This entry was cross-posted to The Network Buzz
One million dollars. Wow.
Yesterday, the peer-to-peer fundraising platform that we built hit a major milestone – $1,000,000 raised (it feels good to type so many zeros). The reactions – over text message, through email, over facebook – have been astounding and humbling.
Five years ago, George came in with an idea, and Kyle and I spent a few days on the most rushed – but I’d also say, one of the most polished – projects that we have done in EWB. Two weeks and $120,000 later (and after countless hours of doing nothing but hitting refresh!), and we still couldn’t believe how EWBers had embraced the campaign.
The campaign was never just about money and fundraising. It was a way for us to tell our story; to explain to our friends and family why we poured so many hours into this organization. The ask was never a generic please give us money – it was authentic, it was our passion and our hopes and our dreams written down for the world to see. It was scary and uncomfortable. But it also felt great, to share these stories, and to receive the many messages of support and affirmation.
Fast forward. Four holiday campaigns; marathons and half-marathons and 5k runs across Canada; a corporate challenge (the EWB Draft); and our overseas-sending fundraising pages — all running off this platform. Four re-designs of the graphics. One complete re-writing of the tech backend by the incredible Sean Boots. (and one year where we outsourced the tech – stats from that year aren’t included in this celebration, though we certainly learned a lot that year as well).
2689 campaigns and 14,000 donations. 170,000 visits to the site by 92,000 unique visitors. And one million dollars of unrestricted, untied funding.
As we approached this milestone, we were reflecting on what exactly $1m is to us. That’s enough money to fund the WatSan venture for 4 years. That’s 7 years of supporting chapters and offering leadership development and transformative experiences. It’s 40 APS – all costs AND management support. It’s our advocacy work from 2012 multiplied by 10, the same advocacy work that allowed us to become the most prominent voice on aid effectiveness in Canada, and that brought IATI, COD, and untied aid to the public. It’s enough to develop 65 new EWBer-led systemic change ventures, or to offer incredible opportunities for 111 African leaders to learn and partner with EWB through Kumvana.
But ultimately, it’s money that lets EWB be EWB. Not tied to a specific project, no conditions or excessive reporting – just a vote of confidence in who we are and what we do.
So thank you.
Thank you to everyone who donated to a friend or family member: even beyond the dollars, your support and encouragement are priceless and precious.
Thank you to everyone who has been apart of running the campaign over the years: Kyle, Sean, Brenna, Ward, Amanda, Dan, Ayon, Mica, Marc, Beth, George… I cannot describe the pleasure and privilege it has been working with all of you on this – both the fun times and the frustrating ones. I have learned so much from all of you.
And thank you to everyone who shared a campaign. To the dreamers and the storytellers. To all of you with a vision for a better world. You are the core of EWB, the heart and soul of this movement; your visions shape our future and provide the fuel and motivation we need to get there.