Monday, January 11, 2016

Letter to Funders

(At Blogjob, the tags were Frugal Gracious Living Challengeme me me me me.)

(This is a revised version of an e-mail I sent to a prospective funder on Sunday; revised to clarify things for funders I don't know in real life. Fair disclosure: it's possible that this funder was remembering that, in the past, I considered registering the Cat Sanctuary as a 501(c)(3) charity, but due to the small size of the operation I've never actually done that.)
We need to be clear about the difference between buying goods, paying for services, funding a project (all of which are things with which I'm involved) and making donations to charity (with which I'm not involved). I am not a charity. I do not "need." I work. When people who have any sense of honor start "needing" instead of giving, they stop eating...and I will. In fact I have.
Please don't join the crowd of fools who imagine that, because I've not been able to collect payment for some things I've done, I've not done anything. I can't associate with people like that because there's no respect or good will.
Some things have changed since some prospective funders discussed the idea of setting up a computer center / bookstore in the past. I've registered the Internet Portal as a for-profit LLC, and I've set up a project funding link at
When funding starts I will be documenting my income--anonymized of course, and NO BARTER because everything has to show up in numbers--in the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge posts, which will be the basis for my tax forms.
Those posts won't start until the full amount of funding is collected, because the full amount is non-negotiable. I'm not promising to scrape by from hand to mouth any longer than I can go without eating. After ten years I'm thoroughly tired of doing that; I don't think it would help anyone else to write about the details of doing it, and I know for sure I wouldn't enjoy writing about it, so I'm not going to write about it.
I'm out of food, fighting a relapse of this year's "flu shots don't help because it's more like a cold than like flu" (which I had in October, but after two years of out-of-control sprue my immunity's down), telling myself that it helps to starve infections, and making no promises to come into town again unless I see some serious funding. I last ate solid food on the eighth of January. I might have compromised and eaten something if I'd received a cash payment in January; so far into 2016 I have not.
The project has been online for one of the eight weeks it gets and has not raised 12.5% of $13,000, so I feel ready to drop it now (possibly an infection-related mood...but don't annoy me further by trying to talk about emotional feelings, since mine aren't based in and don't feel like anything either young people or un-widowed people know anything about; I've been young and unwidowed, so I know).
If you want to claim an Indiegogo book project as a charitable donation, I suppose that's on your conscience...but this project is all about FAIR EXCHANGE. By funding it, you're affirming that you're not some kind of Olympian deity of munificence looking down and dropping largesse upon one of the faceless who-cares-if-they-can-even-tell-themselves-apart mass of "needers," but that you're a fellow human who gets some benefit from something I do.
This project does not necessarily have to debate whether any Olympian deity of munificence ever accomplishes any good, or whether all full-time "needers" should stop eating, but it does have to affirm at all times that nobody's mistaking me for a "needer." Widows have no needs. Widows are alive because somebody out there needs our help. Obviously I thank funders for their help, because funders are also thanking me for mine.
Anyone who could possibly mistake me for a helpless, useless, worthless "needer" with nothing to contribute is obviously insane, and therefore in that category his/her sick, crazy, fool self, and should stop eating now. I don't waste energy hating that sort of trash...I have, for the past ten years, positively revelled in reading their obituaries, and if I live I'll continue so to revel.
I may or may not go into quarantine. Anybody who's walking around in my home town has already been exposed to the virus by now, so the guilt factor is relatively low. Dry air in the computer center aggravates my sinuses less than damp air at my no-longer-wood-heated home, so there is some selfish benefit in not observing quarantine. Although I'm here today to pre-schedule some more book reviews, I'm not promising that there will ever be any more live blog posts unless I see some substantial funding activity.
(Photo by Taliesin at ; this is Morguefile's image of "sick")