I was thinking of the new Leverage: Redemption, and how at some point in every show they say “Let’s Go Steal a Country” or whatever it is that they are doing in that episode.
That’s a bit how I feel about our efforts to make a difference by early funding of something these political boots on the ground organizations need. Let’s go buy an organization something that they really need.
When I spoke with Voces de la Frontera and asked what we could do for them that they couldn’t do otherwise, they thought about it for a bit and then came back to us with the need for a dedicated field organizer. We talked about how much that would cost, and they came in with a number that seemed too low to me for an experienced field organizer.
Voces did some more research and came back with a figure of 45,000 for an experienced field organizer in Wisconsin. They could fund the benefits, so all we would need to do it cover the salary. (All!) $45,000 is a big leap for us, but I figured that we could only try!
So we had our Ask Them Anything, and we started our fundraising effort. It was a bit slow at first, and I went back to them and said that it looked like 45k was too big of a reach, and I asked them to see if they could find someone to match us, thinking that $22,500 would be more do-able.
In the meantime, our BJ thermometer was rising. Slow and steady wins the race. Then a few days ago MomSense announced that she would match 10 donations of $10, and 2,000 was raised that night! Then, inspired by MomSense, Mousebumples wrote to say that she had crunched the numbers and she had $2,000 to match donations with.
Mousebumples turned that $2,000 into $5,000 dollars of donations that day (including her 2k).
And we had an anonymous Balloon Juice angel donate $5,000 by check!
Not to mention that Quiltingfool did a drawing with anyone who wanted to buy a quilt and have the purchase price donated in their name! Anne Laurie won the drawing and Quiltingfood donated the purchase price of the quilt through the Voces thermometer.
So we went into our zoom call with Voces last night with a thermometer that said 20,750 and another 5k on top of that because of the check, so we raised 25,750!
And they were able to announce at the zoom that they had found a donor to match everything we raised, so that makes $51,500! $45,000 will pay the salary of the new field organizer – job description to go out early next week!
We did it! That guy who liked to say Yes We Can was right. Balloon Juice is the (not so) little engine that could.
In case math is not your thing, Mousebumple’s $2,000 of match money turned into $10,000 for the field organizer! ($2k Mousebumple’s match money + $3k raised that day = $5k, which was matched outside of BJ = $10,000.)
Voces de la Frontera hopes to leverage the new field organizer position and the remaining $6,500 raised to create opportunities with other funding organizations, in the hopes that could possibly allow them to hire a regional organizer. So that $6,500 will be reserved for helping them grow.
I am so proud of what we did here, and I hope we kick butt in Wisconsin in 2022 and beyond.
Thank you so much to every single person who donated! Whether it was 5 dollars or 5,000 – it all adds up, and we got to buy a field organizer.