Unlocking the Power of Volunteer Fundraising: Transforming Lives, One Donation at a Time

Text Author: Meruyert Mukhitkyzy
Photographer: Evfrosiniia Kapustina

Fundraising is something many first-time volunteers do by accident or out of necessity. It’s not even in the top 5 volunteering opportunity searches. The problem is that asking for money has a bad reputation, even among volunteer fundraisers. 

But here, at Health & Help, fundraising holds immense significance. We believe it’s an exceptional opportunity and a powerful tool. This is why encouraging more volunteers to participate in fundraising is of utmost importance to us.

Despite its importance, many fail to see the value of fundraising compared to project implementation. They think fundraising is unpleasant and ungrateful work. But we all know that looks are deceiving. Nonprofit fundraising is all about gathering donations to support a charitable cause. It’s like giving life to ideas that need resources to make a real impact. No matter how innovative and impactful an idea may be, it won’t survive without the funds to make it happen. Just like a child needs nutritious food to grow up healthy, philanthropy provides resources that support the charity’s mission. Having more funds available means we can expand, achieve greater outcomes, and reach more people. If we truly want to create positive change, we must be as committed to fundraising, as we are to executing ideas.

Undoubtedly, fundraising is hard work. Ideally, we would live in a world where asking for money isn’t seen as begging. However, money is necessary when it comes to creating real change and this is the reality that we face. Changing the majority opinion won’t be easy, but we can start with ourselves. If you feel that the fundraising stereotypes are holding you back, read these 4 inspiring stories from our volunteers to overcome your fears.

Insight #1: Unlocking the Rewards of Tapping into Your Creativity and Talents

Fundraising initiatives can be successful without costly resources. By being smart and creative with resources on hand, our founder Viktoria Schwark once raised $200 out of, well, thin air. 

She found a discarded bedside table, restored it, and put it up on an auction for our charity. When she sold it, the funds were used to buy 12 packages of Levetiracetam, the medicine used to treat epilepsy.

Insight #2: The Transformative Power of Utilizing Your Platform

Personal connection creates a sense of trust, making people more likely to respond to requests from people they admire or consider like-minded. 

This is exactly how Hanna Plotnitskaya, the director of the Guatemalan clinic, used her personal Instagram account to raise $3500. The funds were intended to cover the clinic’s expenses and provide costly medication for a patient diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Hanna’s followers acted as a tightly-knit community with a shared purpose, came together, and rallied around a common goal. 

Insight #3: Sharing Your Volunteer Fundraising Journey Inspires Empathy and Drives Support

Often, our connection to a cause motivates us to engage in fundraising efforts. This is how Katerina Yufereva, a friend of our charity, raised $1113 for our clinic in Guatemala. 

Katerina works at SeekOut, and her company allocates a monthly charity budget with every employee voting on who should receive the donation. When she nominated us, she shared a personal story of her son’s experience with diabetes, and how our organization helps people in Guatemala where diabetes is a big issue. Her speech convinced many employees to vote for us. With this money, we provided life-saving and expensive insulin to our patients.

Insight #4: Fundraising Projects Can Be a Bonding Activity

Volunteering together allows you and your family to get even closer and these shared experiences create lasting memories.

Our fundraising project manager Natalia Argutina did just that during her summer break. She and her son organized a lemonade and cookie stand to support Health & Help. This was her son’s idea! He was quickly joined by neighborhood children and friends and together they raised $300 for the clinic’s patients that were used to purchase glucose test strips. Now, not only do the boys know what fundraising is, but they also share this memory.

Insight #5: You Don’t Need to Be Rich to Contribute to Charitable Efforts

Health & Help has a rich history of fundraising. With determination and creativity, we raised our first funds through garage sales and crowdfunding. Today, Health & Help has expanded to encompass two clinics, thousands of patients, and over a hundred volunteers.

The best part of our history is connecting with people from all walks of life through our fundraising initiatives. We know the real impact they can have (even the small ones!) and have worked a lot on becoming comfortable asking for money so that the donors will be comfortable giving in.

This is why we want more volunteers to engage in fundraising! Your participation will help us create a brighter future together!

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