We’re coming down to the wire on the holiday fund drive, and as of yesterday, we still need to raise a whopping $107,794 toward our ambitious $232,000 year-end goal.
For some folks, having this far to go with just a little more than a week left in the drive would be kind of scary.
Not me. Since starting Real Change in 1994, I’ve learned a few things.
First, the truism about fundraising — that people will always support excellent work if you ask — is, well, true! You all believe in what we do, and we believe in you, so that works out nicely.
The other thing I’ve found is that most of you will wait until the final week of our fund drive to make your gift.
Nevertheless, now would be a good time to pitch in and help.
More than half of our roughly $1.1 million budget comes from people like you. This means that our deep roots in the community will sustain our work through good times and bad.
You know the enormous and immediate difference that our work makes in people’s lives.
You know that selling Real Change supports people’s sense of self-worth while allowing them the opportunity to earn the money they need.
That we are effective change advocates who know how to tell the truth and win.
That we’ll be here, through good times and bad, building institutional power for those who are too often ignored when the decisions that affect them get made.
Over the coming years, our priorities are to support vendor success by extending the reach of our paper, build for power across class lines to support our newly energized movement for economic and racial justice, be a model organization operating at the intersection of race and class, and ensure that we have the firm foundation we need for long-term success, no matter how tough things might get.
Your gift supports the three programs that have created success for our vendors for more than 20 years:
The newspaper side of the organization won 26 professional news awards in 2015 from the Washington Press Association and the Northwest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Our activist weekly newspaper is produced by four staff and dozens of volunteers, and it’s informed by an editorial committee of homeless and formerly homeless people. Recently, Real Change stepped into the digital frontier with the launch of Android and iPhone apps to provide cashless vendor payment for a digital newspaper, and we are continuing to improve that technology as new options become possible.
Our vendor program provides opportunity to approximately 800 homeless and very low-income people who earn more than a million dollars annually through sales of the newspaper. When you support our vendors through buying the paper, you help create the transformational community that changes lives. Additional vendor leadership opportunities include advanced sales trainings, elected vendor leadership positions, membership on the speakers bureau and paid internships.
Real Change advocacy leverages the relationships that exist between vendors and readers to defend the survival needs and civil rights of the most poor, as well as build a cross-class movement for economic justice. Our vendor-led organizing mobilizes public support for legislative objectives, attends events and organizes protest encampments, and it brings vendor testimony to City Hall, County Council and Olympia.
This year, Real Change won the global International Network of Street Papers “Best Campaign” award for our work to make unsheltered homelessness a top issue for the Seattle.
Your support of our work makes all of this possible. Real Change is firing on all burners and, with your help, ready to make the very most of this extraordinary time.
Help us meet our year-end goal with a gift that is meaningful for you. Please visit our secure website at main.realchangenews.org to make your tax-deductible gift now or mail your support to Real Change, 219 1st Ave S., Ste. 220, Seattle, WA 98104.
It takes a lot of friends to make our work possible. Thanks for being one of them.