Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Remembering an Opportunity for Women in Poverty

Today, thanks to a number of generous people around the world I was able to pass on a total donation of AUD$7,077 towards an Opportunity International Australia Trust Group for women in poverty!

Since September last year, you tweeted. You blogged. You very kindly donated. And together we raised *nearly* enough to fund a 2 year microfinance program. Opportunity Australia were really excited about your donations and support, and will find a 'match' from a $3000 public donation to create this $10,000 microfinance Trust Group in the Philippines. Stay tuned for more details about the business that will be created in a few months time!

It's not over yet!
Someone just donated another $50 and I know a couple of people had difficulties making payments in the last 24 hours. So, I'm leaving a newly created Chipin open for the rest of the year so you can continue to give. In fact, I'd love to see if we can still raise the rest of the money quickly.

So how did we raise the money?
The donations came in so many ways. As you will read on Twitip, some things happened that were totally unexpected. For instance "an overseas businesswoman was visiting Melbourne and met me for dinner. She donated $500 towards my fundraiser and wanted to discuss the possibility of funding an entire Trust Group (she probably will, along with a friend)
She was the friend of a Twitter friend, although she doesn’t use Twitter herself."(read more)

Your support was really, really incredible

We tried a number of social media events together, from Chipins to Facebook.

including an ebook

or two

you contributed photos towards a mini-exhibition in a Melbourne bar

and a number of you put the call out on Twitter and your blogs, including:
Laurel Papworth http://laurelpapworth.com
Gavin Heaton http://www.servantofchaos.com
Des Walsh http://deswalsh.com/
Debra Askanase Community Organizer 2.0
Amy Jussel from Shaping Youth
Lee Hopkins http://leehopkins.net
Penni Russon http://eglantinescake.blogspot.com
Andy Piper who also gave a shout out on the Dogear Nation podcast
Women in the Lead
The Greater IBM Connection blog
Guest post on Twitip

We didn't reach the $10,000 goal (yet!) but we did raise $7,077 which has gone towards helping a number of Filipino women out of poverty through business loans and training. I'm not sure why we didn't raise the full amount. Perhaps because not everyone has heard of Opportunity Australia, or Chipin was fiddly (more on that later!) Maybe microfinance is not easily understood, maybe times are just tough or perhaps I still have much to learn. Still, I am very grateful for your donations and extremely happy that we were able to raise so much.

Just look at how many of you helped in one way or another (not including all the donations and retweets!) Amy Jussel, Amy Sample Ward,Anita Pahor,Annie Le Cavalier,Daphne Nederhorst, Debra Arkanase, Eileen Clegg, Lucky Chhetri, Jyl Johnson Pattee, Karen Muanu, Marigo Raftopolous, Nancy White, Phaedra Boinidiris, Sandy Skees, Stacey Monk, NextNow, Eileen Clegg, Shahin Shafaei, Marigo Raftopolous, Luke Grange, Debbe Kennedy Sally K. Green, Melissa Sader, Sagart, Karen Tipping, Amy Jussel, Bad Koala ,Bernie Michalik, August Boehm, David Armano, ePredator, Bettina Cutler, Jared Woods, Vasundharb, Janelle Amet, David Masters, Siddharth, Sean Lew, David Talamelli, Penni Russon, Gypsychk, Andy Piper, Aaron Julius Kim, Ric Hayman, Amy Palko Michelle Zamora, Alison Spencer, Anita Pahor, Beth Kanter Bonnie McEwan Cindy Lenferna de la Motte, Chris Brogan, James Governer, Danielle Johnston, Global Dialogue Center ,Janette Toral, Confident Writing, Kieran Cannistra, Linda Griffin Lindy McKeown, Lynne Wenig,
Nina Simosko, Phaedra Boinidiris, Renee Wolforth, Dr Robyn McMaster, Shai Coggins,Silvia Guccione,Suzanne Male, Smink Works Books, Sacha Chua, Gus Poskus, Matt Moore, Iggy Pintado and I'm sure, many others.


And remember it's not too late to donate or start something yourself. I'd love to hear your feedback about your involvement. I hope you enjoyed being part of it as much as I did!

Final few hours

If you would like to make any final donations please use this Chipin. Unfortunately my original Chipin expired a few hours before I hoped and I couldn't go in and edit any settings. So I started this new one to raise any final funds today. It will remain open until the end of the year also.

Thank you once again for your support as you have helped to raise AU$7,000 towards a $10,000 Trust Group! Will you help me raise any final funds in the next few hours?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Final Call for Women's Opportunity Microcredit Donations

In around 12 hours on June 30th I will be passing on your generous donations to Opportunity International Australia.

Last week I rang them and told them that around $5,000 was raised.

Today I sent them a note and told them it was now $7,000.

WOW - thank you!

Over the next 12 hours, will you help me to make it closer to AU$10,000 so that this Trust Group program in the Philippines can begin straight away? Each one of your donations counts. After all that's how we reached AU$7,000 :)

Your donations will help up to 30 Filipinos (mostly women) to get out of poverty through a 2 year program helping them to set up businesses. Women like Calma Arcala, an Opportunity International client who now sells mushrooms to bring a secure income in for her family. In fact since starting the program with Opportunity Australia she now owns a mushroom farm and employs 5 other people from her village!

Please make your donation prior to midday AEST.

Friday, June 26, 2009

How Microcredit creates opportunity for women in poverty and how you can help today

You might have seen me tweet asking for donations for women living in poverty in the Philippines (4 days to go!) Here's a little explanation to help you understand what microcredit is and why I am raising funds for nonprofit Opportunity International Australia.

Opportunity Australia has been operating for 35 years, helping people living beneath the poverty line (less than US$1 a day) to establish successful small businesses through 'microcredit' which is a 'microfinance' service.

Opportunity Australia currently have around 1.4 Million active microcredit clients. That means they are helping 1.4 million people in India, the Philippines and Indonesia to learn business skills, generate an income, employ more people and provide a better future for their children.

Microcredit basically means that people, who are otherwise unable to secure finance to start a business, are able to get collateral free- loans so that they can buy a sewing machine, or buy a fruit cart, or whatever is needed to help them secure an income. As each business grows, loans are paid back and lent out again. 97% of Opportunity Australia's loans are repaid.

Most loans (around 90%) are made through a group lending method called Trust Groups, where 15-30 clients (mostly women) come together to co-guarantee each others loans. Each Trust Group chooses its own members who are drawn from the local community. They meet each week to repay their loans, share experiences and learn new skills. I LOVE this part of the trust group method - because it ENABLES women to succeed through a well designed 2 year development program. Here's a little video that explains some more:

So this is where I need your help to raise AU$10,000 to create a Trust Group in the Philippines. Over $5,700 has been donated from people around the world. I'm constantly amazed at the variety of donations and grateful for each one. Last week someone in America donated $100, someone in Calcutta donated $3, and someone in Germany donated online while he was on the train! A whole lot of you have been tweeting and blogging to show your support also. Thank you!

What about you? Will you chip in a few dollars to create an opportunity for someone in poverty? (Note the Chipin is displayed in US dollars)
All funds raised will go to Opportunity Australia midday June 30th AEST.

Donations made by Australian residents are also tax deductible and if you prefer to donate in Australian dollars, you can deposit directly via paypal. Thank you for your kindness and support. Every donation counts!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tweet to make a difference this week!

**Update - only 185 x $20 donations (AU$25) needed this week to create a two year group microfinance program for up to 30 women!**

With only a week left to raise $5,000 (US$4,000) for an Opportunity International program for Filipino women in poverty I have a teeny tiny, and I hope "tweetworthy" request.

Will you help to make a difference with a single tweet? I really need your help to promote this Wonderwebby Chipin (#WWCI) on Twitter tomorrow for #MicroloanMonday and Tuesday #CharityTuesday

All I'm asking is for your tweets to raise awareness and funds for this Opportunity International fundraiser.

You could tweet: "please donate to this project against poverty http://wonderwebby.chipin.com #WWCI #microloanmonday"
or... "help women in poverty - fundraiser ends in 1 week http://wonderwebby.chipin.com #WWCI #charitytuesday " or simply write in your own words - whatever you think is most compelling.

Over the last several months I have been asking for donations for a 2 year microfinance (also known as microcredit or microloan) program - most people have been donating $20 at a time - and the fundraiser ends in a week on June 30th!!

If just 250 190 people donate $20 each this week then a community of up to 30 Filipino women currently living in poverty will immediately commence a two year journey, creating small businesses and meeting weekly to support one another and learn new skills - imagine that!!

Just in case you want to read more or write a blog post, I've put together a list of resources to help you out!
Thank you so much for helping out with this important cause! Your generosity makes all the difference.
Australian donations are tax deductible.

A story about a fundraiser

Fuze Tell A Story Contest
if you enjoyed these slides please add your vote before June 22nd, 11.59 PM PST.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

14 days and counting down - and a love story

First of all - thank you to everyone who has donated so far. People around the world have given a total of $5,000! Money raised goes to women living in poverty through Opportunity International Australia.

Debra Arkanase was kind enough to interview me about my online fundraising efforts, and the Global Dialogue Center also wrote a blog post featuring the Worldshapers eBook. David Bressler wrote a review of the eBook and Amy Jussel's Shaping Youth featured a story about women changing the world (passionistas!).

And now there are less than 14 days left to raise the remaining AUD$5,000 (that's around US$4,000) . I'm continuing to people to donate the price of a cup of coffee (or 2) using Chipin or PayPal (for Australian donations.)

Otherwise I'm asking friends to simply vote for these slides entered in a competition on SlideShare. I hope you're inspired by them! If I win I'll be donating the prize money to Opportunity International. Thanks for being part of this journey with me :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Change lives by buying a cup of coffee

I've been thinking - what do you do when you only have 20 days left to raise US$4,000?

You see, this month I’m wrapping up my fundraising activities for Opportunity International - raising money for a two year 'Trust Group' microfinance program, which provides small business loans and training for Filipino women currently living in poverty.

An Opportunity International client, who has started a small business thanks to a Trust Group program

So I thought I would ask 1000 people to donate USD$4 - the price of a drink – to raise the total funds for this project. A large coffee costs $4 at some places these days – I would be really grateful if you could shout me one :)

Many thanks to people who have chipped in so far already raising 50% of funds for this AUD$10,000 (approx US$8k) program including:

@sachac @socialtopher @sminkworks @badkoala @kt29 @gypsychk @joannayoung @digitalfilipino @joannestanton @gusposkus @juliancole @ethmanmcc @mspecht @bettinac @janelle_amet @onlinedialogues @blm849 @iggypintado @andypiper @nancywhite @verbaw @marigo @elsua @aqualung @SonjaBarfoed @innotecture @kdelarue and @deswalsh

You can read more and donate at http://wonderwebby.chipin.com

Update – thanks for your donations so far including a couple of rounds – together you have donated nearly $400 worth of coffees - only 17 days to go !

If you prefer to donate in Australian dollars, you can deposit directly via paypal. Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Contribute to a Life Changing Microfinance Project in June

Over the last several months I have been inviting my online social network to be involved in creative projects to help raise funds and awareness for an Opportunity International Australia Trust Group project against poverty. This month of June is my last month to raise funds for a non profit project I really believe in.

I value the work Opportunity is doing because it helps people to get out of poverty using a long term, life changing solution. You may know what it feels like to start your own business and how you grow as you learn newfound confidence, skills and abilities. Microfinance is all about empowering the entrepreneurial poor currently living in poverty, by providing them business loans to start their own small businesses.

This $10,000 two year Trust Group program not only provides small business loans to a group of 15 - 30 Filipinos (mostly women) but also supports them with a Loan Officer who meets with them weekly to provide business training, build relationships and enable their community to break the poverty cycle and improve living conditions. As a result they can provide basic needs for their families, develop stronger communities and improve vital education and resources such as better sanitation in their villages. This is a life changing program!

Since September '08 over thirty generous individuals and companies around the world have made donations varying from $1 to $1000 on my fundraising Chipin site, which has so far raised $4,000 towards a AUD$10,000 (approx USD$7,500) two year program. Now that I only have a month left to raise funds, I am asking for your support to help me raise the remaining $6,000. All funds raised will go towards a Trust Group in the Philippines.

Will you be part of this global fundraising effort to help make a difference for a group of women in a small village, currently living on less than $2 a day? Together we can help to make a big change for those who need to find a way out of poverty.

Please donate by June 31st using paypal or credit card on my Chipin site, or email wonderwebby at gmail dot com if you would prefer to pay via direct deposit. Donations made by Australian residents or businesses are tax deductible.

I am really, really thankful and grateful for your support! On behalf of the families in the Philippines, thank you!