Design for fundraising – reflection

Recently I completed a fundraising campaign for the music band I belong and I wanted to record how it went – please read this article first to get a gist of what this is about.

Before I write about the outcome, here’s how the fundraising worked:

The “price” of a luggage tag minus material/shipping costs becomes donation

The plan was to produce luggage tags ($8 for small, $10 for medium) that people can order, and donate $7/$9 per item to the band. Cost margin of $1 would only cover materials cost, so my labour is what I would be offering. Through this system, the purchasers automatically became donors while receiving what they ordered. Their act of donation seemed like an extra feel-good benefit, rather than an expense with a high psychological hurdle.

After making an announcement, I received orders and inquiries from several people which was exciting! I started working on the project after work during the week and on weekends.

Materials glued & sewn together

The manufacturing process wasn’t as straight forward as I thought; the impact of coronavirus hit the world including this project. The fabric supplier contacted me that the fabric manufacturers in China had to temporarily be closed due to the virus, and she wasn’t sure when the next batch of the supplies would arrive. While there was a replacement for black faux leatherette (slightly shinier than the original but still of a good quality), blue faux leatherette had no replacement, which meant I could only make black luggage tags. I was quite disappointed that I couldn’t produce all the items as ordered, but despite of this everyone who ordered blue tags were accommodating to the change which I appreciated very much.

During the sewing step, I encountered the issues with my sewing machine malfunctioning for no reason (the fabric was not feeding smoothly), which meant I took a substantial amount of time fixing the machine and redoing the work. It was sometimes very frustrating that I was taking a lot of time, however I decided to focus on ensuring the product was durable and made with care instead.

Orders ready!

I appreciated everyone who positively responded to the campaign through placing orders and being patient with me, especially many of the band members. After all, I produced 20 luggage tags (10 small & 10 medium), raising the total of $160. I’ve been shipping some of the orders, and will be handling some to the purchasers once the band rehearsals resume. I’m hoping to plan a new fundraising campaign when I see an opportunity in the future!

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