OYW Coordinating Ambassador for Europe 3 Milena Milićević elaborates on her fundraising experience for OYW Summit and how OYW community empowers all motivated Millennials who want to put their ideas into practice. The text also outlines the relevance of OYW for MUNers community.
One Young World is a global platform which gathers the driven young people between 18-30 at the annual Summit so that they cooperate on entrepreneurship, human rights, and governance projects in order to help the institutions in their countries and regions. The last Summit was organized in Johannesburg in 2013, and its founders Kate Robertson and David Jones from Havas Media Agency introduced changes as OYW participants will now become more globally connected and engaged in solving the pressing global issues. That is why from Febraury 2014, all One Young World delegates got a Coordinating Ambassador assigned to their region according to their country of origin. Twenty-two Coordinating Ambassadors got elected via participants’ votes and they will supervise their regions’ project teams and disseminate the ideas of other OYW participants to the OYW organizing team.
Here is Milena's fundraising story:
When I was mid-way in my fundraising campaign With Milena to Africa so that I can attend OYW Summit in Johannesburg an acquaintance asked me, ''Will you succeed to collect 3,000 pounds?'' I confidently quoted Henry Ford, 'Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.''
In the dish called fundraising success my top ingrediences were: vision for the desirable outcome, perseverance when things did not go my way, relentless reaching out to people, and a bit of luck when crucial sponsors spotted my request and decided to help out because of the values and reliability I projected. No matter for what reason you fundraise: a start-up launch, attending the conference, studying abroad; if you harbour the aforementioned qualities you will be able to fundraise more effectively and efficiently.
Moreover, Millennials live in the best era ever as they are globally connected with low-cost flights and real-time reporting via social media. Through their channels, Millennials can exchange the examples of best practices; they can mobilize crowds for their projects; they can help each other out; they can fundraise money and other resources to compensate for what the others might be missing.
When I reflect on my own fundraising experience, these are my crucial learnings:
1) No man is an island.
Crowdfunding operates on the principle that if many people help out a bit and possibly in different currencies, at their own convenience, the fundraising goal will be achieved.Groups of people with similar values mobilize themselves, but it is up to the innitiators of the crowdfunding campaign to take the seemingly awkward, first step. They must consistently ask for help and clearly communicate their requirements to those who are likely to endorse the campaign.
2) Fundraisers and entrepreneurs must radiate a genuine and inspirational vision.
''Why should you attend the next OYW Summit and why should we help you?'' is the most useful question in the elevator pitch of any OYW fundraiser. True leaders reflect on their whys and motivation often. They do not pretend in their actions, but continue to be inspirational even when it is difficult, thus maintaining the respect of their communities. A friend told me that she bought in my vision of ''donating a cup of coffee for Milena in Africa'' because she felt that by helping out she and her interests will be also presented in Johannesburg.
3) Fundraisers and entrepreneurs operate simultaneously on several frontiers.
One of the most valuable resources in the 21st century is the time and fundraisers and entrepreneurs do not have the luxury to stop their motion and activity in order to wait for the answers. After pitching companies in hundreds of tailor-made emails, they will reach out to their friends' community in the public crowdfunding campaign in their native and English language. They might organize offline events where they will share particular knowledge their community needs, make cookies or sell vintage clothes, and collect some money afterwards.
After every successful campaign or project there comes a time when enthusiasm settles down a bit and the moment of legacy emerges. That is why I, along with fellow OYW Ambassadors, took the steps to bring back fundraising knowledge to OYW communities during: The Lecture about OYW Summit in Belgrade, The Third Global Neighbourhood Talk in Thessaloniki and HeySuccess Online Workshop about Attending The Next OYW Summit in Dublin.
Fundraising is a fascinating topic in which your knowledge can never get exhausted. That is why I recommend several resources to get you going: OYW Fundraising Kit and my presentations about Projects for Youth and crowdfunding. These materials contain abundance of useful tips not only for people who want to attend OYW Summit in Ireland, but also for those who want to organize conferences and start their own business.
Every entrepreneur, creator and innovator, must remember Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s quote, ‘‘The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.’’
The text is devoted to OYWAmbassadors and partners in legacy projects: Ioanna Fotopoulou, Ashleigh Sean Rolle, Milenko Pilic and Kaan Ozguney.
Cover Image: private archive and One Young World.