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Requesting Donations

Written by Zach Feb 09, 2006
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I almost feel like I’ve betrayed the unwritten code of grassroot orgs everywhere.

A week ago, I pushed a resolution across NYRA Berkeley Execs. To request and encourage donations of $1 from all membership, once a month. Execs would be everything short of required to donate $5. I posted this to the NYRA Berkeley e-tree, so some of you may know.

On one hand, I’m tired of “placeholder” members. People who sign up, and then don’t come to events or even communicate. They think we have a nice idea and they sign-up, but then I’m faced with unrealistic assumptions when I plan events. “Mandatory” donations will separate the people who want to see something happen and the people who have a nice chuckle at my countless e-mails.

On the other hand, I don’t want to alienate those members. Today, they aren’t interested. Tommorrow, they are. The basic gist is that I don’t like the idea of forced donation.

So I put in some nice clauses. You don’t have to donate. It’s all up to you. If you donate time, that’s good enough for me. I will suck you dry for your time, but I will never take your last dollar.

More reasons: Non-profit doesn’t mean poor. What I would give to have $20 to $30 on hand to make copies at a moments notice. To buy coffee for a member. To pay for transportation to city hall. Just to have!

Stable income is key. If we can budget our money and put some away for rainy days, we’ll be in luck. STABLE!

Is this an ad for sucking money out of your chapter? No. I’m offering you both sides. In the recruiting stages, not so good. But I’m not as concerned with signing up new people as I am with getting people involved and getting stuff done. I want to lower the voting age, and I want to do it now.

Why am I posting it here? Well, either to get your vote of confidence or for you to tell me I’m off my rocker, and I should sack this resolution until I lose everything.

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