Before becoming full time parent and writer and part-time editorial director for my publisher, my specialty was nonprofit accounting. As an employee or board member I was involved in both a small home-grown association and a large one with thousands of members. Regardless of size, both organizations had fervently committed members, hard-working volunteers and very few resources. It was always a matter of rolling up our sleeves and finding a way to do something as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
Both groups had growing pains in management, administration and membership; it's the nature of the beast. That's why when the Golden Crown Literary Society's board of directors announced that they had surveyed their last few years of operations and concluded that the group had become too large and too unwieldy for spackle-and-duct-tape membership management tools (my wording, not theirs), I had sympathy pains. Been there, so very done that.
This decision came on the heels of two significant milestones: creation and promulgation of corporate documents and the necessary running financial reports to secure not only an independent CPA audit of their records with a clean opinion, but final approval of nonprofit status as well. Both of these steps represent untold hours of volunteer labor. I am enough of an accounting geek to have gotten misty at the reading of the CPA's clean opinion letter at the annual business meeting. "Represents fairly..." *sniff*
In order to purchase the software necessary to manage the growing membership with tools that support the administration of the society and alleviate as much as possible the drain that something as simple as dues billings creates, the board has asked the membership to donate to their fund. Many have -- over $4,000 of the $6,000 needed has been raised. In these economic times, that is simply fantastic and shows the level to which the members, most of whom are readers of lesbian fiction, believe in the comradeship GCLS provides at the annual conference, and the good it does in honoring and spreading the good word about what we writers do.
I encourage anyone who supports lesbian fiction to consider making a tax-deductible donation directly to GCLS for their membership software fundraising drive. Any amount is welcome and it will allow the organization to take to the next logical step in its growth. At the web site you can read more about the intended use of the donation.
I've created a special "product" at my web store that might sweeten the deal. For $50, you can choose any 5 books from my web store that are in stock. For the first five orders, I will donate the entire $50 to GCLS for their membership software. I wish I could do so for an unlimited number of orders, but 25 books, the payment processing fees and the postage to mail them is my financial limit. After that, however, I will donate $30 of each order.
I do want to make one disclaimer: my web store software is brand new and somewhat untested. I believe that it will all go smoothly, processing credit cards via PayPal. But it's possible there's a setting here and there that's annoying. Any feedback on functionality will be cheerfully accepted, though I can't promise it can be fixed!
To read more about this fund raiser, visit this page at my web site: $50 for 5 Books. You can also find the link on my home page. There is an "Add to Bag" button to select the fundraiser "product" and complete your purchase.
Thank you for considering joining the support for this great organization and for reading this blog! As always, a "like" for the Facebook gods is also most welcome and much appreciated as are shares and comments.
I would be remiss not to disclose that I am not a member of the organization's board, nor am I in any way financially related to it beyond the payment of my dues and sponsorship/advertising fees. I have been honored to receive several awards from GCLS but I would hope that everyone understands that there is no relationship between past and possible future awards and my wish to show my support for the organization. This fundraising appeal is made entirely and only in my capacity as an author and member of the Society.