The message on her fundraising page couldn’t be clearer: “THANK YOU SO MUCH! I AM GOING TO PRINCETON!” In just 7 days, Jazmin Vergara managed to raise nearly $3,500 to attend the JSA Summer School program at Princeton University.
After completing the JSA Fundraising Academy webinar, Jazmin got right to work. “I first began the fundraising challenge through my school since I had talked to teachers about the program. For the first three days a great majority of the teachers had helped me gain more donations for me by putting the link on their Facebook or Twitter. From there, I realized I can’t just rely on my school… So, I went ahead and sent e-mails to my local mayor, the city council, the board of education, and others,“ she says.
She also faced some struggles. A week after starting her campaign, no one had donated to her. So she decided to, in her words, “kick it up.” “I started going face-to-face to local businesses and telling them my story of how I found this program and how much it means it to me to be able to go and gave them the link [to my fundraising page]. Then, I decided to e-mail the local news outlet… and they responded gleefully and got a story about me out in one night. I also had the help of one of the Board of Education members who I had sent an e-mail to and had sent a new personal referral to about fifty of his friends in the community”
Her increased efforts paid off: “With the press, the city, and my family coming together I felt as if the link to my page was on a billboard! Within about the whole school day I had checked my e-mail and the donations just kept coming. By the end of the day at three o’clock, I got the e-mail saying that I had met what I needed. “
Jazmin also has some advice for other students looking to raise the money for summer school: “Do not be afraid to e-mail anyone and everyone. The more you get your name out there, the more people will want to become invested in you. Brag about yourself!“
JSA Fundraising Academies, which can help students learn how to put together a successful campaign to raise the funds need for summer school, as Jazmin did, are held on Tuesday (7pm ET) and Wednesday (6pm PT) evenings each week through May. To sign up, send an email to FundraisingAcademy@jsa.org with your name and which day you would like to attend Fundraising Academy.
To start your own fundraising page, go to www.jsa.org/summerfundraising