Accelerator Spotlight: Email Marketing Was Key To Crowdfunding In Uganda

Crowdfunding in Uganda? Jan Tanis raised more than $8,000 for her project in three weeks! The key to her success? Inspiring her current donors to fundraise alongside her. Learn more about how Jan succeeded through crowdfunding in Uganda.


Jan Tanis is a project leader for the Bwindi Community Program. She enrolled in GlobalGiving’s Accelerator program to raise enough money to open an e-library in a secondary school in Uganda. In this Q+A with GlobalGiving, she shares her best tips for crowdfunding in Uganda.

Q: Tell us about your connection to Uganda.

A: As tourists, a chance encounter with a local student who needed help spawned the entire effort that has matched sponsors to students for nine years. The US dollar can accomplish so much in this impoverished country. Projects, where the Bwindi Community Program students attend school, are a natural development of that connection.

Q: Why did GlobalGiving and crowdfunding make sense for your program?

A: Our network of donors is only increased by word of mouth—sponsors and donors recommending our organization as being honest and capable. We have no paid marketing people. We are staffed by volunteers. Without a credible organization representing a project, we are very limited in outreach.

Q: How did you build your network of donors to meet the goal for Accelerator graduates—at least $5,000 from 40 donors?

A: By contacting current donors/sponsors and asking them to contact friends, we developed a significant emailing list. The enthusiasm grew. [Learn more about how to build a network of fundraising advocates.]

Q: What surprised you about the Accelerator?

A: The acceptance by our donors of the use of this type of vehicle. They knew BCP was working on grant writing and trying every other way to raise funds. They tolerated the increased volume of emails and donated!

Q: How has your approach to crowdfunding in Uganda changed after the Accelerator?

A: As a non-marketing person, I have learned to talk more about the projects and involve our personnel on the ground more. This project became a team effort of school alumni, BCP donors, GlobalGiving donors, and matching funds. It worked!

Q: What is your No. 1 tip for future Accelerator participants who are crowdfunding in Uganda?

A: Assemble the best possible list of people you want to target and be judicious about the timing and length of email blasts.

Learn how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. Apply now to be part of our next Accelerator.


Featured Photo: Connect Rural Uganda School to the World by Bwindi Community Program

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