Unexpected by products from running a crowdfunding campaign

Over the past two weeks, I've spent far more time that I planned on our crowdfuding campaign, African Data Initiative, which is always more fun and time consuming than expected. There's still 21 more days to go but it doesn't look like we'll reach our ambitious target of getting 500 supporters from Kenya. Despite these challenges, there's been a lot of positives that sprung up as a result of our campaigning.

We realised a few weeks ago that people who already knew about AMI were quicker to support our campaign, and so we've been working on increasing awareness of AMI in Maseno, particularly among students. It's something I was always interested in because of the many conversations I've had with students, who seem almost angry when they realise something as fantastic as the Maths Camp has been going on in Maseno for the last four years and they never knew about it. So I'm glad the campaign has given us the chance to work on this. Our Maseno student volunteers have done excellently on this, putting in a lot of time and effort: in person, on social media and through videos all to create awareness of what AMI has been doing around Maseno. It's increased AMI's reputation in the community, and hopefully excited or inspired a few students.

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Interns filming a video asking fellow students to support the campaign.

AMI's social media presence has also come alive through the campaign. We're not made it enough of a priority in the past, but running this campaign has forced us to post regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs - and crucially not just about the campaign, but all of AMI's activities, which look impress now we've got them documented (World Bank Kenya even started following us on Twitter). This is largely down to our interns who have a bit more knowledge of social media but more importantly, have been dedicated and took initiative to ensure that, when people like me just didn't have the time, AMI was always outputting something. I really hope this continues after the campaign.

Finally, I never realised how quick and easy it is to make and edit videos that actually look pretty good - now I have some of these skills. Until a few weeks ago, the only video AMI had was the musical Maseno Maths Camp video from a few years back. We've now got 6, with more coming on the way, and the campaign has sparked the creativity of the AMI team, so watch this space...

I've enjoyed venturing into crowdfunding and although it's been time consuming and we're unlikely to get the large numbers we set out to achieve (find out in 21 days time), our efforts here will inform our future campaigns and have pushed AMI into exploring new ways of reaching out to people.

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Date: Saturday, 26. September 2015 13:48
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