[b]Megan Foo: What inspires you about Givology’s mission? [/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] What inspires me about Givology's mission is it's focus on education. As a political science student, one of the first lessons you learn about the developing world is that education drastically changes the fortune of the most destitute child - it's undisputed. You really can't help but love an organization that sees the potential in that statement and works tirelessly towards providing opportunities for children around the world.
[b]Megan Foo: Why did you decide to volunteer for Givology? [/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] I had just come back from a Global Health trip in Ghana, West Africa, and I saw just how important education is to all aspects of our lives. Not only does it offer you opportunities to increase your socio-economic status, but even the most basic education can be the difference between someone contracting HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, or not. So, when I came across an advertisement for Givology on the side of a webpage and read their mission statement and vision, I knew I wanted to get involved immediately. I loved the transparency of the operation and the global span of our partners.
[b]Megan Foo: Can you tell me about your experience as Givology’s social media director?[/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] I love the level of collaboration and creativity that's involved with heading the social media team. You would think that communicating over the internet would make it a very disconnected and cold working environment. But I think it ensures that everyone gives 100% percent effort, because there's no disappearing into a crowd. We are given such creative licences with this organization, it makes it so much fun to bounce ideas off of each other and come up with something really innovative.
I also love that managing social media means you're constantly interacting with our followers and donor base. Once you post something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it's an immediate reaction which is really gratifying. I'm able to see what really gets people engaged in the issue that we're talking about and what loses their attention. We also get great feedback from our followers, be it a story that inspired them or something they think we should address on our outlets. So, it really creates a sense of community.
[b]Megan Foo: What special projects have you been involved with as a research intern?[/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie: [/b]As an intern I worked on our 12/12/12 Campaign late last year, which was our final push to get funding for our 2013 projects. That was my first experience with fundraising and I never realized what a struggle it can be to mobilize people, especially during busy seasons. I learnt that you have to approach it with tenacity and not to get discouraged when the first person says "no" or doesn't reply to you. Even if you get one person out of 20 to pay attention, it still makes a difference.
[b]Megan Foo: What are your focus priorities for 2013?[/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] My priorities for 2013 are to increase our following on our social media outlets and increase the traffic from those outlets to the Givology website. With the help of our incredible social media and marketing team we have tripled and, in some instances, quadrupled our number of followers on certain outlets.
However, we're not only placing great importance on numbers. Building an even closer relationship with our followers is probably one of our biggest concerns. We know that every Givologist is an ambassador for the organization and for education in general. So making sure they feel connected to us, and heard by us is something we always work towards.
[b]Megan Foo: What does giving mean to you?[/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] I'm an idealist and I truly believe giving is the answer to all world's problems. It has no monetary value, yet it is the most valuable skill anyone can have. The act of giving is so simple but the results are so impactful that it boggles my mind that not everyone does it. If everyone gave time, knowledge, supplies, money, skills to someone who had virtually nothing, then the world would be an infinitely better place.
[b]Megan Foo: What do you enjoy the most about your volunteering? [/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] What I enjoy most about volunteering are the people I'm able to meet in the process. Whether it's face-to-face, through a letter/email, or through a phone call, talking to people who have affected or been affected by giving is such a great experience. Working with Givology has allowed me to meet such smart, hardworking, young people (some of them are 16!). Collaborating with people who have the same passion for generating change as you do is a really fulfilling experience.
[b]Megan Foo: What advice would you give to someone who’s considering volunteering?[/b]
[b]Olivia Wyllie:[/b] Do it because you'll never, ever regret the experience. It's almost unfair how much you'll get back in return. It can be the smile you saw on someones face, the numerous "thank yous" that you hear, or the friends that you make; you'll always leave with tender memories that you can take with you forever.
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