And honestly I don't think they could EVER be able to do it themselves.

Anyway I just wanted to explain because I've never gone about this before and I could use any advice. Have any of you raised money before or know someone that did? Fundraising ideas?

Thanks a mil. I really appreciate it.


11-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Wow Maddie..that is a wonderful goal!! So many people say they are going to do something but don't follow through. You are an inspiration. Here's my 2 cents worth on the fundraising: it seems like a big chunk of money and it is.. but just do it bit by bit (kind of like weight loss) and it will add up.
I am not sure of any ideas on how to raise the money... but I just wanted to stop in and say that reading your story gave me a good feeling today and I wish you much luck. With a positive and loving attitude like you can do it!!
(((HUGS))) Karen

11-02-2008, 01:19 PM
Hmm. tjat's a great idea. I would find some kind of financial advisor who has worked on international affairs before. There's bound to be red tape, building permits, lawyers, etc you'll have to go through. Remember, not everyone is as honest as you are, sad to say. Good luck to you!

11-02-2008, 01:33 PM
As somoen who owns her own business, I have quite a bit of experience in marketing - and I had a few thoughts right off the top of my head.

First of all, definitely talk to an accountant or someone who can help you with the tax implications. I think that a lot of people would be willing to chip in $5 here or $10, but people would also be willing to donate more if they thought they could write it off on their taxes (at least here in the US - I'm not sure how Irish tax law works).

AS far as "marketing" it. First thoughts: Open accounts on Facebook, MySpace and other online networking sites. Write about your experiences. Post pictures. Set up a PayPal account where people can donate. But share the circumstances - with words and with pictures. If I can see and hear more about what you did, I'm more likely to donate.

Set up a basic webpage - use a blog format like blogger or wordpress. Again, write about your experiences. Post pictures. Make people SEE these children and experience their need. Just saying "this orphanage needs money" isn't going to inspire people to donate. Make them see why the money is needed and where it can help.

Put together a small flyer with pictures and approach small businesses in your town. Ask them to help. Ask them to donate goods as well as money. Heck, approach larger companies for things like baby formula, blankets, etc. Ask them if they'll donate to the orphanage - companies get tax write offs for things like that and may be willing to donate 2nds (products that don't meet their resale standards) of things like clothing, sheets and blankets, pots and pans, and so forth.

Don't be afraid to hear people say "no". Ask anyway, even if you think they will. You'll be surprised at who might say "yes".

I really admire you for this. I have wanted to do something similar for a long time - go overseas and work in some place like that. I just have so many commitments here at home that I can't see how to make it work.


11-02-2008, 01:43 PM
Read Three Cups of Tea. It's by a guy (can't remember his name) who was inspired to build a school in ... gee, I'm blanking out... maybe Afghanistan? Anyway, it's a very inspiring book, and he raised I think about $30,000.00 by writing and sending about 500 letters out to potential donors - most were just strangers. Funny thing is people sent money, and I believe one donor alone sent $12,000!

Also, a very small fundraiser compared to that - I sponsor a club at my high school called Happy Club - our sole purpose is to raise money for Operation Smile. We have had some very successful fundraisers - our most successful every year is a male beauty pageant - made successful by the variety of guys we encourage to participate. It's hysterical and a huge success. We get an almost sold out show - last year we raised about $2,500 from the show alone - not made for a one night event!

Good luck - sounds like you are on a very rewarding life's journey!

11-02-2008, 01:44 PM
thank you all for the positive responses. I really appreciate it.
Photo chick- You're really on the ball! Wow thank you. You make it seem less scary. One little bit at a time. I was thinking about setting up a website and face book etc. There's also a think called my charity here where you do fundraising events and people pay into a special account.

I think I need to come up with a name for this. The name of the street means happy jungle. So I was thinking happy jungle house foundation or something. Any ideas?

Thank you all for the wonderful words of encouragement

11-02-2008, 02:10 PM
Again I don't know about Irish or European tax law, but be careful using the word "foundation". In the States there are certain things that you cannot use in a name unless you're a registered charitable organization with the government. Claiming to be a "foundation" when you're not can get you in trouble with the tax folks (over here, anyway).

I would just set up a website for the Happy Jungle House - and your facebook and so forth as well. Leave it as that. You can ask people as individuals to donate to the Happy Jungle House w/out making it a charitable organization. At that point it's just people helping out. :)


11-02-2008, 04:18 PM
started the website. Let me know what you think!
it's freewebs . com / happyjunglehouse


Quiet Ballerina
11-03-2008, 06:41 PM
What I've seen so far looks good!

None of the links at the bottom of the main page work though. You might want to fix those. ;)

11-03-2008, 06:49 PM
Looks good. Post any stories you have about your trip, especially about the kids. Make it really really personal! :) Draw people in and make them want to donate.


11-03-2008, 09:27 PM
Thanks for checking it out. I appreciate it. I've been working on it non stop for a few days. I'll fix everything it's just a lot of work!! I keep meaning to write the whole story but it's the longest part and it'll take me a lot of time and thought but I'll get it done this week at some point.

I have a few updates. I have started to discuss it with friends and family and everyone is so keen! Here are a few things we have planned
1. We're going to make bracelets and sell them everywhere we can
2. We were thinking of doing a calender but 2009 is so soon. I need to get some professional shots of the kids so I might be looking at 2010. But it'll give me more time to research and try and get discounts.
3.Shipping over clothes, food, nappies, milk formula, furniture etc in May 2009.
4. My dad is going to organise a golf tournament. Apparently they're very good at raising money.
5.Clothes swapping auction party. Like a normal swapping party but you have to buy the things you want!
6. A few of us are going to do sponsored events eg fast, mini marathon, cross country cycle. We're not sure what yet.
7.Thinking about organising a talent show in college, new years ball and a car wash.

There are a few other things but I'm gone blank I've been working straight for 5 hours on all this!!!