Challenging Myself and Fundraising for Social Change
In the Q&A below, YWCA Minneapolis supporter, donor and changemaker Elle Edberg talks about her experience fundraising during Race Against Racism 5K and offers some tips for those looking to raise money to support social change in their communities.
What does YWCA Minneapolis mean to you?
I grew up in South Minneapolis, and YWCA Minneapolis always had a presence in the community. But, I never understood the mission or the impact of YWCA until I was an adult. Last summer, when people living in the heart of Minneapolis needed support and care the most, YWCA seemed like a safe haven for the community. Volunteers were dedicating time and resources to help people keep going; they collected items and distributed them to those impacted.
I trusted that they understood the needs and heart of the community, so my family and I started collecting and donating items. Since then, I’ve been following along on YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women, two causes that our community desperately needs. To me, YWCA Minneapolis means safety, growth and empowerment.
What inspired you to sign up for Race Against Racism?
I am running my first marathon this fall — the Twin Cities Marathon. I wanted to run it to challenge myself mentally and physically, and bring attention to a nonprofit that makes a difference in Minneapolis. I chose YWCA Minneapolis and committed to raising $1,000 for YWCA’s Racial Justice programs through Race Against Racism.
I am thankful for events like the Race Against Racism 5K because it gives people a creative way to support causes they care about. There are many different ways to get involved and make a difference — through education, volunteering, donating or fundraising. I chose to get involved through fundraising because I can use my voice to ask others for help and encourage them to become part of the cause.
How did fundraising go? Did anything surprise you during the process?
Fundraising was great! I was not surprised that people were so quick to be on board to support YWCA Minneapolis and the Race Against Racism. But, I was very surprised that we surpassed the goal of $1,000 in 24 hours!
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What tips do you have for others who are new to fundraising?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Fundraising can feel uncomfortable at first — but that’s the point of it! Not everyone is willing to step outside their comfort zone to do it. But YOU ARE. So embrace the uncomfortableness. Use all the resources and connections you have — email, actual mail, word of mouth, social media, work, friends, family, neighbors.
Share why it’s important to you — people want to help others and they’ll want to support a cause you genuinely care about. Where will the money go? Who will it help? Why should they care? Trial and error as well — do not be discouraged if you don’t hit your fundraising goals right away, or if you completely flop. It’s a learning experience! Pivot and keep going… just like training for running 🙂
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