C4SS Fourth Quarter Fundraising Drive Launch

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

August is drawing to a close and it’s time to start the C4SS fourth quarter 2009 fundraising drive. Between today and the end of September, we need to raise the money to fund our operations from October 1st through December 31st, 2009.

Although we didn’t meet our goal last quarter, that goal was set very high. In terms of results, actual money raised, it was our most successful fundraising drive to date. We were able to expand our production efforts, adding Alex Knight as a second News Analyst and funding additional research studies by Kevin Carson.

Coming up short of the third quarter goal hit our lowest priority proposed new expenses — adding a social media promotional specialist and some modest promotional advertising. I’ve chosen to interpret the shortfall as partly indicating supporters may believe we need to get production up to a higher level before putting money into promotional efforts would make sense. As a result, those plans have been shelved for this quarter. The funding proposal I’m bringing to you, our supporters, focuses on funding existing core production expenses, taking on new expenses to solidify support for current operations and adding some new content production.

I’m asking you to help us reach a goal of $4,025 for the fourth quarter of 2009.

I propose to pay Kevin Carson as Research Associate and both Thomas Knapp and Alex Knight as News Analysts at the same level and for the same duties as last quarter. We also have a yearly web hosting bill due in November.

Additionally, I’m bringing to you a proposal from our currently volunteer web administrator, Mike Gogulski, to provide paid support. He currently helps out where he can. Paying Mike would allow him to devote the time to doing a lot more of what ought to be done to keep our online presence in good shape. Mike’s full proposal is attached below on the original copy of this message, published at c4ss.org.

Additionally, if you fund it, Mike Gogulski will also voice and publish regular short audio commentary using scripts written by myself. In addition to writing scripts for the audio spots, I also hope to be writing an additional weekly commentary piece.

Here is a detailed listing of these proposed expenses, shown in descending order of priority.

  • Research Associate: Carson — $1225 [$900, 3 monthly research studies @ $300 each; $325, 13 weekly columns @ $25 each]
  • News Analyst: Knapp — $650 [26 twice-weekly columns @ $25 each]
  • News Analyst: Knight — $475 [$325, 13 weekly columns @25 each; $150, 3 monthly magazine-length feature articles @ $50 each]
  • Web Hosting — $100 [our yearly web hosting bill is due in November 2009]
  • Web Administrator: Gogulski — $645 [EUR150 or $215/month for 3 months]
  • Audio Commentator: Gogulski — $280 [13 weeks of 3 ninety second audio spots per week = 39 spots @ EUR5 per spot = EUR195 or $280)
  • Additional writing: Spangler — $650 ($50 weekly for 13 weeks; one commentary piece and three audio spot scripts per week)
    This is the plan. I’ve brought it to you. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make it happen.

    Below, you will find a ChipIn widget to use when donating. You can also copy the HTML code for that widget to republish it on your own web sites to help us raise money. Just click the tab marked “Copy” on the widget.

    Please support our work. Then get your friends to support our work.


    Brad Spangler,
    Director, Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS)



    Mike Gogulski’s IT Support Proposal

    General IT support services: €150/month

    • Maintenance of Google Apps, including Gmail account setup, new-user assistance, Google Sites help, etc.
    • c4ss.org WordPress blog maintenence, including:
      • WordPress updates (security and performance fixes, mostly)
      • WordPress upgrades (when new release stable enough to deploy)
      • Plugin updates, upgrades, search and deployment
      • Ongoing tweaking of search engine optimization
      • Minor theme enhancements as required
      • Daily database backups emailed to xxxxxxxx@c4ss.org Gmail account
      • Daily filesystem backups emailed as above, or stored on server if too large
      • Twice-monthly offshore full backup of databases and filesystem
      • Deployment of foreign-language sites as we find translators (pt.c4ss.org and es.c4ss.org up already)
      • Database/filesystem restore in the event of failure/intrustion/etc.
      • Emergency support on an as-soon-as-I-can-get-to-a-PC basis
      • Regular support via email, skype, etc.
      • Deployment of new site functionality, review of existing functions, etc.
      • Maintenance of change/maintenance log via the Google Sites “wiki” page
    • Consultation on other IT services for the Center as needed.

5 thoughts on “C4SS Fourth Quarter Fundraising Drive Launch

  1. I know it's early days yet (though I suppose we are a third the way through the month nearly) but it seems a bit depressing that the counter has not increased now for a few days. Thankfully you have left it open this time till the 30th which means I'll be able to make another donation when my salary comes in.

    Eleven people prepared to stump up a few dollars each though seems like an order of magnitude different from the aspirations for expenditure – by the way I'm not for one minute questioning the amounts you want to spend – it seems to me that even at that level it is still well within the realms of a "shoestring" given that it is effectively no more than one part time employee for a year. How does that relate to, say, the number of hits the site gets, or particular authors get? I guess what I'm wondering is what proporton of *readers* do you need to convert into small donors to achieve the budget?

    And then I'm wondering whether there may be a better way of doing that than asking once a quarter for a month at a time. I'm just thinking that there's all sorts of reasons why in any one month someone might say "I can't afford to give enough to make a difference this month". For example, I'm happy being a "platinum AMP" at FreeTalk radio, but if it were all concentrated into a month's fundraising I would probably baulk at paying the same I do over three months in one hit – illogical as that sounds. Maybe the cost of administration would be disproportionate to be fundraising effectively permanently.


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