A GlobalGiving project leader tells you how her nonprofit hit new milestones in the #HerVoice campaign to end violence against women.
Violence against women and child abuse in India is an epidemic. A child goes missing every eight minutes. So-called “honor killings” are on the rise, and perpetrators of violence typically escape punishment.
GlobalGiving partner, Snehalaya, Home of Love, is dedicated to ending the epidemic—and is raising support in remarkable ways.
Home of Love is a founding member of the #HerVoice campaign. In 2015, they raised £70,000 in matching funds for eight charities participating in the 2015 GlobalGiving #HerVoice campaign to stop violence against women. This year, Home of Love is again part of the #HerVoice campaign, which ends on Aug. 8, 2017. Home of Love held the #2 fundraising spot in the campaign (at the time of this publication).
The nonprofit also recently started a petition to fight for Indian women and girls suffering gender-based violence. The result was incredible! The petition reached 60,000 signatures, and 400 people took selfies with the #HerVoice hashtag. And Home of Love earned 27 international press pieces and two broadcast interviews.
How did Home of Love do it? Project Leader Miranda Hudson shares her tips below.
Q: How did you get involved with Home of Love, and what motivates you to stay involved?
A: I started my work with Home of Love during a 6-week skilled volunteer placement in 2009. I am motivated as a feminist and feel every individual should live a life free from hindrance, especially cruelty and prejudice based on others lack of understanding of basic human rights. Seeking this justice motivates me and in knowing all the girls at Snehalaya and their stories, their bravery, motivates me.
Q: How did you get ready for the 2015 #HerVoice Campaign?
A: We decided down what we wanted to share weekly across the 6-week appeal. Monday was for showcasing a constituent and her story, Tuesday a wider news piece, Wednesday to thank donors and share our position in the campaign so on. Then, we did a network map and determined which supporters would be good for what roles—social sharers, donors, etc.
Q: Why did of Home of Love decide on crowdfunding as a way to raise money?
A: What excites me most about crowdfunding is it gives people a framework of urgency to give. They can get charity fatigue, especially with so much going on in the UK. It’s exciting to build a sense of camaraderie in good will. Altruism is addictive.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of crowdfunding?
A: It’s challenging to find a sensitive way to safely share our women’s story that a) never compromises them in any way or risks their safety; and b) does not make the topic seem too dire. We see all the horrors and the aftermath of ordeals such as human trafficking have on women’s lives—but we have hope because we know how to address it. What is more dire is when organizations like ours are forced to close? What then?
Q: How long did it take to plan your campaign, and did your team expect such fantastic results?
A: We only had six days to schedule most of it, leaving it manageable as a 4-hour a week job for our communications officer. We have very limited staff resources as we are all working other jobs and Snehalaya UK is run by volunteers. The result has been great; it was a bit unexpected, but much welcomed to get some big anonymous donors putting in donations as a result of our communications. It was also reassuring to have long term donors give again when we thought they may have been getting tired of giving!
Q: If you had to share just one tip with other match campaign participants, what would it be?
A: Really think about who your audience is and speak to them directly and clearly about why your cause is so valid and how they can make all the difference in what you as the specialist are trying to achieve. Make your audience believe they are enabling greatness in partnering with your organization—and be confident.
Q: What is the hardest thing about getting people to donate to your cause?
A: It can feel like we are so far from equality and people feel like ending gender-based violence is so multifaceted and patriarchy is so entrenched that they get deflated and overwhelmed. Fear of failure can’t play a role when you are on the front line and those women need you to fight their corner.
Q: Tell us about some of the survivors of gender-based violence who have turned to Home of Love for help.
A: No need! Just let our six amazing women from #HerVoice share their stories with you directly by visiting snehalaya.org/herstory—one released each Tuesday between now and Aug. 8. Archana’s at the end is breathtaking. She helped put an end to a child sex ring, winning a case that ended with 22 double-life sentences for a policeman, a judge, a businessman and many more. Archana’s story will be featured in the Guardian online, too.
Q: Finish this sentence: People are surprised to find out that I __________.
A: Run two successful commercial businesses and still give 50 percent of my time to working for what I believe in entirely unpaid.
Q: Tell us one thing you wish more people knew about your work.
A: I’d like people to know that all the amazing people we help get our services for life not just for the period they are in crisis and that we work side by side with our community of service. Many survivors of gender-based violence join our training programs and become mentors and paid staff. When people find out they often become employees, they are surprised. Why wouldn’t we hire them? They have the most insight and empathy from their personal experience.LEARN MORE
Featured Photo: Home of Love works with survivors of gender-based violence. This is Sangeeta, one of the women who turned to Home of Love for help.