Building Preservation: It is a point of pride that our organization has been in the same location since our inception. For 127 years our building at 39 S Market has acted as a safe space for the Black community and as a conduit for growth and change. Buildings of this age and historical magnitude require continuous and specialty upkeep. Furthermore, as we continue to meet the needs of our community, the use and needs of our building change. This funding will support standard building maintenance, along with the development of revenue-driving real-estate on The Block, upkeep of the new co-working space, upgrades in the YMI gallery, and more.
Capacity: An organization is only as strong as the team that supports its mission. In an effort to keep costs low and ensure our programs are funded, our staff continues to forgo pay increases, work volunteer hours, and pour love and crucial sweat equity into the organization. While this may have been needed at the time, as an organization this is not a practice we want to continue. It's imperative that we are able to increase the capacity of our executive director, and the offices of programming, economic development, and community engagement. Adding to these teams, and giving them the tools they need to serve the community we love, means that the crucial work that we do is never a second priority.
Sustainability: The most common topic amongst nonprofits and educational organizations is the endowment, but most people don’t even know what it means to have an endowment and why it matters. Endowments are essentially saving accounts for organizations. It’s money that ensures that an organization can continue in hard times and offers stability and freedom for new programming and new investments. In a world where we are having tough conversations around issues that can’t be fixed in a day or a decade, longevity is our greatest asset, as is security. The knowledge that we can continue this work empowers our team and volunteers to reach higher. The security of an endowment, allows our investors and funding partners to dig deeper. The agency it provides to the community and to the YMICC allows us all to dream bigger.
With your help, we can ensure that the YMI is always here, that the conversation is always had and that there is always a seat at the table.
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