December 11, 2013
Vol: 20 No: 50

Director's Corner

Fundraising isn’t about pixie dust

by: Timothy Harris , Executive Director

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This is the time of year when we at Real Change cross our fingers and pray for rain. Our goal this year is to raise $160,000 during the winter fund drive. That’s a lot of dough. So far, we’ve seen $35,273 come in over the past three weeks. 

The math here is worrisome, and I’d be lying if I said there’s no anxiety on this end. But over the years, I’ve learned to have a little faith. We send the mail. We make the calls. We ask in all the ways we know how. And then, we leave it up to you.

Meanwhile, we torture ourselves a bit, wondering if we’re going to be OK. We do this every year. As our board prepares the budget for next year, they nervously eye the fundraising thermometer and our bank account and wonder if the money will come.

And then, in the last few weeks of the year, we see the magical hockey-stick curve. Checks both large and small arrive daily and in bountiful supply.

The mailbox becomes a cornucopia of Real Change reader love. The thermometer fills. We begin to breathe.

Much of this comes from average folks who are supportive of the work, yet on a budget and doing what they can. Our average donation is about $75.

Others have a little more wiggle room, and their checks have two or three zeros in them. This year, we have match funds for donations of $250 or more, so we’ve been seeing some of our supporters stretch.

I say the annual hockey stick feels magical, but fundraising isn’t about pixie dust. It’s about people having reason to believe that their gift makes a difference. 

It’s about people knowing that a donation to Real Change will matter to the people we serve, and advance the work you believe in.

Our work makes a real difference in the lives of poor and homeless people and builds the movement we need for a better world.

Our award-winning journalism keeps you informed and inspired. Every week, we produce and sell a new paper that makes our vendors proud.

Our gutsy organizing keeps the pressure on for immediate survival services while we fight the radical inequality that keeps people poor and vulnerable.

We are constantly improving the opportunity we provide our vendors.  This year’s price increase means that vendors now earn more money in less time. We opened new distribution areas in Kitsap and East King counties to serve more people. Early next year, a phone app will increase vendor sales by allowing cashless transactions.

Every year, we find new ways to involve and inspire our vendors and readers to be their best selves, and we do that with your support.

More than half of our annual budget comes from people like you, who support our vendors and believe in Real Change.

This is when we need your help the most. 

Reaching our goal this year means passing a growth-oriented budget that invests in new organizing, adds newsroom capacity and beefs up vendor services to support our geographic expansion.

It means all of us doing what we can. Please give generously to the winter fund drive. We reach our goal one heartfelt gift at a time. 

Visit to make your donation today, or send your support to 219 First Ave. S., Ste. 220, Seattle, WA 98104. 

Thank you from all of us.



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