From Naivete to Reality
When Women’s Voices was organized in 2005, the four founders (Ruth Ann Cioci, Joanne Kelly, Ann Ruger and I) made a commitment to our members: We did not plan to raise funds. (We also vowed not to stuff envelopes). We proudly set our dues at $20 per year and resolved to proceed without asking for money. We would truly be a “not for profit” organization.
Fast forward 12 years. Women’s Voices has grown and flourished beyond our wildest dreams. We now have more than 450 members. We have successful monthly educational programs that regularly draw 75 to 100 people. We have advocacy efforts that link us with other great organizations. We have a web site and social media accounts. We have Lock It For Love and position papers. All of these things have to be managed. And this was the year that we realized: we can’t do it alone any more. We need help. And in order to have help, we need….you guessed it….money.
This year, under the incredibly competent leadership of our president, Lise Bernstein, we launched our first-ever capacity-building campaign. We began a “quiet” effort to raise funds. We took a leap of faith and hired a part-time administrative manager, Laura Rose. She has done wonders to bring us into the 21st century with technology and manage all our diverse efforts. We took a second leap of faith and secured much-needed office space, in the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion on Delmar Blvd. Not only did this give us a place to keep all of our “stuff” (yes, it was an imposition to ask a member to store 500 gun locks in her garage), it gives us a place to work and have meetings.
For a social justice organization, growth is wonderful but it also entails growing pains. For those of us who thought we could work without money, the past few months have been a wake-up call. We need money to do the work. And so, we are asking for it.
Many thanks to the members of the Board who courageously set a capacity-building campaign goal of $50,000. Many thanks to everyone who has already generously contributed to this effort. Many thanks to members of the Development Advisory Board who have agreed to help in the coming year.
Women’s Voices is growing up. I am incredibly proud of us all.
Barbara Finch Co-Founder To donate to Women’s Voices click here