Monday, 3 March 2014

London Marathon Heros

In just over a month from now, thousands of people will be filling the vehicle-free streets of London chasing each other around a pre-defined route with thousands more people cheering them on.  Anyone who has run the London Marathon previously often will talk of it being an amazing experience and how incredible encouraging they found it as complete strangers shouted their name and words of encouragement.

From the virtual sidelines of the blog, we'd like to give a massively loud shout out to Ben Grierson-Hill who is running the London Marathon on behalf of Give Aid Direct.   Most people run the marathon for a charity as that allows them to enter, however Ben was one of the lucky persons to be selected by the marathon lottery system to run the marathon without charity sponsorship.  However, Ben has a huge heart and thought he could raise money as well as run.  It has been an amazing encouragement to us to have Ben request to run and fundraise on our behalf - we are well-chuffed to have him support us.

April 13 is the day of the big run for Ben - we'll be there cheering him on from the sidelines and we invite you to join us.  Why don't you also follow this link to his marathon page where you can donate and even choose a song for him to listen to while he runs!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Setbacks and Reflections

2014 begun with significant optimism and excitement - we had submitted numerous high quality grant applications, Maria began working with us two days a week, and Phil had agreed to provide some free monthly marketing help.  I felt we had turned a corner, 2014 was going to be the year we made huge advances in developing Give Aid Direct

While Give Aid Direct is developing, the path is not at all what I expected at the start of the year. While Maria has been a great help and Phil is helping us understand more about marketing, all of our funding applications have been turned down, which was unexpected.  We often made into the top 5 or even top 2 applications, but narrowly was beat out by another application.  Thankfully, we have received some helpful feedback about our applications and the overall concept of Give Aid Direct, which we can use to improve future applications and future communication.  

While setbacks are never fun or enjoyable, they have given me time to pause, reflect, and challenge my thinking.  There is an improved version of the Give Aid Direct concept forming - call it Give Aid Direct 2.0 if you will.  It is very much in its infancy, but the seed has been planted, has germinated, and is beginning to sprout.  While the original concept of person-to-person giving in the aftermath of a disaster is core to what we want to enable, there is more to Give Aid Direct than that, but our message, our story, our engagement needs to be much more.  

We'll be hard at work improving Give Aid Direct, the experience, and the impact, however we need you to join us and spread the word.  Visit us regularly, tell us what you think, and tell your friends about us.