In early January 2020, I sat down for my first class of Social Movements and Digital Advocacy with Professor Adam Knowlton at Midland University. As he read over the syllabus, he explained in further detail our final thesis project for the course. He instructed that we would be creating our own social movement or digital advocacy campaigns that centered around a specific cause. As far as I can remember, at that moment, I knew I wanted to help raise awareness for LGBTQIA people and their allies online and in-person. Several weeks went by while I sat with the idea. I asked several close friends for their opinions. What could I actually do? I’m a student. I don’t have an immense budget or even a bunch of time for that matter.
Fast forward to March 2020. I’m sitting in my apartment shortly after learning that our campus was shutting down for what we thought was a few weeks in order to practice social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19. My dear friend, Mashea Beman and I were discussing how we were adapting to the swift change to online learning and the subject of this final project came up. We discussed many options for the project. In the beginning, I really wanted to create a physical space for people to come to tell their stories and to also be able to share those stories with the world. My unwavering vision is to create safe spaces for lgbtq+ people to feel safe, seen, and supported. Therefore, after many ideas and drafts of the vision for the project, The Rainbow Cloud Project was born.
Now zoom to today, we have spent an entire year in The Rainbow Cloud. I am thoroughly gobsmacked by the outpouring of support of this project from friends, family, and strangers from all around the world. Speaking of all of you, I’ve coined the noun ‘Rainbow Cloud Chaser’, or someone who unapologetically creates safe(r) and more equitable spaces for all through unconditional love and support. TRCP now has a community of over 1,000 people from all over the world that tune into the Rainbow Cloud on social media, our website, and through our email subscription, ‘Notes from the Rainbow Cloud.’
In the last few months, I have made the decision to expand The Rainbow Cloud Project and establish us as an official entity. I have gathered with some of my closest friends and created an Executive Team. All members of my team and their role(s) can be found below. Please note that every individual works their own full-time jobs and that they donate their time, talents, and treasure to this project. Without them, this next venture would altogether not be possible. We have decided to take TRCP and form it into an official entity. In the next couple of months, we plan to organize and file the project as an official not-for-profit organization with the IRS.
Therefore, this is where you come in. To start this process, there are costs associated with growing and evolving our project. I hope that if you can, you will consider supporting us in our initial fundraising efforts to establish TRCP as an official entity. All funds raised from this campaign will go directly into the formation process of TRCP as an official not-for-profit organization. Please also know that if you are unable to make a gift at this time, there are many ways to support us online and on social media. Please visit www.therainbowcloudproject.org to find out more.
Who We Are:
The Rainbow Cloud Project works to assist the LGBTQ+ community, and their allies, online and in person. We create safe spaces through CELEBRATING and UNITING diverse communities through our organization and lifestyle brand. Providing connection and supporting LGBTQ+ people, their allies, businesses, and organizations. Our unwavering mission is to bring people together, through social justice work and community organizing, to create safer and equitable spaces, for all those who strive for inclusivity in their community. We celebrate everyone here at TRCP. You are loved.
We strive to do the work to #SpeakUpForEquality in hopes to provide lgbtq+ people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions and cultures the opportunity to seek support and unconditional acceptance. A place where individuals can learn, grow, socialize, and feel safe.
What We Do:
We create these safe spaces through collaboration with creative partners, small businesses, and organizations who also share this same mission. We do so through education, activism, and community organizing.
In addition, our Rainbow Cloud houses resources that can be of use to anyone who may be struggling with overcoming any adversity. We hope to see you in the Rainbow Cloud.
We are committed, through action, to making sure everyone feels safe, seen, and supported. We are here for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies online and in-person (at a safe distance of course) through celebrating and uniting diverse communities.
Providing connection, supporting LGBTQ+ people, businesses, and organizations, and most of all spreading a little love and hope wherever we go.
At TRCP, we have always sought to create a community that embraces everyone. Our platform is a haven for many to come to speak their truth and share their stories, whether that be online or in person. That is why we are committed, through action, to ensure that everyone feels seen, heard, and supported.
Why we need your help:
In order to expand The Rainbow Cloud Project into an official entity, we need your help. If you can, I hope you will consider becoming an inaugural donor to the Rainbow Cloud. I, Cameron Stefanski, am personally launching a Go Fund Me that will allow the project to expand. I hope that if you can, you will consider supporting my dream of TRCP becoming an official organization. No dollar amount is too small. Please consider helping us get our organization off the ground running. All funds donated will go directly into The Rainbow Cloud Fund.
All these initial funds through this Go Fund Me will be used to expand TRCP into an official entity. Please read more about the evolution and expansion of TRCP on our website by visiting our support page.
Here is a break down of what your donations can do in the next 6 months:
-Help eliminate filing costs as a non-profit organization to the IRS $400.
-Initial legal consultation to incorporate TRCP as an official entity $400 (we are also looking for lawyers or legal professionals to help us with this work by donating their time to our cause. If you have anyone who may be interested in assisting us with our incorporation process (especially lgbtq+ people, BIPOC individuals, or people who identified as underestimated) who can help us, and who are willing to donate their time, please contact us.
-Help launch our official merchandise center $500 (all proceeds from merchandise impact our Rainbow Cloud Fund, which will assist in granting impact grants and immediate assistance to lgbtq+ people from all over the world).
-Digital Media Content software(s), Zoom for businesses and organizations to host our meetings and events, Google Suite for our organization, website management, and creative content editing software (Canva and Adobe) $300/year. Your donations will help eliminate this expense this year. This will allow me and our team to continue our community organizing, social justice, and digital advocacy work on social media and our website. In the near future, we file to explore the idea of eventually holding in-person outreach programming and live entertainment events when it is safe to do so.
-Launch our summer PRIDE event series that will be centered on working with lgbtq+ identifying artists and creatives to amplify the voices of underestimated communities. These funds will support stipends to provide to our collaborators. $1,000.
-Help purchase and contribute to our revamp and expansion through the purchase of a printer, marketing materials (mailers and invites), and support advertising and administrative costs (P.O. Box & business bank account creation) as we expand. $400.
-Any additional donations will go directly to our Rainbow Cloud Fund, which we are working to provide impact grants to lgbtqia+ people in the fall of 2021.
-Any and all proceeds from this campaign will be sent directly to our organization’s business account that is overseen by our Advisory Board Officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary).
Total Intial Start-Up Cost goal = $3,000.
** Donor Perks
-Monthly updates from the Rainbow Cloud.
- If you specify, you will also have the opportunity to be added to our Inaugural Rainbow Cloud Donor Wall.
-You will receive two tickets or instant access to our virtual events this year.
-You will also receive early access to tickets for all events and programming in 2021, whether that be virtual or in person. **
Please note that in 2020/2021 Cameron Stefanski and TRCP raised over $500 from your purchase(s) of our Choose Kindness. Choose Compassion. Choose Love. stickers as well as your additional support to our work via our Creative Director Cameron Stefanski’s Venmo and PayPal. All these funds will be added to our Rainbow Cloud Fund as we expand TRCP into a not-for-profit organization. In addition, we will be working to release an Impact Report from 2020 and for 2021 that will outline and explain in detail our impact through our digital advocacy efforts to create safe(r) and more equitable spaces for lgbtq+ people and their allies.
What is next for us?
Honestly, so much! Our team has been so inspired by the growth of our community and has gained an added sense of responsibility to continue growing alongside it. That means you can expect more blog content & social media activity, Spotify playlists, events, additional resources to help you on your mental health journey, and more innovative collaborations with independent lgbtq+ artists, activists, and nonprofits that allow us to serve you and the rest of this community in even greater ways.
We feel so indebted to you for allowing us to create, grow, and explore the possibilities of The Rainbow Cloud Project, and we hope that you'll continue to be pleasantly surprised by where we take this project in the near future.
We are grateful for you, we see you, and we honor you. Thank you for allowing us into your day.
With an open heart and kind intentions,
Founder and Creative Director
The Rainbow Cloud Project
@therainbowcloudproject on Facebook and Instagram
@trcp_org on Twitter
Thank you for your continued support. It means the world to me. If you are unable to donate, please consider sharing this campaign with everyone you know who can support our cause. Also, please engage in conversations with us on social media by sharing and commenting on media content that we create and share with all of you. We hope you will join us in the Rainbow Cloud wherever you are in the world. You are loved. Never forget that.
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