There seems to be some kind of issue with comments so I'll just go ahead and post this as an update. While I've got you, thanks to all the performers, volunteers and audience members of The Cat's Ass Comedy Show last night. So much laughing!
I'm happy to try to answer any questions you (or anyone else) may have about my campaign. I think some of this may be an issue of semantics. VOKRA is a volunteer-run organization. VOKRA does not have staff. So, any work I do for VOKRA is, technically, volunteer work. Perhaps the use of that word is complicating things. However, I don't really think that's what you're taking issue with.
I wanted to contribute a significant amount of time to VOKRA which, no matter how good I am at time management, I can't do while working full-time, raising a family, etc. This campaign is enabling me to contribute full-time hours to VOKRA. If the funds went directly to VOKRA, that wouldn't achieve this result because they can't pay me as an employee. I agree that it's complicated and a bit confusing. I looked at a variety of ways to structure this campaign and this seemed the best, clearest approach. I happen to think it's an innovative fundraising model but respect that you don't agree.
The funds raised are covering my basic expenses so that I can work for VOKRA rather than somewhere else. $10,000 over a 6 month period basically works out to minimum wage. Considering that any of the roles I have taken on (and have experience in) would start at salaries well over double that, it should be clear that I'm not in this for the dolla dolla bills, y'all.
"Is your track record and time MORE valuable then the the 10,000$ people likely think will be directed to the charity? "
Yup. In the last month alone, my blog posts and social media efforts have already raised well over $10,000 for VOKRA. That's before putting a fundraising plan in place. I'm confident that, over 6 months, the value I bring will far exceed what people have contributed to my campaign. The return on investment is very high and you can't put a price tag on the good I can do for VOKRA. But if you could, it would be more way more than $10,000.
If you watched my video and read my page, you'll note the part where I write: "In addition to my writing, performing and litter box scooping abilities, I have other skills. I have over two decades of event organizing and management experience. I have extensive marketing and social media skills. I am an experienced fundraiser, grant writer and strategist. And I love this organization more than I can tell you." I'm not a waitress volunteering to try my hand at fundraising, social media and event organizing. I gots skillz.
"Collecting donations shows a personal network that is strong, not necessarily a specific ability to replicate this in the scale that is sought."
No one is being forced to contribute. While many people I don't know at all think my campaign is a great idea and have supported it, I would say the majority of contributors are from my personal and professional networks. Who would understand my abilities better than those people? That's precisely why they support me. They know what I can do.
As far as me being "disingenuous", I don't know how much more transparent I can be. I'm being clear on where the money is going (me) and what it is for (basic living expenses) and what it will enable me to do (extend my skills and time to VOKRA full-time for 6 months to increase visibility, increase our social media presence, fundraise, create a long-term fundraising plan, organize events, help set some goals to support the long-term sustainability of the organization). If I'd said it was a VOKRA fundraiser and then pocketed the money, I could see your issue but I've been transparent, up-front, and honest. It's how I live my life. It's how I've run this fundraising campaign. The campaign itself is called Help Morgan Save Kittens, not Help VOKRA Save Kittens! How much clearer could I be? Do you think that people are being duped? Do you think the campaign is misleading? I guess I'm giving people more credit for their ability to read and comprehend than that. But if this has been an earth-shattering piece of news for anyone who contributed under some kind of misunderstanding, please email me and I will refund your money right away and throw in some of my homemade cupcakes to boot. I promise I won't even spit in them.
As far as crowdfunding being "a hint entitled", I can say that I myself have spent lots of time thinking and discussing this new funding model and have been critical of the Zach Braffs of the world and their use of crowdfunding. We might even agree on some criticisms of crowdfunding. But, you know, I also really love this new model. I've been to more shitty fundraisers than I can count, sat through more rotten shows, bought more crap I didn't need (anyone want to borrow a tote bag?), all in the name of supporting people I care about or believe in. Frankly, I'd rather stay home in my underwear and toss them some cash online. In fact, I think that should be GoFundMe's tagline: Support the projects you care about without having to put on pants!
I think it's always a good idea to hold people accountable if they are accepting your money. I am confident that the people who have contributed to my campaign are already seeing their money at work. I also know that VOKRA's Board of Directors supports and appreciates my campaign and has already seen the impact of my efforts. I will continue to run my fundraising campaign as I live my life; with all the integrity and compassion I can and with deep gratitude for those who support me.
I don't know if this has answered any of your concerns or any concerns other people may have but I sure hope it has. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some sick foster kittens to give medication to.
I'm almost at $8,000! It's my birthday! Tonight is The Cat's Ass Comedy Show! Thank you to everyone who has supported my campaign so far. Let's bring it on home with some laughs tonight. Please join us! WISE Hall, doors 7, show 8. Going to be sold out so don't dilly dally!
It was a rough weekend, I'm not going to lie to you. The other kitten did not make it, she died in my arms on Monday morning. I feel honoured to have held her and surrounded her with love and to have given her safety and love for her short life. But my heart is broken. Rest in Peace, E.B. and Effie. I love you.
But life goes on and there are many more kittens to save. I hope you'll help me by spreading the word about the campaign and, specifically, the Cat's Ass Comedy Show next week. A donation of $50 gets you 2 tickets. Let's wipe away the tears and share some laughs, shall we?
Mike Krane just dropped by with some cash to put me over the half way point! Now that's a good friend. And I'm not just saying that because he dropped by unannounced and got a real eyeful of my "work at home look".
Thank you everyone for your generosity and your kindness. Please keep spreading the word and let's get the other half!
You are all amazing and I am so grateful for your support. THANK YOU! Here is one of the three awesome postcards, drawn by the one and only Sarah Leavitt (sarahleavitt.com) that you'll get when you donate at the $25 level. They just arrived in the mail from the printer so, as soon as I can get them out, they'll get to you!
Back by popular demand! Drawings of your pet by my kid!
Since they were such a hit, my son has agreed to do another limited number of drawings for my campaign. Thanks, buddy! But he ain't doin' it for so cheap this time, he says. Artists must be respected, he says. Or maybe he said "Can I play Minecraft", I don't really remember. The point is, here is your chance to get a one of a kind, original, creative, kind of weird drawing of your pet by my kid. Just $30 gets you this highly coveted perk and helps me save kittens.
Look for the Cat's Pyjamas perk and get yours now!
You may know me as an actor and comedian. You might follow my blog or have attended a show I emceed. But if you know me at all, you know one thing: I sure love cats.
I have been volunteering my free time for VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association) over the past few years because VOKRA saves lives and prevents suffering. I have fostered orphaned kittens, crawled under buildings to rescue newborn kittens, trapped feral cats so that they could be spayed or neutered (and not create more unwanted kittens), tamed semi-feral kittens, and done a variety of other kitten-rescue-related tasks: hosting fundraising events, coordinating volunteers, writing grant proposals and more. I have scooped more litter boxes than most people would dare to dream of. (Other people scoop litter boxes in their dreams, right?) I've donated a lot of hours. But it's not enough.
I want to help raise awareness around VOKRA's work and convince more people to get involved. I want to help make VOKRA an organization with staying power. I know I can have a huge impact on VOKRA's future but a couple of hours here and there won't do it.
Instead, I want to dedicate myself to VOKRA full-time for the next six months and help make it a sustainable organization for many decades to come. To do so, I'm asking for your help.
Like you, I'm not independently wealthy. (Unless you are independently wealthy, in which case, let's talk.) I have to work or my family doesn't eat. Your contributions will allow me to dedicate myself exclusively to volunteering for VOKRA for the next six months. Without your contributions, this won't be possible.
In addition to my writing, performing and litter box scooping abilities, I have other skills. I have over two decades of event organizing and management experience. I have extensive marketing and social media skills. I am an experienced fundraiser, grant writer and strategist. And I love this organization more than I can tell you.
What will I do?
VOKRA has an amazing new Operations Centre that will help us better carry out our rescues. Oh, you hadn't heard about it? That's because all of our volunteers are so busy rescuing cats and kittens that no one has been able to organize a launch event. I can do that.
VOKRA did three large rescues in the past couple of months, saving almost 30 cats and kittens from each one. Oh, you didn't know about those? That's because our volunteers work full-time at their regular jobs and don't have enough time to get stories like this out via social media. I can do that.
VOKRA spent almost $450,000 last year, most of that on cat food and vet bills. We are constantly in debt, constantly scrambling for donations. We desperately need an overall fundraising strategy and a long-term plan if VOKRA is going to keep saving cats and kittens. I can do that.
I'll regularly post about the work I'm doing, here and on the VOKRA blog http://vokrablog.wordpress.com/. You'll get a behind-the-scenes peek at a rescue organization through blog updates, videos and photos. And you'll witness VOKRA saving lives as I report on rescue stories, adoption stories and happy endings made possible through my donation of time, made possible by your donation of funds.
If promises of adorable kitten photos and videos aren't enough, there are some great purrks for contributors. These include homemade vegan cupcakes; tickets to the upcoming Cat's Ass Comedy Show featuring some of Vancouver's most hilarious comedians in support of my campaign and VOKRA; a custom cake made by my cake boss of a sister; the chance to name a litter of kittens...and so much more. But the biggest purrk of all will be knowing that you helped me save kittens' lives. That's right, only people who hate kittens will refuse to support my campaign. You don't hate kittens, do you?
My birthday is coming up on June 25th. All I want this year is the gift of time. Please contribute by June 25th so that I can dedicate myself to VOKRA and to saving kittens.
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