Giving even when it’s hard

Giving even when it’s hard

How we’re raising RM0.5million for B40 communities in a pandemic

SHAH ALAM, 4 November – Great Vision Charity Association (GVCA) is attempting to raise RM500,000 for B40 communities and underprivileged students as a part of their #HarapanMulia fundraising campaign.

The fundraiser, which will sustain the charity’s two main programs -Rakan Shopping Program and Didik-Kasih EduCare Program-, is a way to secure long term support for the underprivileged families and students under the organisation’s care, while being able to help more people in 2021.

See fundraiser here:

The Rakan Shopping Program supplies monthly grocery packs to residents of low-cost government flats (PPR), while the Didik-Kasih EduCare Program provides financial aid to underprivileged students.

Team leader of the fundraiser, Ahmad Zawawee, set a high target for the fundraiser as the funds collected would have to sustain both beneficiaries and operations for the whole of next year.

#HarapanMulia fundraiser team leader, Ahmad Zawawee (left), passing groceries to B40 residents during one of the monthly Rakan Shopping Program events at PPR Pantai Ria.

“This is GVCA’s first ever fundraiser of this scale, but we decided to aim high because of how important it will be for the year to come,” said Zawawee.

Aside from funding their charity programs, the funds will also go on to support GVCA’s operational costs for the year to come.

A team effort

With a high fundraising goal to achieve equally big dreams, the GVCA team has roped in various fundraisers to spread the word, and to raise funds via personal fundraisers that are linked directly to the main fundraiser.

At time of writing, there were a total of 19 individuals raising funds for the charity, setting personal goals from RM2,000 all the way to RM10,000.

Within a week, one of the fundraisers had exceeded his RM10,000 fundraising goal.

“I reached out personally to my family, friends, and former colleagues to let them know about my campaign to raise funds to help the needy, and also got them to help spread the word,” said Yuen, who was one of the first people to sign up as a fundraiser.

“I also shared my fundraiser on social media and was pleasantly surprised to receive support from friends whom I had not met for years, and even got to reconnect with them!” Yuen’s completed fundraiser can be viewed here.

Currently, the fundraiser has collected RM 118,943.00, or 24% of its goal since it launched a little over a week ago, with 262 cumulative donors.

Fundraising during a lockdown

Like many other charities, GVCA is used to more traditional means of fundraising, so moving online was a challenge as their website, which currently hosts the fundraiser, did not even have the function to fundraise.

The idea of the fundraiser itself came up just when Selangor’s conditional movement control order (CMCO) was announced, and is still ongoing.

One of GVCA’s social workers, Chor Mun Yan, was involved in setting up the fundraising pages from scratch.

“It was interesting to learn how to set the pages up in the website and to ensure that all donations were transparent.

GVCA social worker Chor Mun Yan (right) posing with children from a charity event, organised by a student under the Didik-Kasih EduCare Program. All students under the program are encouraged to conduct charity events of their choice, with their events fully subsidised by GVCA.

“However, the team was very supportive in sending out thank you messages to each donor, and continue to update the fundraiser progress daily so that everyone is on the same page,” said Chor.

Not being able to physically interact with donors also meant that fundraisers had to use more creative ways of interacting with potential donors.

Another fundraiser, Oon Jia Li, decided that she would do a dare for every RM100 donation she received.

Her initiative, called ‘Donate and Dare Me’, was created as she wanted to make the experience more ‘interactive’.

“I noticed that other fundraisers were writing about what giving meant to them, and their thoughts about the fundraiser,” said Oon.

Fundraiser Oon Jia Li (left) posing with a beneficiary (center) and a volunteer (right) during a Rakan Shopping Program grocery shopping day. Most fundraisers have volunteered with GVCA before.

“Making my fundraiser a little more fun would mean that it would reach different groups of people, which would then help spread the word.”

Natashya Khoo is another fundraiser with a unique edge to her fundraiser, pledging to shave off her hair if she reaches her RM10,000 fundraising goal.

Fundraiser Natashya Khoo (third from right) volunteering at a Didik-Kasih event. She will be shaving off her hair upon reaching her fundraising goal.

“While it does seem extreme, the difficult circumstances faced by the B40 community is far worse- and going bald is a great way to ‘shock’ people into reading about my fundraiser and deciding to donate!” said Khoo.

Into 2021 and beyond

#HarapanMulia is GVCA’s most ambitious fundraiser yet as the charity aims to secure enough funds to sustain them through 2021 after a tumultuous year.

Due to the restrictions of the various movement control orders, most of the charity’s events and activities had to be called off.

“As a ground coordinator, we were not able to conduct assessments physically, so we turned to phone call assessment and strategised how we could still provide aid and care remotely,” said Chor, who oversees the Rakan Shopping Program.

“The most challenging part is amplifying our fundraising efforts to the public in a economically turbulent time, so I’m very thankful to people who have entrusted and supported us in any form during this fundraising period.”

To contribute to the #HarapanMulia fundraiser, donate at its website here: