Like many other volunteers, a key personal experience first inspired Ayush’s volunteerism. He organized his first Benefit Concert after a close friend was diagnosed with leukemia. Each year since then, he organizes the Children Helping Children Benefit Concert, which features talented youth performers from across the country. Just like the Concert for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar fifty years prior, the Benefit Concert’s goal is to make a meaningful difference in the most vulnerable children’s lives through music.
I had the opportunity to ask Ayush a few questions about putting on these successful events. Here he shares useful tips and tricks for fellow UNICEF UNITER’s hoping to host their own first large-scale fundraisers and events.
A violin performance part of the 2021 Virtual Children Helping Children Benefit Concert
1). What has the fundraising process been like for you?
“When I first hosted an in-person fundraiser, I didn’t even think the first three rows would be filled and we had no idea how it would pan out. However, having talented performers and a great show is what made the difference and ultimately led to us hosting a successful benefit concert – for the last three years in a row.”
2). What has the reaction been like from your peers/community?
“Overwhelmingly positive! On YouTube, we saw over 500 people joining globally. I really do believe that the performers and fundraising for an important cause like UNICEF are the reason people tune in.”
3). What has been the most memorable volunteer experience for you?
“This is a tricky question! For me, when you are finished with all the work at the end of the concert, and it is something important, it is the most incredible feeling. When you see what you have done and who the money will help, that is just amazing. Being able to help kids around the world with our own community and now even out of our living rooms shows that everyone can create meaningful change.”
4). What do you think made you event so successful?
“I think the combination of both music and fundraising is what made the community turn out. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth! I expected a small outcome and was shocked when we raised $19,000+ utilizing the ticketing platform to raise those funds virtually. In these uncertain and unprecedented times, I felt it was more important than ever to do what I could to help children in need. Children who are passionate about both music and community service used the gift of music to change the world.”
Ayush and his siter perform a violin duet during the 2021 Children Helping Children Benefit Concert
Ready to take action and host your own benefit concert, fundraiser or awareness-driven event for UNICEF?
Get started by filling out our Fundraiser + Event Application at www.unicefusa.org/fundraiser. Unlock access to resources like our fundraising platforms, downloadable templates, toolkits, logos and much more.
UNICEF UNITE Club members – don’t forget that starting September 7th, 2021 through June 1st, 2022, all funds raised by student members of a UNICEF Club will count towards this year’s George Harrison Fund for UNICEF (GHFU) Clubs Challenge – our yearlong fundraising competition. At the end of the academic year, the top three fundraising UNICEF Clubs will receive an award and a special opportunity on behalf of UNICEF USA for their efforts!
Are you up for the challenge? If yes, then Come Together (pun intended) with your fellow club members and show us what you’ve got. Winners will be announced this summer, so make sure to follow us on our UNICEF Clubs’ social media channels. Good luck! For questions, visit unicefusa.org/fundraiser or email [email protected].
Top image: Ayush, a sophomore at Rye Country Day School, hosts the 2021 Children Helping Children Benefit Concert