Creative Fundraising

Translators without Borders (TWB) frequently announces donations received from various companies, but what about the huge amount of help that we get from dedicated individuals who do incredible things to raise money through their creativity and hard work? What can you do as an individual to raise money and support us, and what could that amount achieve? This part of the newsletter provides a space for our innovative fundraisers to showcase their fundraising projects, and highlights the ways in which other people can get involved in creative and fun ways to raise money to really make a difference.

One of the main ways that individuals can support us is by raising money for the Fund-a-Translator program, whereby $1,000 will provide a translator’s training, equipment and Internet connection for a period of one year. This single translator’s work may then help save hundreds of lives.

Supporters from Text Partner in Poland did just that. Marek Gawrysiak and Lucjan Szreter cycled 440 kilometers in four days, from their branch office in Katowice, Poland, to the ELIA conference in Budapest to raise money to fund the training of two Kenyan translators. The ways in which the public could help support the bike ride were either through sponsoring as many kilometers as possible, or by spreading the word about the charity.

The company created a dedicated webpage through which donations could be made directly, and also encouraged people to raise awareness of the ride and the charity through social media, providing links to the TWB Twitter page. There was also the functionality to share the bike ride story directly on Facebook and Twitter. The page was complete with a sponsorship progress bar where the amount raised could be tracked, and companies and individuals were able to leave comments of encouragement.

What worked so well about this idea was that a goal was set of raising enough to sponsor two Kenyan trainee translators for a year, and it seemed to help people understand the importance of donating to this cause. The donation process was made incredibly straight forward, and the company linked the donations to a set amount of kilometers. Obviously, this also encouraged the riders to keep on going.

Gawrysiak and his team did indeed reach their goal of raising the $2,000 target, which demonstrates how every penny really does add up. Gawrysiak would like to underline that they owe special thanks to Raymund Prins from Global Textware, the Netherlands, who was one of the “masterminds” of the ride but, unfortunately, could not take part in it himself. His company was also one of the sponsors. Owing to the success of the first bike ride and the public’s growing interest in their initiative, Gawrysiak and his team are embarking on another fundraising ride across five countries, starting May 30 2013, and finishing on June 2, covering a total of 600 kilometers. Throughout the journey they will be talking to local media about the Fund-a-Translator program, and they are encouraging others to join in the ride or to provide support vehicles.

Gawrysiak commented that “I am more than happy to see that so many people are willing to engage in our initiative. It is great fun after all! And I really hope our next ride is going to be even more successful than the first, turning the ‘biking idea’ into a regular, fund-raising event.”

For more information on the bike ride, to sign up to their newsletter, or to bite the bullet and join in part of the next bike ride, go to www.onourbikes.info. For more information on the Fund-a-Translator program go to http://translatorswithoutborders.org/Fund-a-Translator.

The Text Partner bike ride is just one of the creative ways people in our industry are helping us reach our goal of more humanitarian content available in more languages.  Several individuals have run matching campaigns on Twitter, supporters in Argentina collected funds at an event, GeoGlobal in North America donates every time a customer returns a feedback survey, Moravia donates every time the company’s fun video is watched, and SDL offers funds when the company’s holiday card is opened.  And so many more! Next time we will highlight the creative social hour set up by the Nordic Translation Industry Forum in honor of Translators without Borders.

Lucy Williams