Things are happening at DRCNet HQ, but we need your help now more than ever to be able to keep it going. First, an update:
That was the good news. The bad news is that over the last five months since our current one-year grant period began, we have had to spend more than we anticipated, mostly on equipment and software to support our new staffing level; and at the same time, we have earned less than we anticipated from member donations (i.e. you people). The combined result is that we are thousands of dollars behind. While we have not hit bottom by any means, we are going to run into trouble a few months into 1997, if donations don't pick up. In the meantime, we have run out of brochures, and weare unable to put very much money into building membership -- a necessary long-term priority, both for our strategic mission and our long-term financial stability.
And that is for the budget from before our staff level expanded. The $10,000 gift that allowed us to hire Adam J. Smith as DRCNet's Assistant Director will run out in mid-December. Our workload is overwhelming now; if Adam has to take another job, it will become very difficult for us to produce -- which will mean less information to get out to you, less capacity to respond to rapid-response items, less new material for the web site, etc.
The bottom line is that DRCNet needs your help to be able to continue to make a difference. Some e-mail members have been very generous, but most have never sent us anything. We value your participation, with or without money -- but we really need money. If you haven't ever paid dues, or if you are inspired to make another donation, please visit our online registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html and send us your information. From there you can print out a form to mail us, or wire us a credit card donation right from the web. The form is equipped with SSL encryption, and our software also uses PGP, to make sure that your numbers are protected en route. (Make sure to click on the "Secure Transmittal Form" link.) If you don't have easy access to the web, feel free to use the text version that enclosed in the following message. Or you can just send a check to DRCNet, 4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008. Please consider enrolling in our monthly donors program.
We are also looking for sources of large funding, in the $5,000- $10,000 range, to be able to keep Adam working. If you are connected with any foundations, or know any wealthy individuals who are potential supporters, please let us know. We are talking at most a month before Adam's position will run out of funding, if we don't get another grant or major gift. (We are able to accept tax-deductible contributions, large or small, through our sponsor, the Drug Policy Foundation. Please make such checks out to "Drug Policy Foundation" and write "DPF/DRCNet collaboration" on the check.)
Last but not least, we need more letters of support to help us impress potential funders. If you are a respected professional, a drug policy activist, a harm reduction worker, or just a concerned citizen, your letter will help us garner the resources we need.
The recent ballot victories in California and Arizona demonstrate that this issue is taking off; but in the meantime the multiple catastrophes of Prohibition continue to take their devastating toll. Every day these policies stand, hundreds more lives are ruined or lost. Reform organizations like DRCNet need to be operating from a position of strength to be able take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity with which we are offered. We need you as our partners, financially and as participants, to help stop the madness of the drug war and bring peace to our troubled world.
David Borden Adam J. Smith Director Assistant Director
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