Two friends from across the world celebrated their birthday in this special way!

By: Mayank Shrivastava

Published On: May 29, 2018

Total Raised: Rs. 74,242

Two young change-makers from opposite sides of the world got together to educate 24 underprivileged girls!

We usually get greedy for our birthdays. We want gifts and surprise, and midnight phone calls. While all of that is great (and you deserve every single bit of love and attention you get), Mayank and Shrija found out that there is greater happiness to be sought while helping others. 

They started a birthday fundraiser as they turned 25!

Mayank, a marketing professional was looking forward to his milestone year. “I overheard a couple of friends discussing about gifting me a watch,” he writes in his story. And while to his own admission, he would’ve been overjoyed with the watch! He decided to celebrate his milestone in a different way. 

His birthday fell on the 26th of January and Shrija, who currently lives in the US , was turning 25 on the 27th of January. “Due to the time gap, our birthdays were overlapping and thus I roped her in the idea as well!”, Mayank told us.

They started the fundraiser a few days before their birthday and set the goal at a humble Rs. 30,000. They asked their family and friends to donate instead of buying them gifts. 

And the presents flowed in; they crossed their goal amount is 3 days and raised more than double of the set target!

How did they pick the NGO?

For most young campaigners picking the right NGO and cause is often a tedious task. Vetting an NGO and its impact is crucial. Mayank had come across the work Nanhikali did through a client. “I knew the impact a small donation like Rs. 10 could make; it could educate a girl for a day!” Mayank told us. 

He knew that even if he was able to gather a little from his and Shrija’s friends; it could mean a lot for girls at Nanhikali, an NGO that supports education of underprivileged young girls. Mayank mobilized the campaign in India, while Shrija spread the initiative in the US. They even promised to match donations with upto Rs. 8000 from their own pockets.  

Within a week, they exceeded their target to raise close to Rs. 75,000! - enough to educate 24 girls for a year!

How did they do it?

Bloggers Unite: Mayank has a thriving Medium blog which he used to advocate his cause and promote his fundraiser. Read the blog here!

Whatsapper: Mayank sent the link to various whatsapp groups and some of his personal contacts to persuade them to donate. 

Birthday feels: A special occasion always convinces people faster. They want to give you something or want to share your happiness in some way, so they’d be more than willing to give something or help you in someway (aka, you’ve got the bargaining power!)

Clear Fund Utilization details: Mayank and Shrija were clear about how much impact a particular amount would make. They broke it down for their donors, for eg. if you donate Rs. 300 could educate a girl for a month, whereas Rs. 3000 could educate a girl for a year! 

Matching Funds: Mayank and Shrija obviously wanted to pitch in themselves. But instead of a direct donation, they matched donations (added a bit from their own pockets to each donation made) for up to Rs. 8,000 to multiply the impact and persuade more people to participate!

View his fundraiser here.

You too can start a birthday fundraiser here.


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