By: Tharuni Swecha
Published On: May 29, 2018
Funds raised: 2,49,801
Dr. Mamatha Raghuveer founded Tharuni in 2000, an organization that would focus on the growth and development of women and girls, a minority in terms of the socioeconomic and cultural significance they get, despite the fact that they make up almost half of India’s population. The organization attempts to empower females in the Telangana region by running skill training workshops, campaigning against child marriage, and most importantly, by sending as many girls as possible to school so they receive education and consequently access to opportunity and upward social mobility.
Earlier in 2018, Tharuni began a project they called “Cycle to School”. The project was exactly what it sounded like, with the NGO aiming to send at least 500 girls a year to school on bicycles. With this eco-friendly and inexpensive means of transport made available to the Tharuni girls, they were enabled to attend school without having to depend on anyone else for the long commutes, and were freed of thoughts of mobility problems - how to pay for things like bus tickets or van fares. With many girls tending to cycle to middle school and high school in groups, the likelihood of being eve teased and cat called also went down sharply. The girls, most from destitute families and bent on earning their educations to escape such dire poverty, found their strength in numbers, in each other, as they rode to school and back in the mornings and afternoons.
To make this happen, Tharuni started a fundraiser as part of GlobalGiving’s Accelerator on Impact Guru. The NGO set a target of Rs. 2 lakhs to buy bicycles for 500 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. In only 73 days, 42 donors had come forward with generous contributions to not just meet this goal, but to surpass it by nearly 25%!
With the success of this project, teenage girls’ school dropout rates in the vicinity of the NGO’s area of operation has gone down from 38%. Female literacy rates in the region are also improving, bit by bit, as a result of the project.
What was it about the Tharuni Swecha's Cycle to School project ensured its mammoth success?
Fundraiser story: First of all, the NGO wrote an excellent fundraiser story. They divided this simple and compelling story into parts, first creating a project summary, then making a problem statement (the cause at hand), and then establishing solutions, and explaining to the reader why they are raising funds.
A clear ask: This was followed up by a brief but clear fund utilization plan, where Tharuni’s campaigners explained how each donation could make a difference to the Tharuni Swechha cause. For example, they explained that a Rs. 2500 donation could help create a partial fund for a single bicycle, but that a Rs. 5000 donation could send one girl to school.
Visit Tharuni’s fundraiser page to know more about their journey to help girls go to school.