Most Outstanding Philanthropic Event - TUVAtaxi
Provide a detailed description of the event and the population it served. Details MUST include: date of event, number of participants, program purpose (goals, objectives, etc.), use of resources (finances, community support, etc.), and marketing techniques.
TUVAtaxi was held twice in Tulane’s academic year 2017-2018. The date of both events were October 11th and 12th in the fall, and March 22nd and 23rd in the spring. All driving was done by members of the E-board, and the organization of confirming and calling car riders was given to Jessica Tran and Jeresun Atkin. The idea of the event is to provide an alternative, cheaper option for transportation to the airport, since uber rides can be very expensive, especially during uber surges. In addition, TUVAtaxi acted as our main source of fundraising for the Collective Philanthropy Project, since all proceeds were given to Pacific Links with reimbursements made to drivers. TUVAtaxi was extremely successful, since a total 139 airport rides were given over both semesters. TUVAtaxi worked by first marketing the service, and inviting friends to the Facebook event page. In addition, small advertisements were posted in GroupMe with a link to the google form. Passengers would then request a time to depart to the airport. Jessica Tran would then compile a schedule by grouping passengers with the same time, and would then send confirmation texts for each rider after the 24 hour mark and 1 hour before their designated time. Each driver was given a schedule of their shifts and would let Jeresun or Jessica know of their arrival and departure for each ride. Riders would then venmo or give cash to the driver. Often, drivers would request to meet at different meeting spots or bring additional passengers, so the team had to quickly adapt to the requests. During the Fall, TUVAtaxi made a its first debut, and only charged a flat free of $10 per car rider. Although some mistakes were made, such as giving long driving shifts or double booking, notes were taken an improvements were to progress this successful fundraiser. In the fall semester alone, $963 was fundraised for Pacific Links. Changes were implemented (examples are given below), and $614 was fundraised in the spring edition of TUVAtaxi,! The cause for the number decrease may be due to other organizations copying the same service or day availability of TUVAtaxi. Regardless, TUVAtaxi marketing was incredible; 152 google form responses were received! The Tulane Student Government and other Vietnamese Student Associations regarded the event as something unique and beneficial to the community of college students!
What efforts were used to motivate and involve the organization's members?
TUVAtaxi was advertised during general meetings; however, the bulk of the work was done by the Executive Board. The responsibility of driving students would be in the hands of the Executive Board, but general members were encouraged to save money and use the service! Often times, the service was used by students outside of Tulane University Vietnamese Association (TUVA), so most car drivers were given the chance to explain what TUVA was and where the money is donated too. Car drivers were able to mention Pacific Links and its purpose as an outreach to a new crowd. The impact of simply speaking of why TUVAtaxi was created and the importance of Pacific Links for victims unknowingly may have started an unseen butterfly effect.
How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the event?
In the fall, some challenges did arise, since TUVAtaxi was the first car service event ever implemented by TUVA. Although TUVAtaxi in the fall was organized and provided working schedules for each driver, changes had to be made to improve the function of the service. After the first run through of TUVAtaxi, E-board lead a debrief to hear the complaints from the drivers and passengers, and created a new plan on how to execute TUVAtaxi. In the second semester, the changes were implemented to encourage a more efficient and safer environment for both drivers and car riders. For example, drivers were given 1 hour versus 30 minutes to arrive and return from the airport, in case traffic was present. Alternative drivers were ready in case drivers returning were late or too tired to finish their shift. Drivers were no longer allowed to drive for shifts longer than 3 hours without a break. In addition, GroupMe was said to the most effective advertisement for TUVAtaxi, so more efforts were established to market TUVAtaxi.