My friend, Mazarine Treyz, is an accomplished woman: She is passionate about life and supporting nonprofit organizations. She’s worked in development offices of all sizes and has recently put her years of experience and training down on paper in The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising. I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be giving away a copy of the book for free to a reader!
I recently caught up with Mazarine and asked her, “If there was one example or story you could share that exemplifies why you wrote this book, and a few examples of the kinds of content and resources included in the book, what would it be?” And here’s what she shared:
Mazarine Treyz, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising
When I was growing up, people loved to argue around the dinner table about how people could try to change the world, but every nonprofit was corrupt. (No one in my family has ever worked at a nonprofit, and we definitely don’t have a tradition of giving to causes in our family.) After I graduated from college, I thought about all of the conversations I heard back at home, about how there was just nothing you could do to stop injustices. That you just had to let things go. And I thought, “Wow, really?”
So, I moved to Asia, learned Indonesian, and volunteered at Yayasan Emmanuel, which had just started to run mobile health clinics in Jakarta’s poorest slums. My first day in the clinic, we picked up the doctors who were donating their time, and got to Tanjung Priok, a slum on the water in the center of Jakarta, in the early hours of the morning. The smell of garbage and burning hit my nose as I climbed out of the van. People were living in concrete boxes with only a door, no windows, and sleeping on pieces of cardboard. When the slum flooded, their houses got flooded too. People made a meager living picking garbage and selling what they could. I had all kinds of preconceived notions about what I would find in Jakarta, but nothing prepared me for the massive skin diseases, people with all of their skin flaking off, people who had leprosy so badly that most of their fingers and toes were gone, and their skin was so mottled it looked like it was sliding off their bodies. I didn’t know that you can get leprosy from having a cut on your foot and then stepping into some dirty water, but you can.
Standing far away, I had no idea what people needed. Being there, I realized that people clearly needed access to clean, fresh water. Now WatSan has helped people in Tanjung Priok get filters for creating fresh clean water, and they have started selling it to other slums, creating income, a cottage industry, and money for uniforms for their children to attend school, breaking the cycle of poverty. All from water.
It was an experience that changed me forever. I realized that I could help make people aware of these situations overseas by writing about them. When I returned to America I began my career as a nonprofit consultant. I co-founded a nonprofit called “The Moon Balloon Project” and worked for arts in healthcare nonprofits.
But what I found was that the books for getting started in making a difference with your writing were just DULL. I tried some courses at the Foundation Center, and looked at some books, but couldn’t really get into anything I read. All fired up from my time in Indonesia, I thought, “Changing the world is so exciting! Why do these fundraising books have to be so BORING?” So flash forward to seven years later, I’ve worked full time at nonprofits and consulted part time with nonprofits, and I’ve raised a lot of money. In 2010 I completed my book, the book that I wish I had had when i first started. This book is about every fundraising method, tip and trick that I’ve learned on the way, for people who would like useful fundraising advice written from a cheerful, fresh, graphically rich, interactive perspective that they can immediately apply to their cause.
Some examples of things you’ll find inside my book:
- a CD with 80 pages of templates, FAQs and more that you can open up and instantly customize for your fundraising office.
- a series of quizzes and worksheets for your board members designed to get them to help you fundraise
- a sponsorship letter that has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for me in sponsorships. And it’s helped readers too! Example? Heather writes, “I customized your corporate sponsorship ask letter to put together a package for an event we have coming up, and I’ve already gotten two sponsorships.” -Heather Davis, The Telling Room”
- a cover letter that has generated many interviews for me and others who got nonprofit and government jobs.
- a chapter on how to manage conflict at your nonprofit, something I really wish I had learned in the beginning!
Free Book Giveaway
Want to have a chance at a free copy of The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising? Simply leave a comment here sharing your biggest hurdle or burning question. Mazarine will be weighing in with the conversation and one commenter will be selected at random to receive the book. We will select a winner from the comments on March 7th.
Thanks to Mazarine for providing a free copy and for participating in this valuable conversation!