I spent the fall of 2007 in frenetic travel. I flew to the West Coast four times and attended more RFC events than I can recall. My goal was to build up as big a war chest as we could because I saw the storm clouds building on the horizon. In our Spring 2008 newsletter I wrote about a “perfect storm” brewing. That’s the way I described the Obama campaign coupled with the gathering recession, that together were sucking many dollars away from the RFC and other progressive organizations.
I often assess the passing year as the new one approaches. I have mixed feelings about 2009. The start of the year, like the second half of 2008, was really scary at the RFC. The country was in financial melt-down, people were losing their jobs, and that had ominous implications for our fund raising prospects as the year progressed.
The RFC’s income is down this year. For instance, our June mailing is on track to raise $5,000 less than it did last year. Yes, the economy continues to be bad, and too many people are having a hard time making ends meet, let alone maintaining their donations to progressive causes. But we did much better last year, even though last year the economy was equally lousy. What’s the difference?
The Rosenberg Fund for Children turned 25 this year. The success of this organization, which my father created from the nightmare he experienced as a child, would not have been possible without the thousands of individuals committed to supporting the children of targeted activists. I am honored by the trust my father has placed in me to carry forward his and my grandparents’ legacy, and am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to stand with our beneficiaries. But I am also concerned.