Surviving 2009 Together

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.

We've hit a brick wall

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.

Madoff Fallout

“Were any of your supporters invested with Madoff?”

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been asked that question in the last few months.

At first, I could answer: “not that I know of.” Then I received the following letter from a supporter:

“Some time ago …. I had put my pension from thirty years work into an investment that was indirectly hooked into the Madoff fraud. [A]ll of [my] savings were stolen in this scheme. We’re struggling now to re-build some reserve and retain our sense of equanimity.”

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