So I've left the blog relatively silent for a little while. I've been focusing on raising money for my annual fundraiser (you know, the reason I started the blog in the first place). I've actually been doing quite a bit of writing about it, I just haven't shared it here yet. Most of my writing has been emails and Facebook posts pleading with friends and family to pony up a little cash for AMF. So I thought I would share just such a piece with you.
This is the email that was just sent out to, well... let's just say a lot of people. I am also planning on making more personal messages to people. Though I have run into one fatal problem: the only contact I have with a lot of people is through Facebook. Which normally isn't a problem, if anything it is super helpful. But just posting to FB doesn't actually get onto many people's news feed - the algorithm kicked me out as irreverent content a long time ago.
Normally we solve this news feed problem with a simple solution: we tag people. I have a couple problems with that tactic in this case. One, tagging someone usually sends them more than a notification, it sends them an email, and then also a notification anytime someone interacts with the post. Super annoying if you aren't crazy excited about my fundraiser the way I am. Secondly it seems like calling someone out.
Hey you! Yea you!
*lots of eye contact*
Did you give me money yet?
I could always direct message someone about it, but that also feels icky
Hey random friend I haven't talked to in a long time! How are you?
I'm only messaging you because I want something.
Genuine interest and questions about your life seem trite now because my motivation seems to clearly be for money.
It feels worse to do that kind of thing over direct message on FB than via email because Facebook is somehow more personal. We get junk email that we-sort-of-signed-up-for-but-can't-be-bothered-to-unsubscribe-from all the time. Deleting and/or ignoring something I got an email about doesn't seem like a big deal. But a direct message is closer to a text than an email. And everyone knows it sucks to have your texts ignored, so there is added pressure to respond or comply.
All of these seem like disincentives to donating. Worse than not getting a donation I don't want to annoy my friends - I like these people! Facebook faux pas be tricky to navigate guys. Any advice on possible alternatives would be greatly appreciated.
Without further digression here is my most recent email to a large number of friends and family.
Yes this is a mass email. Yes I am being that annoying. So I'll make it brief; actually my goal is to make your life a little easier. I'm going to give you one less person to think about on your holiday list.
Instead of wondering what to get me, or how much it should be worth, is a card enough, is a gift even appropriate (I mean how well do we really know each other anyway?!) I figured I'd be greedy and just ask for what I want.
I'm asking friends and family (and distant relatives, and acquaintances, and maybe a few random people on the street) to donate $27 to help me celebrate my 27th birthday.
I'm aiming to raise $2,000 by Nov 17th. The best part? An awesome friend has pledged to match every $27 donation! That means that when you donate $27 it is the equivalent of saving 6 lives, most of them children under the age of 5.
The Against Malaria Foundation is one of the most effective charities in the world. While bed nets aren't the newest, coolest, sexiest form of charity, they are effective at saving lives. Amazingly effective.
I can go on and on about the importance of effective charities, why I chose this one, how deadly malaria is, how close we are to wiping it out, how I want you to forward this email, how donating makes your life better. But I promised you a short email, so I'll just stop while I'm ahead.
This may be a mass email, but I am more than happy to answer any questions you have, or even just catch up and chit chat. It has been too long friend! Click the reply button. I won't bite :)
Oh! OH! Before I forget: If you have already donated THANK YOU! You are awesome. Please disregard this email. Don't feel pressured to take any other action than to keep on being your bad self.
*Update* the best reply I've gotten to this email so far:
Damn, Sydney! Get down wit yo good self!