Bret McSpadden, a Namibia WorldTeach December 2010 volunteer, was not satisfied with simply teaching his students. After a year at Omungwelume Secondary School, he decided that he had to do something about the infrastructure where he was working. He contacted WorldTeach to ask if he could use our online resources in order to raise over $1,000 to repair desks, purchase computers and install internet at his school, in addition to providing scholarships to two of his students who could not afford to return to school.
Bret far exceeded his goal, raising $2,250. When we asked him how he did it, Bret was modest: “In all honesty,” he said, "with fundraising I have been lucky. I never expected to raise so much money and I don’t even know how to spend it all!” Bret noted that he had used the WorldTeach fundraising guide to raise $3,000 of his program fee. He sent approximately 100 letters to family and friends and received a generous response. From there, Bret took important steps that eager new fundraisers should note: he made an effort to keep in touch with donors, letting them know what he was doing in-country. He didn’t ask for money again, but he always thanked them when they made a donation. As a result, when he needed items from his school, his donors were already aware. For example, a number of people at his mother’s school had followed his activities throughout the year in Namibia. They decided to raise further funds for him as a part of a school club, and sent him $1,000 on their own.
Many times, volunteers are shy about asking the first time, and others are remiss in thanking donors. Don’t forget to keep in touch with them – you might be surprised of the good that can come from it!
By Lisa Tobias, WorldTeach Finance Director
Check out Bret's blog to learn more about his amazing journey in Namibia!