Raising Funds Locally Pledge by Pledge

“One of the things we learnt from the local fundraising course (LFR) by Change the Game Academy (CtGA) is confidence in approaching corporates who are proactive in social change to join and support our cause. At first, we were afraid and did not know how to approach them, but through the training, we were able to gain confidence.” Joyce Muhoro, Administrative Assistant, Edumed Trust.

Edumed Trust is a registered Kenyan Christian Charitable Trust that has been granting secondary school scholarships to bright and needy students since 1997. Over the years, they have sponsored 344 students and currently have 95 students in the program.

One of their main avenues of raising funds locally is through their annual fundraising dinner dubbed Edumed Trust Dinner. In 2018, having gone through the CtGA training, Edumed was able to raise Kes. 353,000 ($3530) through the donations and pledges which was used to cover the scholarship program and some expenses for the organization.

Through this platform, they have been able to raise funds from existing partners and friends. It gives the organization an opportunity to introduce new partners to the Edumed mission and inform them of the upcoming plans for the year.

It is also a great opportunity for individuals to make commitments to support a certain number of students for a certain period of time. “This is one of the most sustainable avenues we have. The fact that we have consistent partners and individuals who always contribute and pledge annually.” Joyce quips.

“Our main challenge in regard to the dinner fundraiser is that some people do not honor their pledges. When we try to make follow ups, some do not pick the phone or respond to our emails. This has an effect on the fund target in the trust.” Joyce shares.

Edumed Trust in order to mitigate this eventuality, has various channels of generating income such as use of a paybill number for donations and the annual Cake Festival fundraiser that ensures  the deficit incurred is covered.

Edumed seems to be doing a splendid job as most beneficiaries learn about the scholarship opportunity through referrals from those who have gone through the programme. They also get more information about the scholarships from the website as profiling is very key when it comes to raising funds for the cause as well as transparency and accountability.

For a student to qualify for a scholarship, they must have attained 375 marks for the boys and 350 marks for the girls in their final Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. The guardian, parent or caregiver must demonstrate to the Edumed management through an internal process that they do not have the capacity to support the student and are indeed needy. The students are enrolled in government secondary schools that are either day or boarding schools.

The application form must be certified by a religious leader, the chief and the primary school headteacher. Once a student is successful, admission happens in the month of May every year, subject to availability of funds.

During the planning of the dinner event, the team ensures that the invited partners come with their family and friends so as to have as much contribution as possible. Follow up calls ensure that the event is successful.

The main lesson that they have learnt through this rigorous process of planning for a fundraising event is that the money donated on the material day may be little but the pledges keep coming throughout the year.

“It is important to maintain a good friendship and nurture the relationships with the partners that support you or are interested in your cause as it leads to good relations and consistency in their pledges over the years. The Edumed Trust Annual Dinner has proven to be a sustainable way of raising funds locally for the education sponsorship program as the foreign donor resource allocation continues to shrink, proving to be unreliable.” remarks Joyce.

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