Top Left to Right – Fundraisers Sue, Jason, Wendy & Finn, Mailys and Ana Laura & Damien
The last few months have been challenging for everyone, not least for the vulnerable families here in Tanzania who TST supporters enable. Being an organisation funded entirely by the generous donations of our supporters, lockdown froze our planned fundraising events and welcoming visitors on our Social Impact Tours. The income from these is vital to the running of our residential care, family preservation programme and community outreach services.
We were also conscious that many people, all around the world, now needed a new way to connect with each other. For so many of us, lockdown has given pause for thought, and time to reflect and remember, now more than ever, that #itsthesmallthings that bring us together. A new, virtual forum was needed to share this simple but fundamental act of connection, like we used to do so easily, not so long ago. How could we reach out and share a connection?
TST Connection Campaign: Reaching Out in Lockdown
In May TST launched a ‘Connection Campaign’ of interactive, live stream events, Through these events we could bring our supporters and new visitors closer to the kids and their families, right into your own home. Live streaming also allowed us to offer a way for everyone to connect with each other through fun, interactive activities during lockdown. Viewers could message us and each other during the event in a chat box beneath the screen. These messages can then be shared live on air and viewers also have the opportunity call in to share a message or ask a question with the host, live via video link. The system is so simple you can join in anywhere from your phone.
We started by celebrating the moms among our supporters around the world on Mother’s Day, and especially the caregivers in the Happy Family Children’s Village and the mamas enabled and empowered by the family preservation programme and outreach services in Nkoaranga. A special David Ross Russell Memorial brought friends and family of TST’s co-founder and lasting inspiration together. Some TST supporters also co-hosted their own virtual party, inviting their friends to connect and celebrate their birthday by fundraising for TST kids and their families.
Fundraisers Share Celebrations, Talents & Fun
We are very lucky to have super supporters like our Connection Campaign fundraisers Sue, Sara, Jason & Wendy, Ellen, Damien & Ana Laura, and Mailys who were willing to reach out to their friends, family and beyond to share special occasions, their enthusiasm for TST, and their talents through fun events like pizza-making and yoga classes. You can check out the playback of all the Connection Campaign videos here.
Technical Challenge into Virtual Success
Spurred by the sudden necessity of lockdown, initiating a crowdfunding campaign, via live streaming events, were new challenges for TST. But, with the spirit and support from amazing fundraisers, their friends and family, and supporters and donors all around the world, together we made our online Connection Campaign a virtual success. Over $20,000 was raised over the two months. These donations go a long way and have already provided for hygiene kits and food baskets for vulnerable families as they deal with the spread of covid 19 through the community. They also contribute to the continuation of TST’s programmes and services throughout the year. For a guide on hosting a live stream events camapaign, see our blog on tech solutions for small organisations.
If you would like to join our band of super supporters, to share a celebration, talent or a challenge by fundraising to empower kids, family preservation and community in Tanzania, we’d love to hear from you!