Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Real Change Needs Your Help

Once, not all that long ago, the thought asking anyone for money filled me with icy terror. I'm over that now. Eventually, my belief in the work I do trumped whatever issues I had around fund raising. I've seen the huge difference that Real Change makes in people's lives. I've experienced the caring community that Real Change creates. I've seen the difference we can make in building for power.

Twenty years ago, I considered raising money a necessary evil, and I was terrible at it. I lived in a Boston squat with four other people and eaked out the occasional publication of an underground newspaper called Street Magazine. I made maybe $3,000 that year. We ate at food banks. No one wanted to raise money. We reluctantly sold a few ads. There were a handful of subscribers. We didn't exactly have a business model.

I participated that year in a business plan writing workshop, at the end of which I had an interview with a banker. If he liked what he saw, I'd get money. He was impressed, but perhaps not in the way I was hoping. He said he'd "never met anyone less interested in making a profit."

The relationship between money, resources, and success was a bit beyond my comprehension. Eventually, the newspaper folded. Looking back, maybe what we were doing just wasn't all that important.

Real Change is different. If you watch our video, you'll see what I mean.

Over the years, I've learned two things. The first is that the goal of multiplying the impact of our work matters far more than any discomfort I might experience in asking for help. The second is that many people will happily support good work. so long as a.) they are asked, and b.) they are able.

And so, for the convenience of those of you who may not already be Real Change supporters, I've put a Giving Badge that connects to our secure Network for Good page at the top of my blog for the duration of our summer fund drive. We have a huge goal of raising $140,000 before July, and I'm thinking that some of you might want to help.

This summer, we need to find the resources to take our work to the next level. Here's the editorial I wrote last issue explaining why. We brought in $7,315 the first week. This is a great start.

We've made it easier for you to be a Real Change fund raiser yourself. If you believe in our work, you can put the Giving Badge on your own blog or website. The link is on the badge.

Another way to help is to take up the Real Change 20/20 challenge, which involves asking 20 friends to support our work with $20. We have a number of tools at the Real Change website to make that easier for you to do.

Or, you could email this link to friends with a note about why it matters.

Finally, you can give yourself. If you are a previous suporter, you'll get a letter soon if you haven't already. If you have not yet donated, this is a great time to start. We need your support. Thanks for believing in what we do.

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