For those of you that don ’t know Child’s i Foundation I just wanted to give you a bit of background. Working in Uganda our aim as a worldwide community is to make families not orphans, passionately believe children are best in families and not in institutions. In Uganda baby abandonment is a huge problem and most at risk children referred to orphanages and stayed there all their lives. Over the past 2 years set up a transitional centre for babies, a social work department to find every child a family in Uganda and work with vulnerable mothers to give them a choice to keep their children instead of abandoning them We try not to tell donors what we do we want to show them how they are changing children’s lives. All of this has been achieved in the last 2 and a half years due to the support and endurance of our worldwide family of supporters who have collaborated to make our dream a reality.
A little bit about me. I set up the charity in 2008, been volunteering at an orphanage in Uganda and working as a reality TV Producer. Producing BB attracting 10m viewers creating content that people felt connected to. So much so they wanted to vote them our of the House. I wanted to use video to create a connection so people could connect to these babies who had been left for dead in a ditch. Came back on a mission - give these kids a family and a future and provide care which will not fail them or damage them for life. It was possible I needed a platform - somewhere we could show our videos and bring together a community of people who shared the same vision @kirsty @webponce joined forces to help me accomplish this hair brain mission. In turn Kirsty told people about Child ’s i.. Each person she told wanted to get involved in some way. No one thought this was just about offering money. Wanted to use their skills - set up an organisation / structure to make a difference
For small amounts of time, love and money correctly targeted, we believed, and still do, and in fact have proved, that a great difference can be made. When people get involved in the way they want to, they are acting to actually create something they can see and be part of . A journey they can follow. Not just putting a cheque in the post, “into a bureaucracy”.
So, The ‘I’ in Child’s i Foundation came to be not only about “interactivity” and collaboration but about “individual contribution” Giving credit where credit is due, genuine advocacy. We knew that our objectives could only be achieved through successful engagement with our supporters. We didn ’t have a recognizable brand. When we set up our mission we didn’t even have charity status. Our only hope was to draw on the incredible range of skills, kindness, innovation, ideas and enthusiasm of others. To use our address books, our friends, our colleagues and anyone else who would listen to get this show on the road.
So to cut a long story short, we didn ’t have any money to build a website. But that didn’t really matter. We are in the age of social media and open source technologies. We used it to our advantage. Wordpress blog, a Facebook group, set up a Twitter account and started following interesting people and community influencers Set up Flickr to house our pictures, our brand assets Set up YouTube account to house our videos And managed our admin via a wiki. Moved onto google docs and Chatter Employing all of the advantages of social media such as interactivity, collaboration and the formation of communities in the most creative way we could. Most importantly we started documenting our journey using video to share our story and start a conversation..
And when Lucy and Brian went to Uganda to structure the project and write the business plan, we posted a video every day of their progress and journey and asked for feedback. Documented the highs the lows, the problems faced and we shared our learnings along the way. Wanted our supporters to understand why we were doing this. The groundswell of support and interest was overwhelming. Small and powerful group of people that was growing everyday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_ycxGi8aXz8 Day One of planning trip – explaining how damaging orphanages are to children.
We wrote our to-do list and supporters from around the world filled in our Get Involved from (google doc) and we built up a community of supporters who helped us with our website, community, graphic design. Tell us who you are, how much time you ’ve got, the skill you want to give and lets make a difference.
And now we have a whole website. To advertise for volunteer positions and get involved.
Every day our conversation continues on Facebook, the website and Twitter. The dialogue is genuine. I’m in the UK and receive the FB updates and feel like I know what is going on. We are a community, everything we do revolves around our community and the connections we make through it. We are far from glossy and it ’s all in a pickle - all our web comms are done by different volunteers and there are numerous FB pages and sometimes outdated and a bit rough around the edges but it’s authentic and transparent. My blog started off my dad telling me I ’m mad, being so stressed I got lock jaw on the tube. I poured my heart out online and stuck my head above the parapet because they were worth it. People behind it are real too. My Mum @hazelbuck is a mum to a lot of people now Being social is what we do, and building up more and more people to be part of our community Giving back to people what they give to us - recognition, credit, learning new skills, feel good factor = establishing and maintaining a very high level of engagement. Always say thank you.
We’re finding our voice. Before we’d even went out to Uganda we had a creative brainstorm – we make families, not orphans Not possible We asked our community for ideas and they came up with ‘Our Home is the First Step’ After rescuing over 100 children and finding them families we feel are making families not orphans – we’ve grown into our tagline.
Changing the lives of children like Polly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iFToP2k6G8
By giving our supporters a way of connecting with us, with each other, sharing the successes and the failures from day 1, they reward us with not only love and time but money too. When we launched our website we didn’t ask for money for 6 months – wanted supporters love and time – more important to us than money. We’ve grown up – need a regular income. Currently 112 donors give to us bringing in £2200 a month but our programmes come to over £20,000
Great Aunty Jo. Organised Tea Tune and Talent. This year she gave 50% of her profits to another charity because she thought we had loads of money. We don’t. We’ve a lot to learn about fundraising.
Child's i Foundation: a journey of content
#nfptweetup @childsi journey
Our home is the first stepA family and a future