Judy Peterson, founder and chair of Fundación Ayuda Niños La Paz gave Charlie and me a tour of Colonias Laguna Azul, one of the impoverished “colonias” on the outskirts of La Paz (see photos here).The colonias were hit hard by Hurricane Odile, and will be among the last to receive power and water. Most of the people live in ramshackle cardboard-and-sheet metal houses with open roofs and walls. The houses we visited lost almost everything – clothing, bedding, food, etc. Right now the people are struggling to get fresh water, rice, and beans.
I followed up with some thoughts about how we might help Judy’s organization and the Colonias Laguna Azul community, both with immediate needs and also with longer-term fundraising and development. Feedback invited:
- Personal Donation. We can make an immediate cash donation for water, beans, rice or whatever else you think is most needed.
- Service Learning. My son Charlie is interested in volunteering on Saturdays at your clinic to help tutor English. He would also possibly be available to help with cooking or other activities, provided it’s on weekends (his weekday schedule is very full).
- Establish Charitable Employment Fund. I would like to discuss the possibility of raising a “charitable employment fund” – that is, a pool of money that Fundación Ayuda Niños would distribute to community members based on their work for, or other direct contributions to, Fundación Ayuda Niños La Paz. The idea would offer charitable employment – jobs that helped both the community and Fundación, e.g., clearing the lot that your purchased, building improvements, cleaning, etc. Please let me know what you think.
- Create better media resources for fundraising and marketing. I would be happy to explore the possibility of collecting documentary stills and video footage of Colonias Laguna Azul. I would consider underwriting a one-day shoot (still photographs and video) and a one to two day edit of 3-5 short (1-3 minute) videos with English subtitles. You could post these on your website and also use in fundraising appeals. I have identified 4 potential bilingual, local Mexican documentary photographers/videographers. If you’re interested in moving forward with this, please let me know if you have any experience with them:
Alejandro Vasquez, Producciones Mar Adentro
- Refresh your website. If you’re interested, I would be happy to work with your executive director on refreshing your website, cutting back on the text and incorporating more videos, images and stories.
- Develop direct mail strategy. I would be happy to talk with my client Mal Warwick Associates / Donordigital about how they might help with direct marketing on a pro bono basis.
- Launch short-term direct marketing / fundraising campaign. Depending on the quality of your email/direct mail list, I would be happy to help craft an immediate appeal for funds.