Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guest Post: Raising Your Own Funds For A Conference

This is a guest post from Ashley Wells, who contacted me about donating to her cause... and I asked her to write a guest post because I was so impressed and inspired by what she was doing! She said, "Sure!" and so she's here today sharing about her creative plans to raise funds to go to a blogging conference that God laid on her heart to attend. This is mainly a continuation of yesterday's post about raising funds for She Speaks. I know many of you would like to go... and I want to inspire you to seek out ways to raise funds. I hope this post gets your wheels turning!

When God laid it on my heart to attend an upcoming conference for bloggers, I felt excitement and anticipation. However, my thoughts went immediately to how I am actually, realistically, financially, going to get there. I did not have ANY extra all! My husband had just lost his job and we definitely couldn't give any money towards attending a conference that would help me be a better blogger.

I prayed about this venture for two whole months..."God, are you really telling me that you want me to go to this conference? We have no extra money. How am I going to get there?"

At the beginning of March, after months in prayer, I still felt like God was telling me to go. So, I started looking for a sponsor. I had one company in mind that I thought would be a great match. So, I e-mailed my contact person and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. As soon as I hit that send button, my heart raced until I got a reply.

Then my heart sunk..."not possible financially for us at this time." Oh no! This would have been a perfect match. We already had a great relationship, and I love the company. I prayed, "Ok, God, you must have another plan for me."

Over the next 3 weeks, I sent out sponsorship requests left and right. I e-mailed practically every company I had ever interacted with. I also e-mailed companies that I would love the chance to interact with. I was constantly finding companies that I could stand beside, e-mailing them, and praying constantly that God would find a match for me.

However, I finally reached my end...Everyone I e-mailed either didn't reply at all, or did reply to let me know that they aren't interested, or can't financially afford a sponsorship. At this point, I am sad to say that I gave up. I gave up my hopes to attend this conference completely. I threw in my hat. That was on the 19th of April.

The very next day God did something amazing! Isn't it so funny how He works sometimes? I've got my plans...they fail...then He fills me in on His plan! I was on my computer working on a blog post for the next day and I saw someone tweet something about a live tv chat from Gather Inspirit.

So, I tuned in to this broadcast and God did a work through them. At one point they were talking about the same conference I felt led to attend, and instantly I felt God tugging at my heart again to go. My passion for this conference was renewed. So, after the show, I said a simple, humble prayer to our Lord, "God, I tried. I couldn't get anyone to sponsor me. If you want me to go to this conference, please show me what I am supposed to do."

I had said prayers like this before, but never before did I feel God press upon me an answer so quickly. Very shortly after voicing my concerns to our Mighty God, I had an idea!

Give! Win! Send! was created that night. This event would be an opportunity for people to give donations, win prizes, and ultimately send me to the conference.

So, the next day (April 21st) I started contacting companies seeking donations for my raffle giveaway. As I am writing this (April 24th), I already have over $270 in prize donations to give away during the week long event. And that number is growing each day, since I am still accepting prize donations.

So, here are the details for the event: Each day May 1st-7th, I will be hosting 24 hour prize pack giveaways. Everyone can enter once for each day's giveaway, at no cost, by entering on my blog. Also, I will be accepting donations throughout the week to raise money. For every $1 someone donates, they will earn one extra entry into that day's prize pack giveaway.

My goal through this event is to raise all the money I need to go, or at least enough that I will be able to find a sponsor for the rest of the amount that I will need. God has brought me this far, and I trust He will be faithful to take me the rest of the way!

Ashley is 20-something years old and lives in Central Ohio with her husband, Michael, and their three cats. In May, they will be moving to Louisville, KY so that Michael can attend school and pursue a calling into full-time pastoral ministry. Ashley is passionate about being a wife, homemaker, and future mother through adoption. She blogs regularly at Putting God First Place and can also be found on twitter most days.
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Shelly said...

WOW! What an amazing concept! I have to admit, I have been disappointed when I have not won the scholarships to She Speaks; however, God has a plan! Thank you for your prayers! My heart was warmed when I read that you are praying for me!

I cannot wait to see how God will provide for me to attend She Speaks!

My head is now spinning with ideas on how to raise money for my own scholarship!!!

Shelly said...

P.s. I just received your books "For The Write Reason" and "The Reason We Speak.". I can't wait to dive in!

Sheri said...

That is a great idea! I would love to attend Relevant; I've been reading about it and thinking about it a lot lately. It's just not financially feasible to even think about it right now, but I will continue to pray and hope that it is in His plan for me, as well.

Good luck!

Chele said...

I am thrilled that God used us at Gather Inspirit to nudge you! ;) I am praying and promoting you the best I can! Hugs!

Unknown said...

That is great! It is definately meant for her to attend! My time will come! Good luck Ashley!