Main fundraiser photo

Bob Slate Stationer COVID-19 and Flood Relief

Donation protected
Since 1930, Bob Slate Stationer has provided an immersive analog experience of distinctive writing papers and instruments, backed by expert consultative staff, located in the heart of iconic and literary Harvard Square.

Unfortunately, as we conclude our 90th year in business, we are faced with an existential threat that can only be met by calling on our global community for assistance. As the owner of this cornerstone of Harvard Square, I am asking for your kind donation to help us sustain our store dedicated to the fine art of written communication.

This year we have experienced two catastrophic events: the COVID-19 pandemic, which has decimated small businesses world-wide; and recently, a building flood that destroyed our back office and inventory backstock.

Our business model currently relies almost entirely on in-store shopping, where we can provide the unique and quirky experience and sampling so beloved by our loyal customers. We are heavily dependent on seasonal sales spikes associated with holidays and university events like graduation, all lost in 2020.  Until the local universities return to full attendance (likely not until later in 2021), accompanied by the regular waves of visitors, we are facing insufficient foot traffic to sustain the business. The addition of online shopping capabilities is underway but constitutes a substantial investment that is currently infeasible.

While community support of the store by phone and email ordering has been tremendously helpful and heartening, it simply isn’t enough to ensure that we can meet our immediate operating expenses, including paying the staff who have held us together during these long and difficult months, rent and our supplier partners.

We have tried to keep afloat using our hardy New England grit and creativity, but simply can’t overcome the current extended challenges on our own. We have applied for all available financial assistance, including grants, loans, and other institutional and government support, but these alone will not fully ensure our short-term viability, let alone our long-term stability. Funds given to this campaign will provide us the cash resources to address our immediate operating needs and build infrastructure to support the store into the future.

This fundraising campaign is just one way in which writing enthusiasts can support us. Please continue to shop in-store, where we have adopted recommended safety procedures to help you feel comfortable during your visit. Please share this message widely within your communities. And please support local independent businesses everywhere!

You -- our loyal customers -- have enabled Bob Slate Stationer to thrive for 90 years. With your continued support at this most trying time, we can continue to bring you the best writing products from all over the world. We are grateful for any contributions you can make. Write on!

With humble gratitude,

Laura Donohue

Owner, Bob Slate Stationer


  • Mark Beatty
    • $60 
    • 4 mos
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Susie Mees Longfield
    • $100 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Judith Feinleib
    • $50 
    • 11 mos


Cambridge, MA

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee