Asha Zurich Minutes

Date: Saturday June 26, 2004
Venue: Mr. Meghji's residence - Kinkelstrasse

Minutes by: Vishwa and Chidu
Attendees : Chidu, Santosh, Vishwa and Mr. Meghji.

Meeting with Mr. Meghji

The meeting was called to discuss about publicity and fundraising and to get some new ideas from Mr. Meghji.

Mr. Meghji asked about the objectives of Asha: To promote the agenda of basic education in India Strong points of Asha (Asha Zurich in particular)

  1. Zero overhead
  2. Can raise a significant amount of money
  3. Cost of a project is much low as compared to similar NGO in Swiss
  4. Selection of efficient NGOs in India, selection of good projects and continuous monitoring of projects
  5. Cost/benefit is very high

Fundraising: Its seen that in Zurich city it is much easier to raise funds than in some other US cities. Charity as your Hobby (CAYH) is one of the best ideas of Asha Zurich and helps us in raising a certain amount of money every month. Some points about CAYH were discussed here:

  1. It is agreed that participation of many in this program would help us a lot
  2. A proper way of publicizing CAYH should be developed
  3. Word of mouth is important (Meghji)
  4. May be preparing small cards with all info about CAYH it should be similar in size like a business card, it will be very handy (Meghji)
  5. Continuous follow up of donors involved in CAYH
  6. A letter should be sent to a CAYH donor telling him/her how to contact us and some info like, yahoo group, regular meetings, GBM, website, address, contact numbers etc
  7. May be a different and attractive name should be coined which should appeal to people (Meghji)

Idea of Empty your pockets was also discussed. Chidu informed that this idea has not been tried successfully in Indian events using rappen keller. Meghji suggested putting this idea on hold and discussing it later sometime. The plan to buy Rappenkellers has been unimplemented for a long time now.

Santosh suggested that we can ask the restaurants to fix one day of the month for Asha and some profits of that day can be donated to Asha. Either we can provide guests for that day or ??????

Meghji suggested about CARITAS or other big NGOs in Swiss. The question was that if we could get large amount of funds from CARITAS can we still be able to keep our policy of zero overhead? Are we able to handle huge amount of donations?

We then discussed about other sources of fundraising:

  1. Sponsered events like cultural events, food festivals etc. Meghji suggested that we should have 'value for money' approach as we have been having in the events to date.
  2. To approach some telephone card companies (like sathya tried last year)
  3. Christmas dinner
  4. Bringing some items from India and selling it here in Indian gatherings. Like art, paintings, sculptures, mangoes etc. Chidu told that in some chapters in US volunteers used to donate some items (art, painting) bought in India to Asha and then Asha would sell it.
  5. Santosh said that the immediate priority is Notes of Hope, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma concert in May and sponsorships. Meghji suggested to contact some travel agencies.
  6. Food events: Meghji suggested that there are regular food related events going on in Zurich during summer, like in Helvitia platz, Museum Rietberg, at lake (theatre Spectacle???) and probably we should have our own food stalls there. The idea is not to cook by ourselves but to provide logistics for other small groups, like making arrangements for a small tent, or van or benches etc. The idea is the sell the place or equipments to small groups. Since we are already late for this summer Mr. Meghji suggested learning all the possibilities during this summer and then starting working on it next year. There are few funfairs during summer in many parts of Zurich and Meghji suggested that we should have a info stall at these places.
  7. Christmas Dinner: To arrange for Christmas dinner for small companies in certain India n restaurants. If we can arrange this for the companies we can ask a certain percent of profits from the restaurants. Some of us can also work in that restaurants during that day and the earned money can be donated to Asha. A rough estimate was made. It seems that companies spend about 70-80 CHF per person on dinner. And if we can ask about 20% of the profit, for a group of 50-60 people we could make about 500-800 CHF per dinner. If we can do 10 such dinners we can make a significant amount. The question is does the companies agree for a Indian dinner during Christmas and does this event gives us a healthy profit/efforts ratio?
  8. We also talked about the possibility of having an organised dinner as a fund raiser.

Just a thought: Are we able to raise 100,000 CHF from June 2004 till June 2005? A rough calculation yielded the following: If we can include 100 people in CAYH then: 100 X 20 CHF X 12months say : 25,000 CHF
NoH concert in May 25,000 CHF
We could raise some money from organised/Christmas dinner/ETHZ kulturstelle event. So it seems that we can raise only a slightly more that 50,000 CHF this year.

Some action plans:

  1. Making attractive add/cards for CAYH
  2. Including more members in CAYH
  3. Finding out all the possible summer events for this year and working on it for the next year
  4. Theatre spectacle (in Augusta at lake) a visit and finding out details for the next year
  5. Meghji will inform us about the fundrainisg possibilities in churches