I need help to do new things

Folks, I am having a hard time figuring out the SLF fund drive. Here’s the problem — it’s easy to fundraise for specific programming. New diversity grant, send kids to Black Panther, etc. But essentially, I’ve been donating my time to the SLF for over a decade, and that seriously limits how much the SLF can do. Ditto our other volunteer administrators.

So, essentially, what we’re in most urgent need of is administrative support funding. But I feel like that is a hard and awkward ask. Esp. since I live in a nice house and have a lovely life — it’s not like I’m asking for money for myself so that I can eat or pay medical bills.

It’s just so I can justify continuing to shift time away from writing or other money-making activities, because my family is, in fact, dependent on my income being reasonably steady so that we can actually keep eating and paying the mortgage.

I don’t know. I’m crunching numbers now, and expect that I’ll be able to write up an ask soon that says something along the lines of ‘for over a decades we’ve spent .1% or less of our funding on administrative costs (web hosting + some pins and t-shirts), and we’d like to shift that to something perhaps a little more reasonable and sustainable going forward.’

But that also translates to — ‘pay me and my staff if you want the SLF to keep doing what it does, and grow.’

I’m feeling wibbly about the whole thing, and I can’t quite tell if that’s a sign that I just shouldn’t do it at all, let the SLF keep existing in the crevices of what time I can spare for it, or if it’s just something I need to get over.

Eventually I’d like to build up to a residency program. I’d like the SLF to buy a building and create an Oak Park-based makerspace with regular writing workshops. There are all kinds of projects that I think we could do, and do well, but I’m afraid they start with paying staff, including me. And that feels really weird to put into a Kickstarter somehow.

(Even though I was perfectly fine with doing it to fund writing The Stars Change. Ugh, this is probably all in my own head.)

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