Vibha Volunteer Conference: A plethora of fundraising ideas

As we together envision the future outlook of Vibha, there are many ways we can all contribute. For a Vibha volunteer, it’s important to understand the characteristics of the organization and the significance of being part of an Action Center. Apart from bringing awareness about the cause we work for, an important task at hand is fundraising to help support our projects.

This year I attended the Vibha Volunteers Conference in June at the Twin Cities. The main focus of the conference was to meet fellow volunteers, share ideas and collaborate to benefit all Action Centers. Everyone was broken up into different groups to brainstorm on ideas and I was a part of the Fundraising team during the breakout sessions. The groups comprised of Fundraising Events, Marketing, Volunteer Relations and Projects . In these breakout sessions, we worked together with volunteers from other Action Centers on how to create better ways of managing events and also talked about a five year growth plan. We came up with some really great ideas about ‘identifying and nurturing the next National event’ at Vibha.

Some of the main ideas discussed were to identify 1-2 events for mass adoption by all ACs’ and to have fifty events in Vibha’s portfolio. Dream mile was identified as the only true national event currently, happening at most AC’s. Our topic for discussion was “What is the next Flagship event that we can standardize and/or stretch over most action centers like Dream Mile?” Five events already conducted in multiple cities were discussed. The focus was on nurturing them and standardizing some of them in other action centers; though Cricket, Vibe and Dandiya were agreed upon as events where each action center had its own leverage depending on its interests, its demand in the community and participation. The idea of stretching and standardizing what we already do was also an important aspect in the debate. We all agreed that by 2011 all Action centers mandatorily will have Kalakaar go live on their websites. Kalakaar is an online event that nurtures artists of many genres in creative arts like drawing, essay, story writing and photography. It was also agreed upon that events should have names that are more diverse to suit each AC’s requirements. Blueprint of the event Vibe that is more successful in some action centers was to be shared with others so they could plan from varied angles and make it popular in their respective ACs’.

A new idea of a flagship event that came into play was Vibha Idol. It created quite a stir and it was very exciting to discuss initial ideas for this kind of an event and its possible outcome. The basic idea is; the Milwaukee chapter will pilot this exciting event. Vibha Idol will very much be along the lines of “American Idol” or “Britain’s Got Talent” and each action center will need to tweak the event according to their mobility of what they can do and what they can work with.

A rough brainstorm idea is to have three categories of singing, dancing and musical instrument talents. The competition will be broken down from categories firstly with age and then based on each talent. A panel of four judges will be appointed comprising of one Indian, one non-Indian, one person with musical /artistic talent and one celebrity person notable in the community. All judges will be required to have a musical and artistic background or musical knowledge of some sort. The results will be decided through a voting by all Vibha Volunteers with a percentage of the community audience’s votes. A week’s time frame will be given for the community to vote for the IDOL. We would need to create an online page for casting votes. Youtube videos of winners from each category will be posted, and all the winners will be announced on the event website.

I hope that this brief of what was discussed in the breakout session, during the conference has given everyone insight into the future plans of fundraising at Vibha. I believe this has stirred some thought and inspired all of you to start thinking and planning for greater things to come from Vibha. Let’s work together for our mission and vision of supporting projects that help underprivileged children and inspire others to make that move as well.

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