Jun 5, 2022

Interview: Al Amal Association with its Inqad Project is Educating Vulnerable Orphans in Morocco.

Interview: Al Amal Association with its Inqad Project is Educating Vulnerable Orphans in Morocco.

Inqad project looks forward to creating an educational support center of 400 square meters for orphan students who threatened to drop out of school due to their poverty, as well as educational and social fragility. Approximately 200 children between the ages of 8 and 18 will benefit from the services of this compound, which will focus on providing educational support as well as educational activities to enhance their learning and develop their personalities. The rescue project will also provide mothers the opportunity to develop their educational methods so that they can keep up with their children and save them from falling or leaving school.

Let's discover with Mrs. Khadija Boukhobza, a general coordinator, how the Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy helped them raise 50,000 USD to support orphan students who suffer from social and educational vulnerabilities.

Why did you apply to take part in the Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy?

We have applied to Tadamon Academy because we were interested in this new financing mechanism, and we intended to use it after the issuance in February 2021 of the law that authorizes this kind of financing in Morocco. The Academy came at the perfect time because we needed to be trained in this alternative finance and use it in our sustainable development programs. In addition to that, we found the academy a great opportunity to network with different humanitarian organizations.

How did the Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy help you to prepare your crowdfunding campaign?

The lessons presented throughout the models were clear and insightful. The methodology of the academy based on tests and applications was fruitful, thanks to which we were able to make the basic content of the campaign ready before its launch. This was also reinforced by formative meetings on visual media and the methodology for preparing the grant project. This undoubtedly enriched our knowledge and empowered us.

What is one major takeaway (insight) you had about crowdfunding from the academy that you would like to pass on to others?

For a campaign to be successful, being nice-looking and having a strong social impact is not enough. It is your responsibility to strive to reach a large audience, as well as to encourage small donations from the crowd. It is also extremely important that you focus on your close circle of friends and family to collect the first 30%. After that, with a combination of a meaningful purpose and adequate marketing, the campaign should start to see some progress.

Can you tell us more about your crowdfunding campaign? What is the project about?

Ignoring school dropouts in our city due to pressure or neglect only makes these children victims of drug trafficking and targets for violent terrorist groups. Those who make it past the Mediterranean Sea, usually end up as illegal immigrants lost in the streets of Europe.

Inqad project (Rescue Project) seeks to support orphan students who suffer from social and educational vulnerabilities or who are at risk of falling into the aforementioned vulnerabilities, especially because of the increase in educational difficulties due to the pandemic.

The Rescue Project aims to build a diversified educational center, where beneficiaries can obtain academic support in fundamental subjects (such as Math, Arabic, and French), in addition to informatics and English for high schoolers, according to different support approaches. Through this program, they can enhance their learning skills with recreational, artistic, and athletic activities, practice life skills (such as critical thinking and interpersonal skills), and receive psychological support from social assistance. This center provides healthy meals to its students, as well as school transportation, ensuring a smooth transition from their marginal neighborhoods to the support center.

What is the main highlight/milestone of your crowdfunding campaign?

Throughout the entire campaign, we enjoyed applying what we learned in the academy, and we feel grateful to our mentors who supported us. The campaign had two main milestones:

1. Thanks to the support of our circle of family and friends, the donations exceeded 41% within the first week.

2. In the last days of the campaign, we promoted it through the marketing package offered by the platform.

How did you reach out and engage your target audience to donate to your campaign?

We started talking about our project and its new way of financing before the launch of the campaign. We held meetings with Al-Amal Association's volunteers and supporters and explained what was expected from them after its launch. Additionally, we have organized an online conference (using Zoom and Facebook live) about using crowdfunding in NGO projects.

When the campaign started, we followed our media plan on social media. More importantly, we used personalized voice messages, to communicate with people and explain the purpose of the project and how to support it.

Now that you have completed your campaign, what do you think is needed for a crowdfunding campaign to be a success? What would be something you would do differently?

For the success of a crowdfunding campaign, make sure the goal and vision of the project are very clear, observe previous similar campaigns and derive some learnings from them, gather a good understanding of the characteristics of the target audience, build a coherent and cooperative team that is ready to volunteer and work extensively, and include team members with extensive relations with the Muslim communities abroad.

Next time, we will use an expert in digital marketing to reduce the effort and time spent by the association's team volunteers and to raise the quality of the media materials.

Would you crowdfund again?

Based on this experience, we consider that the crowdfunding mechanism has become part of the financing methods adopted by our association. Accordingly, we plan to organize many campaigns in our various fields of work, as permitted by the law of the country.

Would you recommend crowdfunding to other civil society organizations? What advice will you give them?

We advise associations that have not previously crowdfunded not to hesitate to use this mechanism of increasing importance. They should hurry to educate some of their human resources in this field and to rely on people with some expertise in communication, public relations, and finance to lead successful campaigns.