Meet Eric Thai: he’s putting the fun in fundraising

Pencils of Promise
September 13, 2016

For his 25th birthday, Eric Thai, an entertainment host at Disneyland Resort, set out to raise $2,500 for PoP. He hoped to be able to raise as much awareness for PoP as possible, in addition to whatever funds he could gather. The result: in just 25 days he raised over $6,500 — we think that’s pretty incredible!

“One of the biggest goals that I hope to achieve is to inspire at least one person to think big and take action.”

We checked in with Eric to see how he was able to inspire so many people through his campaign. His fundraising tips are top-notch, take a look!

1. Start with the people closest to you — your inner circle.

When beginning your fundraising efforts, make sure you start with your closest friends and family to kickstart your campaign and get the ball rolling. These are people that you know will support your campaign no matter what, so reach out to them first. You will then be able to leverage social proof to get other people to take action. When people notice that other people have donated, they become more open to donating themselves.

2. Connect with people individually and be authentic.

Make sure the cause you are supporting is something you actually care about. When reaching out to people, you have to show that you are excited, passionate and genuine about your efforts. You should first target people who you think may be interested in supporting your cause. Connect with them through personal stories and let them know what inspired you to start your campaign. Why is this important to you? That’s a question that lies at the very center of your campaign. Push them towards supporting a good cause but let them make that decision on their own. If they are unable to donate, that’s absolutely okay. Everyone has their priorities. You can still ask them to share your campaign with their friends and family — that doesn’t cost anything!

3. Share your campaign on social media.

Utilize social media to maximize your reach and keep people in the loop. I used Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and occasionally LinkedIn to promote my campaign. Although it may not seem like it at times, people are rooting for you and want to see your progress.

I created a Facebook event and invited all of the people that I thought would be interested in supporting this cause. Make sure to write compelling copy for your campaign, use eye-catching images and share heartwarming videos. This is one way of introducing your campaign to people. Have your friends and family invite other people to your Facebook event.

By posting updates on social media every time you reach a milestone, you are indirectly reminding people about your campaign and providing them with more social proof. People will take your campaign more seriously when they see that you’ve made progress.

To Eric, an “education means everything. It means opportunity, the opportunity to pursue your dreams.” We’re so grateful Eric decided to use the opportunity of his 25th birthday to share PoP’s mission with his community. Thanks to Eric’s dedicated efforts for Pencils of Promise, more children around the world will have the opportunity to attend school, achieve literacy and unlock their potential.


Our PoP family is always growing. We’d love for you to join us.

Visit Eric’s campaign page here.