About the Workshop
ANFIQ's ambassador training workshop provides a unique opportunity for Masjids and Islamic institutions to mobilize their local community before an upcoming fundraising campaign. Attendees learn practical tips on how to raise funds for their local Masjid's multi-million dollar project or for the expansion project of the Islamic schools their children attend. The burden of raising funds for such large projects cannot and should not be placed on the shoulders of a few people running an organization.
By involving members of the local community and forming an ambassador team, it becomes a joint and collaborative effort to raise funds for the institutions that serve us all.
Who are Ambassadors
Ambassadors are members of an organization's local community who are, in one way or another, associated with that organization. They are the regular attendees of a Masjid, members of a volunteer committee, or educators at a weekend Islamic school.
Each ambassador has the ability to leverage his or her contacts in different ways. In fact, ambassadors add a variable dimension to a fundraising campaign because we all have different sets of contacts. Some of us may have old friends from University who are open to supporting a Masjid project that is in the area that we live in. Some of us may know people who are considered 'celebrities' and can influence the visibility of a campaign, making it go viral on social media. Others may be able to connect with individuals willing to make generous donations for a worthy cause.
By equipping ambassadors with the necessary tools and knowledge, organizations have a better chance of raising their needed funds within the required time.
Who usually comprises a Masjid or Islamic Centre's ambassador team?
Members of the ambassador team of a Masjid or Islamic Centre are commonly:
- Board members, the imam, and Masjid employees
- Active volunteers, members of Masjid committees, and weekend school staff/volunteers
- Regular Musallees
- Alumni members of the community (who could have relocated to another city)
- Concerned family members of any of the above
Who usually comprises an Islamic School's ambassador team?
Members of the ambassador team of an Islamic School are commonly:
- Board members and school staff/volunteers
- Concerned parents
- High school students
- Alumni students of the school
What kind of time commitment can be expected from an ambassador?
A member of an ambassador team is expected to take part in the coordinated marketing efforts of the team by sharing pre-designed campaign material (such as videos and banners) and pre-written message templates with their friends and within their social circles. So, in reality, there is hardly a time commitment to make. Ambassadors are also highly encouraged to share their own stories that showcase how your organization is making an impact on their lives and on their kids' lives.
How are ambassadors organized and how do they communicate with each other?
An ambassador team lead is usually appointed at the end of the ambassador training workshop. It is common that this person has a position of leadership in the organization, such as its president or in the case of a school, its principal. A Whatsapp group is usually created and is used for communication among the ambassador team. Other forms of communication, such as email and Facebook groups, can also be used.
What Ambassadors Learn
As mentioned before, ambassadors add an invaluable dimension to a fundraising campaign and have the ability to sway the results of a campaign beyond imagination. Ambassadors need not know wealthy or successful business people in order to feel they can contribute to the success of a campaign. With some careful consideration, coordination, and guidance, ambassadors can leverage their contacts to the fullest.
At the workshop, we introduce the fundamental principle of fundraising and get attendees thinking about the reasons people choose to donate. We also categorize contacts and explain in practical ways how one can reach out to his or her contacts using both direct and indirect methods. We mainly focus on online techniques of reaching one's contacts, although there are some offline ideas that we also discuss. We present the benefits of storytelling in the nonprofit industry and how ambassadors can be transformed into storytellers, telling powerful stories about the positive impact their Masjid or Islamic Centre is making on its local community. Topics covered at the workshop include:
- The fundamental principle of fundraising: Ask and you Shall be Given!
- Why do people donate and what are the main aspects of a campaign that influence one's decision to donate?
- Guidelines to follow when reaching out to contacts and the online tools to use
- Examples of practical things done by ambassadors of previous campaigns that led to generous donations
- How storytelling can benefit a Masjid or Islamic institution and how ambassadors can become effective storytellers
About the Instructor
Hossam Amin has been giving the ambassador training workshop since early 2017 and, in general, has been involved in fundraising for Islamic institutions since 2007. He has overseen many multi-million dollar projects, witnessing the key elements that made them succeed in achieving their financial goals. He has developed a rare expertise in the area of fundraising for Masjids, Islamic Centres, and Islamic Schools, and is now dedicated to helping organizations apply the best practices in fundraising to reach their financial targets in the quickest possible timeframe. Hossam is based in Ottawa, Canada and is able to work with organizations all over the world.
Organizations that hosted an Ambassador Training Workshop in the Past
- Darul Khair Center, Stouffville in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
- Hamilton Downtown Mosque in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- Tarbiyah Learning Academy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Al-Furqan School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Islamic Society of Kingston in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
- École Ibn Batouta in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada