Moving a Great Idea into Reality

Here’s the thing, it takes money to make money. So, sometimes I get it in my head that because I’m a graphic designer and can design great stuff, that somehow this negates that simple fact. A few years back we were planning a trip to Rwanda to assist in creating awareness of the benefits of rainwater harvesting and installing a system for/with the people of the village of Cyanika. Ironic thing is that Rwanda receives more rain in a year than Colorado. But, the concept of rainwater harvesting is new to them, as it was new to me. Most families spend their time walking miles to collect water from the river, which is polluted and carries disease. Rainwater on the other hand is between 97 and 99% pure. And rainwater harvesting is far more than just for drinking water as you can learn from this video:

You can also learn more about it from the amazing Brad Lancaster: So I was really stoked about taking this information and these ideas with Village Makeover.

Now, back to my original point, (sorry for the rabbit trail) which is that it takes money to make money. I really wanted to find a way to raise money for the trip in order to go, and to pitch in to cover the costs of the system we were going to install. So, I designed a calendar to sell as a fundraiser. And I think it was a great idea, but it wasn’t a well planned idea. Mainly, and here’s what I run into with clients, the cost of printing was the killer. And then I would have needed a marketing plan to get the calendars out there. So, let me put it out there, I still think this was a great idea even though it didn’t go the distance. In part because it forced me to learn a ton of things, such as marketing plans, costs, timing, design skills, etc. And just because an idea doesn’t pan out at one point in time, doesn’t mean one should not pursue it another time. I also feel that if I had pressed into one other area, ASKING, this may have been a Successful Venture. I never came right out and asked the printers I talked to if they would be willing to donate the cost of printing. While they may have still said, “No”, I never made the effort to ask. I realize that the printing would have been expensive for a full color 12 month (12×12) calendar, however many companies also look for opportunities to give back to the community and get a little tax break. I run one of those companies. I can’t always just do something for free, but I do when I can. The truth is, I’m still not great at asking, but I’m trying to get better. I write this to encourage you to do the same… and because I wanted to show off the calendar since it never really got its day in the sun. So take a look at the calendar, through this download, or just enjoy the photos below. (The calendar is still pretty cool to gander at though).

Village Makeover Calendar