Amanda Groty and her fiance Tim are getting married at the end of September and have chosen this project on Akvo for friends and family to donate to in lieu of giving wedding gifts. It’s led by S.Vishwanath (who you can follow on Twitter as @zenrainman) of Biome in Bangalore. Amanda is global vice chair of strategy and marketing at communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton and Tim is the managing director of a technology company. They live in Frankfurt, Germany. We spoke to Amanda about how they came to this decision and their hopes for the project they chose.
Why did you choose an Akvo project for your wedding?
Tim and I thought that at our stage in life, having been really fortunate to be able to provide for ourselves, we don’t need any gifts. We already have a home together and everything we need. But people want to do something for a couple getting married, it’s traditional, and we thought it would be nice to give them the opportunity to make a donation.
Only Akvo gives you the opportunity to follow the progress of your project right through to completion, and that was a very important factor for us. We had quite a bit of feedback, particularly from friends and family in the US, that there’s a lot of scepticism these days about donating to charity because you hear a lot of negative stories – in the media and from people you know – about fraud, and about donations not getting through to where they’re needed. There hasn’t been enough transparency or regulation in the past and so people don’t feel inclined to give so much any more. But with this project on Akvo, because we can see live progress, we feel more confident.
How did you choose your project?
We thought about what’s important to us both as individuals and as a couple. We both have travelled a lot in South East Asia, particularly India, and we feel connected to that area of world. We wanted a small project so that when people donate to it they know they are making a direct contribution to its completion. That way we can ‘own’ it as a group, and really feel like we’ve accomplished something tangible. We talked it over with Avko and whittled it down based on scale, scope, location and our interests.
What is your fundraising target and how are you doing?
It’s only a small wedding with 65 guests, so we deliberately chose something manageable. The fundraising target for the project is €3,000. If everyone invited gives €20 we will meet our target. So far individuals and couples have given between €50-€200 each.
How important is it for you and your guests to see progress updates on your project?
It’s really important. We’ve created our own wedding website with all the invitation details which has had over 300 hits so far. The gift section links through to the project on Akvo. It’s a really clever interface. People can see the background information, the budget and what’s needed and make a donation directly. I’d like to see more project updates though, ideally more pictures. I want to be able to share this link and watch progress through to completion, with updates throughout the project.
Jo Pratt is communications manager at Akvo, based in London.