A ' For Profit' Approach to Guilt-free Fundraising - 'The Poonchh Collection'
by Aarohi Singh on Tuesday, January 7, 2014
- Session type
- Technical level
To have an open ended discussion on new approaches to fund-raising where content is king and transparency is key.
Creativity was the cornerstone of every stage of ‘The Poonchh Collection’, from concept to creation, from production to marketing. The effort was not just to produce fashionable, well-styled and unique products that people would be happy to buy and carry, even at a slightly ‘uncomfortable’ price’, but also to ensure that value was created for every stakeholder along the chain. Towards this end, textbook methods of raising money for charitable causes were discarded in favour of a fresh and possibly risky approach based on firmly-held but untested beliefs like:
-Instead of doing the conventional (and easy) thing of donating one of her works to a non-profit, which will then auction it to raise funds for themselves, she has re-thought the whole ‘How do I make my art count?’ question and come out with a line of products based on her art.
-Instead of doing the conventional (and ultimately pointless) thing of playing on people’s guilt to make them write out a cheque for a cause, she creates useful products that people buy not just for their usefulness but for their uniqueness, quality, style, and conversation-starter potential. This turns every buyer into a willing champion of the cause, and helps spread the word.
-Instead of doing the conventional (and short-term-impact) thing of just pledging a percentage of the profits to a cause or an organisation, she tries to bring in long-term impact by raising awareness about the cause or the organisation. The lead-up to 'The Poonchh Collection' included extensive ‘stray dog awareness’ campaigns over social media, which led to as much public interest in strays as in the collection itself.
An open mind.
Masters degree in History.
Over the last couple of years, however, her driving passion has crystallised into a simple motto that is now part of her every creative endeavour - ‘Making My Art Count’.
She believes that while art for art’s sake is wonderful and must be supported, it is somewhat of a self-indulgent luxury for an artist, particularly in a country like ours. She believes that every individual has a duty and a responsibility to put his or her talent and creativity ‘to work’.
Her focus is on being a creative social entrepreneur – to ensure not only that every person along the value chain, of whatever product she designs and creates, benefits financially from it, but also that the product itself has a positive social impact.
She took her first big step in this direction in February 2012, with ‘The Poonchh Collection’, a collection of home and personal accessories featuring the Indian stray dog. She is now working on another collection that focuses on the girl child.