Monday, January 28, 2013

Finances of One Billion Rising

Some of you who are numbers people have asked what exactly we're raising money for as we keep publishing requests for donations!  Good question!  I thought it might be helpful to answer your questions as thoroughly and accurately as I can so you can know what we're using your generous donations for.

Here's the scoop:

One Billion Rising RVA is a completely grassroots effort.  That means that five of us: me, Alba Jaramillo, Janett Forte, Kelsey Bedolli, and Julie Willard, decided to take on creating an event to celebrate women and to bring awareness to the violence being perpetrated against women all over the world.  Our desires to end violence against women have turned into this event which is slated to take place Thursday, Feb 14th, from 11-2 at the Richmond Coliseum.  We have many, many volunteers in place to help us out and need about 70 more for the day of the event.  (Sign up here if you're interested in volunteering.)  None of us are being paid to do this work.

Because we're a bunch of overachievers on the committee, and because we couldn't imagine a more perfect location for the rally, we have chosen to have it at the Richmond Coliseum.  Given how rainy/snowy/freezing rain it's been recently, having it indoors is looking more and more like the PERFECT decision!  The Coliseum's management is so supportive of our event that they have made the decision to give us the use of the building for FREE.  Thank you, Coliseum!  We are unendingly grateful.

They, however, have costs they are unable to waive. I'm not sure it's quite appropriate for me to list them all here, but if you're really interested, you can email me at, and I will share them with you.  They are costs are ones such as personnel to man the Coliseum, police, fire, and EMS to be at the event, cleaning, the stage and sound system, etc.  We have agreed to have many volunteers to take over as many of the tasks as possible to keep costs to a bare minimum.  The Coliseum has been absolutely fantastic to work with to help us keep costs down.  Despite that, the costs come to $6314.12, subject to change if our needs change (we don't expect them to - we hope they won't - unless we suddenly realize we might have 20,000 instead of 10,000, in which case our costs would rise significantly!)

This is the main bulk of what we need to earn.  We also are printing buttons to sell at the event.  Our wonderful button maker, Jennifer Yane, is bartering with us so we can keep those costs low.  That will be $100.  We would like to make Tshirts and are working on finding a way to do that without upfront costs.  Or we need someone to donate the shirts.  If you have a lead on that, please get in touch. I know people are going to want T shirts from the event, and it would be a good way to make some money to help support us, but we don't have funds to put forward to get them!  A Catch-22!  Frustrating!

We may have expenses related to Ms. Kadeer's visit should she choose to stay overnight.  Those are unknown at this time, but would probably run close to $400 for meals, hotel, and transportation costs.  The other speakers are local so that isn't an issue.  

We have to pay for liability insurance for the Coliseum.  There is no choice there.  We are researching the policy and expect it to cost $750, hopefully no more.  

The total costs are:
$7564.12 at the outside, assuming nothing else comes up.

Our fundraising efforts have been moving in several directions.

1.  Indiegogo is a web-based fundraising outfit sort of like Kickstarter.  We launched a campaign there to raise $1500, hoping to specifically cover some of the costs of the Coliseum.  We didn't put the entire $6314.12 on there because they take a percentage of the gifts - 3% if we reach our goal, 6% if we don't.  We didn't want to overreach our goal, and we wanted to create an option where folks could easily donate.  I realize it's a bit confusing why the amount there is different than the $7500 we mention elsewhere.  I hope this clarifies that!  To donate to indiegogo, please use the following link:  Our campaign there is going quite well.  We're up to $415 as of today, 1/28.  We need $1085 more to meet our goal.

2.  Individual fundraising efforts - each of us volunteers has sent out appeals to our dear, beloved, generous friends and families and they have been most kind, donating either through indiegogo or through the Action Alliance Website.  If you would like to donate through them, PLEASE be sure to write "One Billion Rising" or the donations will NOT come to this campaign.  They're a wonderful organization, so please feel free to donate to them as well if you feel so moved, but please be sure to note OBR or One Billion rising in the comments section if you want to donate to cover the aforementioned expenses.  In addition to what has come through indiegogo, we have raised $990 through these efforts.  Thank you!

3.  Organizational fundraising efforts - we have written letters to various organizations and corporations asking them to support our efforts.  Two have responded with $500 donations each, for a total of $1000.  Thank you!

As you can see, as of today, we have raised $2405 so far, $4405 if we count the Action Alliance's donation (below).  In addition to continuing those efforts, here is what we are continuing to do to raise more funds:

1.  Sponsorship efforts - individuals, non-profits, small businesses, or corporations may rent banner space or a booth the day of the event.  We are currently working on raising awareness of this possibility so we can raise these funds.  If you or anyone you know would like to rent a booth or space to hang a banner, please contact Julie Willard at

2. Contributions will be collected the day of the event.  We will have many volunteers at the event to ask people to contribute a buck or two (or more) to help pay for the event.

3.  Many of the proceeds from the Beyond Barbie events will go to help pay for the Coliseum.

4.  Half of the proceeds from Women Rise! (the art show at Crossroads Art Center being held in conjunction with this event) will go towards One Billion Rising.

5.  The Action Alliance has generously agreed to donate $2000 towards the event should it be needed.  We very much hope that won't be necessary so that they can retain those funds to help victims of violence in the many many ways they already do.

6.  Many of the proceeds, after expenses, from the Vagina Monologues will go to One Billion Rising to help cover costs.

Our hope is that we will exceed our fundraising efforts greatly so that we can make a large donation to the Action Alliance on behalf of the women and men of Richmond who wish to see an end to Violence against Women.  The Action Alliance is the umbrella organization which coordinates the 70+ shelters and agencies throughout Virginia.  They do wonderful, powerful work, exactly what we're trying to help with by putting on One Billion Rising!

Please feel free to share this information with whomever you would like.  We intend to be fully transparent with our finances.  We would be very grateful if you felt led to give us a donation so we can cover these expenses.  Currently we have a private person who has agreed to be the guarantor for the costs of the Coliseum and has agreed to take the loss if the costs aren't covered.  We do not want to see that happen.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity.  We hope it will directly help someone end and/or heal the horrors in their lives and they will have YOU to thank.

We need to raise $3159.12 more by Feb 14.  

to donate: link to indiegogo:
to donate: link to Action Alliance's donation page:

If you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please click here to sign up!

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