In the years I have been with Translators without Borders, I have witnessed and been involved in many exceptional fundraisers. On Our Bikes (by TextPartner) has always been a favorite, raising funds for our training efforts in Africa, and the Localization World hike organized by KantanMT in 2016 was a huge success. And then came Trim, Tint or Tattoo for TWB, created by Euro-Com, designed by Andrew Hickson and held at the Globalization and Localization Association’s GALA 2017 in Amsterdam. Its success was not just impressive, but also loads of fun.
Trim, Tint or Tattoo for TWB
The goal of Trim, Tint or Tattoo for TWB was to raise much-needed funds for Translators without Borders’ humanitarian work around the world. Translators without Borders (TWB) works to close critical language gaps that hinder humanitarian efforts worldwide by supporting the work of hundreds of organizations in the areas of crisis relief, health and education. TWB is a non-profit organization registered in the US and with an operations center in Kenya. It was founded in 1993 to provide volunteer translations to non-profit organizations. Funds from the fundraiser are used specifically to expand the community of translators supporting the effort, offer more training in more hard-to-source languages, and support the organization’s development of a more robust incentive program for the community.
The ingredients to a successful fundraiser
By all measures, Trim, Tint or Tattoo for TWB had all the right ingredients for a successful fundraiser. Andrew designed a fun event in which there were many ways to give: participants could simply buy an orange (the color of TWB and host-country, the Netherlands!) wristband to wear during the event, or have a beautiful braid put into his or her hair, as was done by closing keynote speaker, Istvan Lenygel. But there were so many other ways as well, including getting hair colored, getting henna tattoos and, for the facial-hair group, shaving of the beard. Andrew spearheaded an awareness campaign before the event to get people committed to various activities and cleverly promoted those who had committed ahead of time on a simple yet elegant website for the fundraiser.
That pre-work would have made the event successful unto itself. But it was the excitement that it generated during the event that truly put it over the top, starting with the opening announcement from GALA Board Chair, Jesper Sandberg, that if half of the conference participants contributed with a wristband or more, he would, in fact, get his hair colored. That was enough to get everyone to the Euro-Com table for a donation!
Then there was Joseph Kubovsky of Memsource. Clean shaven, he had committed to wax his legs in order to participate. But the ‘buzz’ about his smooth legs was not enough – he then allowed anyone who donated to rip the wax paper from his legs as he grimaced. To top it off, he then had a tattoo placed on the back of his baby soft legs. Brilliant.
And then it was time for trimming. Five men and all their hairy glory, took center stage as professional trimmers shaved off all their hard-earned facial hair. It was all captured on Facebook Live! As one remarked: “Eighteen years gone – but it is all for a good cause!”
Trim, Tint or Tattoo for TWB was a great success. It has raised more than $4,000 and is poised to add to that number at EUATC in Berlin this week. But more importantly, it brought the community together to celebrate translation, interpreting and the difference the language industry makes in the world. Thanks so much everyone: Language Matters.
If you are interested in running a fundraiser for TWB, please download our handy fundraising pack.
By Rebecca Petras, Translators without Borders Deputy Director and Head of Innovation