Painless giving comes to WILPF

By Marybeth Gardam, Development Chair

  • As long as we continue to invest trillions in militarism and weapons systems, what we really purchase with our tax dollars is Endless War.
  • As long as we invest pennies for peace, peace will always elude us.
  • #MOVETHEMONEY—a new campaign of our UNO program Reaching Critical Will

Starting this month, WILPF US will institute a new SUSTAINER PROGRAM of donating to WILPF. It’s easy and painless to get involved, and the rewards for our work are enormous.

Donate now!

You can authorize automatic payments of as little as $5 a month to come automatically to WILPF. The advantage to you is that, once it’s set up, you don’t have to think about it again; you can rest easy knowing that YOU HAVE ALREADY INVESTED FINANCIALLY IN PEACEMAKING, modeling the kind of investment we want our government and fellow citizens to make.

“Many of our members already do this kind of consistent subscription donation for organizations like PBS and NPR, where a monthly donation is automatic and easy,” Development Chair Marybeth Gardam explains. “The best part is that when we can predict we have that member support coming in reliably every month, we can plan more strategically, use our dollars more effectively and get out of the crisis mode of operations that has dogged us for decades.”

The price tag for activism

With the campaign title, “Buy WILPF a Cup of Coffee a Week,” the appeal will be sent to all members and all branches early in September. Look for it in your inboxes and OPEN IT! Forward it. Then act on the instructions to participate.

Investing in peace is important. WILPF US is a complicated organization with 40 branches (and growing) across the country, staff, at-large members, issue committees, a board, and volunteers. It takes all of us paying our fair share, investing in peace, to keep WILPF moving forward.

Members will be able to contribute a small amount once a month, about equal to purchasing a $5 cup of coffee at a fancy local roaster, or a coffee and pastry at a family-owned local diner. You can choose an amount to give that’s small enough so you won’t miss it, but regular enough for WILPF to rely on!

What could $5 a week mean for WILPF?

Your $5 a week would allow WILPF to count on a total of $260 a year over the course of one year. Scaled up, if half our members buy into this campaign and become sustainers, buying WILPF the equivalent of a cup of coffee, and investing in the future of our peacemaking, we’d raise $182,000 a year just by contributing what is really our fair share to keep WILPF US moving forward.

If $5 a week is too much, consider $5 a month. That would be a total of $60 a year, and, scaled up, it could provide as much or more than $42,000 a year. There will be many options and amounts to choose from in the email appeal coming out in September. Please answer the call for support!

What do we do with all the money you contribute?

Good question. First, let’s look at DUES.

Out of your $35 dues, a full $15 goes to support International WILPF as part of our obligation to them. That leaves us with $20 to support all the activities that keep WILPF in business.

With about 1,400 members (and growing every day), each contributing $20 (after we pay International), that leaves us with only $28,000 to run WILPF US. That’s not nearly enough!

Our annual operating budget currently sits right around $300,000. That pays for all the ways we support peace and freedom around the country and across town, including:

Communications—Monthly eNews, eAlerts, two or more issues of Peace & Freedom each year, brochures, handouts, reports from issue committees, and facilitating and preparations for our new ONE WILPF Maestro ALL MEMBER CONFERENCE CALL.

Website—Maintaining and constantly updating our website content and design, maintaining security, webhosting costs, and digital graphic design that makes us look as good as the work we’re doing!

Program—Funding mini grants that support member and branch events, actions and campaigns; funding our issue committees: each issue committee receives a small stipend for moving their work forward; funding our UN programs, including the UN Practicum in Advocacy and the Local 2Global Program; preparing brochures, handouts, and reports.

Support materials—We need to design and print new recruiting materials, new donor materials, new program materials. That’s what it takes to support our work and GROW our network of peacewomen.

Administrative costs—We maintain a small staff and a Boston office. We pay utilities and computer support costs in Boston. We are obligated to maintain several kinds of insurance. And we have a part-time bookkeeper, who helps us stay in IRS compliance. These are costs we rely on our members to fund.

International support—The $15 per member we pay International WILPF helps support the international component of our organization and the UN Peacewomen and Reaching Critical Will programs. It helps support WILPF Sections in poor developing nations, too. We also pay travel for our International board members to attend their annual meeting.

Partner support—WILPF maintains working collaborations with partners in other NGOs and peace organizations, activist groups, and environmental coalitions. Many of these require annual support and travel to Board meetings and national or international conferences. We should aim to do more of this, in order to raise our visibility.

Please participate in the WILPF Sustainer Program. Buy WILPF a Cup of Coffee . . . so we can keep working all year.

Development Committee Members include:

Dixie Hairston (At Large – Dallas, TX), Robin Lloyd (Burlington, VT), Ellen Kurkoski (Boston, MA), Brandy Robinson (Portland, OR), Marie-Louise Jackson-Miller (Boston, MA), Nancy Price (At Large – Davis, CA), Mary Hanson Harrison (Des Moines, IA). Advisors:  Randa Solick (Santa Cruz, CA), Lamia Sadek (WILPF US Managing Director – staff), LaShawndra Vernon (WILPF US Treasurer, Milwaukee, WI).

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