Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Sasha, Feb 6, 2016.
Further elucidation in comments on that post:
oops!!!! posted in error.
It's fantastic that #MEAction have so quickly been able to employ people rather than relying entirely on volunteers.
Just to clarify we actually don't have full funding yet to hire a full staff, only to fund part-time work for a couple of months and not beyond that. That is what we hope to fundraise for this spring. We began with one employee, Rachael Korinek, who helped us get the site up and running and helped us to grow to where we are now. That initial startup cost was entirely self-funded, and while we are at a place now where our donations allow us to meet our basic recurrent expenses, we haven't yet been able to repay that initial investment. So we aren't yet in the black, but I always believed that we needed to demonstrate our value first. It's my sincere hope that we can go black by our first anniversary. That would be amazing feat for a startup!
We have tried to rely on volunteers ever since, and while they will continue to be the lifeblood of the work that we do, frequently patient volunteers burn out after a period of time. Beth and I are also approaching burnout. We need a core staff of employee(s) (ill or not) who have the capacity to consistently man the ship and coordinate our volunteers as they cycle in and out based on their capacity. And so Beth and I can take a few days off if we need to, rather than always pushing through. We also need to keep someone on staff with the technical background to help keep the site running and functioning. And so we are taking the risk of bringing in what we need to keep #MEAction alive and well, and hoping that especially if we can demonstrate some wins, the community will decide this is an institution they value and will be there to support us.
In the US, work is really heating up with Congressional outreach through the US Action Working Group. A new staff person (or people) would help support that work. They would also help support the work on PACE we haven't been able to fully follow through with as well as some of the groups around the world interested in setting up their own #MEAction affiliate groups. Lastly, we need to do a much better job of covering news around the world and coordinating targeted newsletters to help disseminate that news. An staff editor would help to coordinate volunteer contributions and recruit new authors so that we can really step our game in that department. Right now we are struggling even to publish in a timely fashion the actions and news volunteers are submitting.
I hope that help explains the context a bit. We are excited about bringing in some paid staff so we can grow, but I don't want to give the impression that it's because our fundraising has been off the charts It's been mostly low-key, although we plan to make a big appeal sometime this spring to support our new staff and efforts they will help make possible.
In addition to a major drive this spring, we are also looking for more people to make a contribution on a recurring basis. We could do everything we want at the scope we envision (at least for the next 6-12 months) if we can grow to $5000/month in recurring contributions. Right now we only have $173/month! If everyone who reads, uses, and interacts with #MEAction on a semi-regular basis committed to just $5/month, I think we could get there. And with that level of staff support, and the continued efforts of volunteers, we could do A LOT.
Thanks for your support!
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