We're Over the Top!

In the last issue of our newsletter I announced that the Attica Fund Prison Visit Program was in financial trouble and needed a $10,000 infusion. Two weeks ago I reported here that in response to my appeal a generous donor had stepped forward and offered to match dollar for dollar all contributions earmarked for the Attica Fund up to a total of $5,000.

Because the newsletter had already been printed we were only able to share this very positive new development with our 2,000 member-strong email list. Since our donors had already contributed $1200 when we sent the email, and the donor had agreed that we could apply the match challenge retroactively, it brought the total raised to $2400. That meant if our donors contributed an additional $3800, with the match, we’d reach our goal.

I was skeptical about our ability to raise the additional $3,800 online. I was already rehearsing the letter I’d write to the donor asking that she consider kicking in the remainder of the $5,000 even if we didn’t achieve our goal. But happily that is unnecessary because since announcing the challenge our donors have contributed a whopping $3,945! In other words our supporters have given a total of $5,145 for the Attica Fund in response to our appeal. This brings the grand total, with the challenge-match, to $10,145 for the Attica Fund, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we approach the $11,000 mark before we are finished.

It is even more remarkable that we’ve achieved this goal without diminishing the regular granting donations generated by our newsletter. So far those contributions are roughly equivalent to what we received in response to our September 2008 newsletter. That we remained steady during such a difficult economic period demonstrates the incredible dedication of our community.

But this late-breaking matching gift offer also illustrated an on-going challenge. Since we have email addresses for less than a third of our supporters, the majority of our community never heard about this campaign. While not all of our backers have email addresses, I am sure that at least another 1000 do, but haven’t shared that information with us.

We will continue our drive to gather all the email addresses we can, but we urge you to help as well. If you know other RFC supporters, please spread the word that we’d like their email addresses. And please comment on this post to give us any suggestions you have about how to facilitate this outreach effort.

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