My sister has a roommate from college that she has always been in awe of. One of the reasons is that while my sister was off having children and trying to keep her house clean, this friend was doing the same AND co-founding a charity to help Bulgarian orphans.
Deborah Gardner started One Heart Bulgaria, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of Bulgarian orphans, after spending time in Bulgaria on a mission for her church. Touched by what she witnessed, she went on to found the organization, which today touches the lives of 8,700 orphans in nearly 150 orphanages. The organization’s website at www.oneheart-bg.org is rife with photos of Deborah with many of these children.
A founder’s or volunteer’s story like Deborah’s is invaluable to the foundational culture of a non-profit – many causes could not survive without the passion of those working for them. Just filling a job has never translated to success in this area. But as a media tool, these stories provide immeasurable opportunities to highlight the good an organization is doing.
Deborah, who has been featured in The Deseret News, Wasatch Woman and BYU Magazine, isn’t just a talking head speaking from a list of fast facts about Bulgarian orphans. She is someone who has seen the work that needs to be done and taken action to help. This makes her the perfect candidate for media pitching.
When seeking a source to offer for a particular cause, realize that media are interested in more than the event details, they too want to share the story, to paint a picture for viewers, readers, followers, etc. of what the problem is and how they can help. Where possible, tap into these resources, who may not be founders, but may also serve as volunteers, benefactors, donors or even those in support roles who joined a cause for their own personal cause.