Project founder, curator, volunteer & partnerships manager, messaging & promotions lead
ONE: SOLO SELLING
All over Facebook, I saw that many people wanted to sell their new or barely used belongings in order to raise cash for the survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
These wares were not appropriate as in-kind donations (i.e. fancy dresses, purses, high heels, books, magazines) and would have more value and impact if sold for cash.
TWO: NO VENUE
But these people had no proper venue nor big enough audience to sell these items to. They would usually just market it to their friends on Facebook.
THREE: NO TRUSTED PARTNER
Aside from Red Cross, many individuals did not know of any other trustworthy organization to funnel their funds to.
How might we consolidate these small pockets of selling efforts to raise a more substantial donation?
Responding as quickly as we could to the devastation brought about by the Supertyphoon, there were four vital things I knew I needed to secure first & foremost:
Assembling a team of volunteers made up of my past interns and my (thankfully, current) friends - that was the first priority. This needed to be a collaborative effort.
2. OFFICIAL BENEFICIARY:
We chose Save Philippine Seas as our official beneficiary, because it was an organization that I have had plenty of experience with, and one that I knew to be efficient, transparent and accountable.
Their partner community is Malapascua Island in Cebu, and the funds we raise will be used for a long-term solution: education. The cash will go directly to rebuilding the elementary school on the island.
3. MAIN COMMUNITY:
There were a lot of avenues to help, but we've noticed that people would help out or donate either in a) relief centers nearest them, or b) communities they closely identify with. I decided to focus our energies on rounding up the geographical community of Katipunan, Quezon City, which also encompassed the big community of students and alumni of Ateneo de Manila University (my alma mater).
4. A CENTRAL, ACCESSIBLE VENUE:
The challenge here (and for any other bazaar) was to find a venue that was largely accessible to our targeted community. We found a great partner in 47 East, a coworking space near Ateneo de Manila.
After these 4 key decisions were made and locked into place, I crafted the messaging and marketing push, contacted more collaborators and donors online, and created a pricing and operations system for the bazaar.
Together with my incredible team of volunteers, the key points of our solution were:
• Crowdsourcing donations so we had more goods (in quantity and variety) to sell,
• Consolidating all goods in one accessible venue,
• Curating, organizing, and styling the goods
The main challenge was in designing & marketing the experience not as a garage sale (which, to be honest, was what it essentially was) --
but as a fun and enticing community bazaar and arts night.
In only 6 hours, we were able to get more than 250 people through the door, and raised a total of PHP 133,000* (almost 3,000 USD).
*I must note that our original target was to raise PHP 30,000 (660 USD).
We organized the Katipunan BaHAIYANihan bazaar in under 8 days, with mostly teenage student volunteers (I'm so proud of them!) -- and managed to get donations from over 70 individuals not only from Metro Manila (the urban capital), but also other parts of the greater Luzon area.
We were also able to collect big ticket items from celebrities and personalities (including TV host Bianca Gonzalez, Ateneo Blue Eagles, fashion bloggers, radio DJs, among others). The Silly People’s Improv Theater (SPIT), musicians, and spoken word artists also performed for free at the event.
Our original target of PHP 30,000 would have bought school supplies.
What the community collectively raised, PHP 133,000 -- is already half the amount needed to rebuild & furnish an entire eco-friendly classroom for elementary students.
COLLABORATORS & PARTNERS
- SPIT, Silly People's Improv Theater
- Ateneo Musicians' Pool
- Ateneo HEIGHTS
- Rappler.com, "Cool, creative fundraisers for Typhoon Haiyan victims" [Online]
- InterAksyon, "Bloggers, designers organize Katipunan baHAIYANihan to rebuild school in typhoon-hit Malapascua" [Online]
- ANC Cityscape, with host Nina Corpuz [TV news show; interview]