Fighting for Women's Equality

Donor Spotlight: How NYC Millennials Made a Difference

March 22, 2017 | by

Meet Sara Hagey, an incredible donor to Equal Rights Advocates! Along with a friend, Sara held a fundraiser to support Equal Rights Advocates during the New York City Women’s March on January 21 and raised over $1K!. She spoke with Development Director Tracey Heather about organizing a fundraiser with friends, and how easy it can be to get involved in the issues you care about.

Why Equal Rights Advocates and Why Now?
Like millions of others, my college friend, Lila Habermann (pictured on left), and I knew we wanted to march in one of the Women’s Marches. We didn’t know how big the march would be in NY and we wanted to do something that had more of an impact than just marching. We had held some small fundraisers before for running races and cancer walks, so decided to coordinate a fundraiser for after the march. The idea of doing an event lead us to Equal Rights Advocates. We searched on Charity Navigator for women’s organization focused on equity work and found ERA – we were impressed with the great work of the organization as well as the high rating. It was the perfect fit.

Why did you feel like you had to do something?
We are millennials who live in NYC and are surrounded by like-minded people. It was important for us to find a way to have an impact beyond our bubble and ERA has that larger reach. The protection of women’s rights matters to us as 26 year-old women. We did not want to sit around and accept the way that President Trump speaks about and treats women. We knew this was a slippery slope, and we are passionate about making sure no one feels marginalized. We felt the need to act and resist – this is not the world we want to live in!

How did you pull it off?
The fundraiser was super easy to coordinate. We created a Facebook event and Lila and I invited everyone we know, and suggested that people bring friends. We found a venue – a local bar, and they let us use the space and charge people admission. We then reached out to restaurants, comedy shows, exercise classes, etc. to ask them to donate and we got a really great response. We ended up receiving over 20 items and auctioned off the items during the event. About 90% of our friends had not marched and we were able to talk about ERA and raise awareness! In the end, we had over 70 people attend and we raised $1,400!

What were the key factors in making the event a success?
Don’t be afraid to ask others to help. There is power in numbers. Don’t over think it – it really does not take a lot of planning or effort. It was very easy to coordinate and ended up being such a fun event! Be creative.

What’s next?
It felt like a win, but almost like it was not enough. It made me ask the question: What else can I do to make a difference? I feel like I am now invested in Equal Rights Advocates and am looking forward to getting more involved. It makes me feel that I am making an impact by joining an organization that is driving change.

If you could change the world, what would you do?
I would create a time machine and go back in time. I took so many things for granted during the election cycle and thought things would work out the way we wanted. If I had known, I would have acted sooner.

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