Photo: Shirley Han Ying, Accra, Ghana, 2006
Some of the saddest words we hear from non-profits and grassroots groups, and we hear them frequently, are "we can't afford it."
We're not talking about Ridealist fees, because we don't charge any.
We're referring to the expenses of putting together a video/photography project that is outside our immediate geographic area of Hong Kong.
Recently, we have been communicating with a group in India that provides basic education and vocational skills training to young girls. They were on the "short list" for our planned in-depth documentary project in June.
Then, sadly, they informed us that after contacting their friends, sponsors and fundraisers, they simply could not come up with the cash to contribute to the expenses of bringing the Ridealist team to India to document their valuable work.
There are plenty of folks who do work similar to us who would argue, quite rightly, you simply can't afford not to afford it!
How else are you going to bring your message to a wider pool of potential donors, sponsors etc? You simply are not in the game unless people know you are there.
Slowly, painfully slowly it feels at times, we are bringing together specialists in various areas such as grant writing, website design, fundraising and so on, that we can refer people to.
These kind folks are willing to work on a volunteer basis to do what they can to help the "branding" of these non-profits, give them the opportunity to get their message out.
But as more people contact Ridealist, it is so easy to get overwhelmed.
And the words we hate to hear ourselves say is "No, sorry, we can't help you right now."
And while it breaks our heart, we're hearing ourselves say that far too frequently recently.
We've just committed ourselves to another local project that will need to be completed before (if) we leave for our June volunteer project. This on top of no less than four others we are currently engaged in!
The motto of one of our existing clients is: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of your honesty, your courage, and your strength.
We need more help.
We need grant writers, graphic artists, website development experts, fundraisers, and last but not least, people willing to sponsor some very worthwhile projects.
While Ridealist could certainly use all of the above, we're not asking for ourselves.
If you can volunteer even a little of your time in any of the above specialities, we will connect you with groups that can use your expertise.
Chris & Shirley
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