Fundraising for the first time can be daunting. You may wonder what a creative campaign could be, and how to involve your friends. So we spoke to Lydia Madeline Lim, who ran her first fundraising campaign on Giving.sg in October. Her fundraising campaign “A Mile In Her Shoes” raised over $20,000 for AWARE.
We hope you find her sharing to be insightful!
Tell us more about yourself.
I’m Lydia and founder of Luxequisite. It is a jewellery business that just turned 1! We provide a range of jewellery services, such as fine jewellery, bespoke design & production and a pre-owned department with a focus on liquidation.
What motivated you to start a fundraising campaign?
Luxequisite is people-centered, for both customers and communities. While customers are important on one-hand, the communities which we inhabit are incredibly vital and something we keep close to our hearts.
Many questioned whether it was the right time for me to fundraise when I am still getting my business off the ground. However, I think it is important to do what we can when we can even if it requires some time apart from our business. It is especially heartwarming for me when I spoke to the team and everyone was immediately onboard and willing to put in extra hours to see through our fundraising event.
Why did you run your fundraising campaign on Giving.sg?
I wanted the money to go directly to the charity. It offers higher transparency for donors. I found Giving.sg to be secure and simple to use.
Why did you opt to fundraise for AWARE?
I noticed the headlines about how domestic violence has been on the increase. AWARE had an alarming growth surge of 112% compared to 2019 and this caught my attention immediately. The growth rate is too high for such a short span of time and we understood the urgency right away.
How did you conceive your fundraising campaign idea?
There were more traditional means of fundraising such as gala dinners, however amid the Covid-19 situation, there would be a limit on capacity. I wanted to challenge myself to not only think of a fundraising idea that would better appeal to millennials and Gen Z’s, but one that also has a potential for high scalability after the Covid-19 pandemic and hopefully set a new trend for giving.
My goal was to achieve a higher participation rate with a lower per unit $ (dollar) value per participant. I.e.: Gala dinners seats range between $650 to $1,200. However for an event like “A Mile in Her Shoes”, each participant could perhaps have a target of $250 to $500 and it is easy to scale from getting the first 100 people walk a mile to 10,000. The amount of administrative work, logistics and planning would not increase much as we scale upwards and the lack of capacity limit was important. We need a volume of participants to increase awareness and understanding of domestic violence. The goal is monetary but it also helps to understand. Messaging is important too.
What attracts millennials and Gen Z’s are movements that have the element of community building and fighting for a better tomorrow. Following that line of thought, I conceived the idea of having 40 men wear heels to raise awareness so they too can experience walking “A Mile In Her Shoes”.
I timed it perfectly on Halloween day so people would not find it too odd to see men wearing heels in broad daylight!
Share your process. Were there challenges when convincing others to help you out?
I managed to convince 40 of my male friends to volunteer! They loved the cause, and were ever ready to be ‘tortured’ in heels. For most of them, it was their first time wearing heels.
Within Luxequisite, there were 9 of us in the team including both permanent staff and part timers. I am so grateful that everyone was game to help without hesitation and went beyond their job scope. Everyone really gave their best in such a short span of time. We had 3 weeks to turn this around and boy did we have fun! As a start up we don’t have money for corporate retreats or staycation vouchers but we grew closer than ever putting our heads together for a good cause.
Through the process, I realised that we need to train participants on how to become advocates too. Not everyone is a natural! Although we provided media assets (Videos, Images, QR Codes) and there was media coverage, not everyone knew how to leverage on it.
(Special thanks to Straits Times, Today Singapore, The New Paper, Mothership, Women’s Weekly and Zaobao for the media coverage!)
What were the main things you learned? What do you hope for future fundraising campaigns?
Like running a business, running a fundraising campaign requires trial and error.
I hope “A Mile In Her Shoes” can become an annual event where it is scalable for more people to participate and fundraise.
With Luxequisite, we are committed to CSR on an annual basis. I truly believe that every business can do CSR, even if you are a SME or Startup. A business has to figure out one’s strength for giving back. For us, we know how to build a brand, build our event, use our tight-knit network despite it being small and forge ahead quickly.
Next year, we will be selling brooches and net profit will go to AWARE. Stay tuned to Luxequisite for more updates! You an also follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/luxequisite.official for our latest drops & news.
Turn your gifts into “gives” this festive season and make it the best give ever on www.giving.sg/best-give-ever.
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