Gifting her birthday to young feminists: Interview with Barbora

Dedicating your birthday for a noble cause is always a nice gesture but Barbora Nemcova’s celebration of her birthday this year has inspired many of us to utilise our special day to give to those who need resources the most.

A long time friend and supporter, Barbora decided to dedicate her birthday to the young feminist movement and we can’t stop seeing just how cool and amazing is that! Instead of receiving presents, she crowdfunded gifts to FRIDA and handmade her own origami thank you cards. Yeah, isn’t she super cool? We decided to learn more about Barbora, her ideas on mobilizing resources for the young feminist movement and what she learned from this entire experience. Here are excerpts of an enriching chat:

First of all, we want to know how old you are…or rather how young you are! 

I turned 32 in February – but I was just told I look 24 by a hairdresser. 🙂

Can you remember your favorite birthday? 

That’s a tough question. There have been a few birthdays that were special in one way or another and I can’t really name just one. I probably can name the craziest, though. Six years ago, I convinced my friends to form a band and play at a local bar for my birthday. And they did – they even wrote their own songs! My friends were certain that nobody would let them play in a bar, but I told them to let me worry about that. I don’t really know what I was thinking. Maybe “don’t tell me what I can’t do”? When “the band” was getting ready, the bar owner asked me: “They’re not a real band, are they?” 🙂 I just smiled and said no, he probably regretted ever agreeing to this at the moment… But it was great! Even though it was in the middle of the so-called snow days when buses weren’t running, the bar was packed and it was so much fun. I wish I had known it was going to be such a success, I could have turned it into a fundraiser.  🙂

Barbora 2

Barbora at her home with her pet, Babu, who was instrumental in her crowdfunding campaign

And what made you to celebrate your birthday with FRIDA?

That was easy. I’m not really one for birthday parties and/or birthdayday celebrations in general. To me, getting officially older is not really that significant, there are more significant moments in life. But it is a day when people tend to think of you and so I wanted to turn this attention into something positive.

Why give to FRIDA, in particular, on your birthday?
FRIDA was an easy choice – I believe in the cause, I believe in FRIDA, I know the people who “are” FRIDA and I trust them (you). Plus FRIDA’s work is global so I can easily ask friends from all over the world to donate. And really – what better way to celebrate one’s birthday than supporting young girls and women who do have the courage to make this world a better place?

What are some of the advantages of using a personal day as a potential crowdfunding opportunity?

I think that a personal day makes the ask easier. People are more willing to give presents on birthdays, wedding days, name days (if you’re from the part of the world where name days are a thing) so really all you do by asking for a donation “in your name” is diverging their energy and attention from material gifts to a donation. It really makes no difference for the giver who wanted to give something anyway. On “your day”, people want to make you happy. So really you’re just telling them how to do it. 🙂 And as I had said before – the attention is already on you. And if you are a party person – then you can easily turn a birthday party into a birthday crowdfunding party – the party is already happening. So really: the biggest advantage is that it’s almost no extra work, you just add a layer to the day.

Handmade origami cards that were sent as a thank you to all donors who donated $32 and above

Handmade origami cards that were sent as a thank you to all donors who donated $32 and above

What advise would you give to our readers who wish to spend a special day in a similar way?

Just do it! 🙂 Pick a platform that works for you, online or offline, and don’t overthink it. And probably most importantly – don’t be afraid to ask. And be as personal as possible.

Would you say this is definitely a birthday you will remember?

Absolutely! I did want to raise more… But 431 dollars isn’t bad at all. 🙂 Plus I learned to make origami bird cards (I was sending handmade cards to those who donated 32 dollars or more). This might be a start of a new birthday tradition, so definitely something to remember.

Thank you Barbora for making your birthday a memorable day in the lives of so many young feminist activists working together to make the world a more just and equal place!

Click here to learn more about ways to get involved in crowdfunding and fundraising initiatives for FRIDA. Write to us at info[at]youngfeministfund[dot]org and share your ideas with us!